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Archives: December 2010

Popular Austin Anchor Fred Cantu Is Leaving KEYE

Popular Austin anchor Fred Cantu is leaving KEYE.  Cantu has been a fixture on Austin TV for two decades, most recently serving as an anchor for KEYE’s  Telemundo affiliate.

Cantu, who worked at Austin’s KTBC and KVUE before moving to KEYE in 2002, has decided to leave the CBS/Telemundo affiliate in search of another anchor chair to fill. Cantu resigned his post at KEYE’s Spanish newscast because language was an apparent obstacle between him and the viewers.

“KEYE asked me to give it a shot because I was so well known in the market and would lend instant credibility to this start-up,” Cantu tells TVSpy.  “But since English is my primary language, I was frustrated that I wasn’t doing as well as I did in English.  The viewers were– for the most part– very supportive, but I knew they deserved better.”

Before helming the Telemundo anchor desk, Cantu served as a morning anchor for KEYE’s CBS affiliate, where viewers often referred to him simply as “Uncle Fred.”  The station offered Cantu a reporter post but the veteran anchor ultimately decided that he would miss the viewer connection that comes with anchoring the news.
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Mediabistro Course

Multimedia Journalism

Multimedia JournalismStarting September 25, learn how to create interactive packages with photos, audio, and video! Taught by a multiplatform journalist, Darragh Worland will teach you how to come up stories that would be best told in a multimedia format, and create original content for that package using photos, slideshows, and short video and audio pieces. Register now! 
 

On the Move, 12/30/10

Darren Dedo to Primary Co-Anchor, WAPT, Jackson.

Meteorologist Dennis Kos to weekends at WTVW in Evansville.

Dennis and Darren are represented by Steve Swienckowski of DCA (The David Crane Agency).

If you would like to report a new move, send an email to tvspy@mediabistro.com with the subject line “On the Move.”

Sinclair Prepares to Pull 33 Stations from Time Warner Cable

With Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s retrans negotiations with Time Warner Cable going down to the wire, the company is prepared to pull 33 stations from the cable operator’s systems at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s.

TWC recently rejected an offer that would increase the monthly station license fee by roughly 10 cents per subscriber.  According to Sinclair, TWC has yet to make a counter-proposal.

The Baltimore-based company owns 20 Fox, 17 MyTV, 9 ABC, 9 CW, 2 CBS affiliates as well as one NBC affiliate.  They have stations in many top markets, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati.

Barry Faber, Sinclair’s EVP and general counsel bemoaned TWC’s hard line negotiating. “We simply do not understand why Time Warner insists on being treated better than its competition, rather than accepting our equitable proposal to provide them equivalent or better pricing than is paid by their competition,” he said.

WWL Reporter Susan Edwards Loses Year-Long Battle with Cancer

Susan Edwards, an accomplished reporter with New Orleans’ WWL, passed away early Wednesday morning after a year-long battle with cancer.  She was 34.

Edwards was initially diagnosed with liver cancer in 2009 but the cancer quickly spread to her lungs, making treatment increasingly difficult.

“Susie faced this battle with a strength and courage that was unimaginable,” WWL anchor and interim news director Mike Hoss said. “She was so young and had so many reasons to be angry, but she never was. She was always the one picking up our spirits.   She never said ‘Why me?’ only ‘What’s the next hurdle to overcome?’”

Edwards joined CBS-affiliate WWL in 2007 after five years with WAFF in Huntsville, AL.  According to WWL, Edwards confronted the cancer with the tenacity of a reporter.  She took detailed notes when meeting with doctors and pressed them with careful questioning.

WPTV Announces Partnership with Palm Beach Newspaper

WPTV has entered into a news partnership with the Palm Beach Post.  The West Palm Beach NBC-affiliate announced this week that it will work with the newspaper on news stories for TV, print, and the web.

Calling the move a “no-brainer,” WPTV news director Jeff Brogan said that the collaboration would improve news gathering. “If we’re combining our strengths with the Palm Beach Post‘s strengths, I think we’ll get better reporting,” he said.

The E.W. Scripps-owned station has existing news partnerships with South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel and Scripps’ Treasure Coast Newspapers but the new Palm Beach Post partnership will be–at least in principle–the most signifiant.  Under the agreement, WPTV will feature a front-page story from the Palm Beach Post during its 11 p.m. newscast as well as during its morning newscast that airs on Fox-affiliate WFLX.

“It’s a powerhouse partnership that delivers the best of both worlds for readers and viewers in our area,” said Tim Burke, publisher and executive editor of the Palm Beach Post. “We’re bringing the visual medium of WPTV to Post readers and the large newsgathering force of Palm Beach Newspapers to WPTV viewers.”
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Rochester Duopoly WHAM Plans to Launch 10 p.m. Newscast on Digital Subchannel, CW-Affiliate

WHAM in Rochester, NY announced on Monday that it will launch a new half-hour newscast beginning January 1.  The new 10 p.m. newscast will be broadcast on WHAM-DT2, the ABC-affiliate’s digital sub-channel and local CW-affiliate.

The newscast will include the usual mix of local news, weather, and sports and the Newport Television-owned duopoly plans to have it air seven days a week.

“We are extremely excited to expand our news product, and give the people of Rochester a convenient alternative to the late news,” said Chuck Samuels, WHAM’s vice president and general manager. “We have a commitment to this community to be the leaders in local news and weather.”

WHAM-DT2 was launched in 2000 as a cable-only WB-affiliate known as WRWB.  WHAM acquired the station from Time Warner  in 2006 following the launch of the CW network.

KWTV Pilot Mason Dunn Uses News Chopper to Rescue Stranded Calf

KWTV helicopter pilot Mason Dunn is building a reputation for himself in Oklahoma as a local hero.  On Monday, Dunn rescued a calf that had gotten stuck in an icy pond.

A rancher near Watonga, OK called KWTV, Oklahoma City’s CBS-affiliate, when one of his calves became stranded in the middle of a pond.  The pond had a thick layer of ice on top of it and the rancher remembered that Dunn had used his KWTV chopper a few years ago to save a deer that was trapped in ice.

Dunn came to the rescue, using the wind from the whirling helicopter blades  to crack the ice and push the calf back to shore.

Here’s the amazing video:

On the Move, 12/28/10

Shirley Chan is the new weekend morning anchor/reporter at WVIT in Hartford.

Jim Armstrong has become a reporter at WBZ in Boston.

Meteorologist Eric Fisher joins The Weather Channel as a reporter and anchor from WGGB in Springfield.

Gus Rosendale has signed with KSTP in Minneapolis as an anchor after a stint at WPTZ in Plattsburgh, NY.

Keba Arnold moved back to the West Coast and has assumed duties as morning co-anchor at KXTV in Sacramento.

Robin Taylor has joined Pittsburgh’s WPXI as their consumer reporter.
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Former WPIX Weathercaster Chris Knowles Lands Gig with CNN

Former New York weathercaster Chris Knowles has landed a gig with CNN.

Knowles, who was fired by WPIX in October, provided live weather updates for “American Morning” on Tuesday, according to TVSpy’s sister site FishbowlNY.

As FishbowlNY points out, it’s unclear if Knowles’ Tuesday appearances were a one-time thing or part of a CNN tryout.

If he’s looking for someone to put in a good word for him at CNN, he has to look no further than his wife. Knowles is married to “American Morning” anchor Kiran Chetry.

KNBC Reporter Robert Kovacik Assaulted While Defending ‘Real Housewives’ Star


There was little Christmas cheer evident inside the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel last Thursday, where KNBC morning reporter Robert Kovacik was assaulted while dining with friends.

According to reports, Kovacik was out to eat with his friend Lisa Vanderpump, of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” when a drunken man began verbally harassing the Bravo star.  Kovacik asked him to stop but the unidentified man landed a blow to the “Today in L.A.” veteran’s mouth. Kovacik’s face required two dozen stitches, according to TMZ.

Following the incident Vanderpump tweeted, “My friend, Robert Kovacik was viciously attacked by an aggressive drunk…I am shocked and upset, merry Xmas.”

On Christmas Eve, Kovacik filed charges against his assailant with the Beverly Hills Police Department.

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