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Archives: February 2011

Veteran Boston Reporter Lands at NECN

Veteran reporter Eileen Curran, whose contract was not renewed by WBZ last November after nearly a decade with the Boston CBS-affiliate, has resurfaced at 24-hour cable news channel NECN.

Curran appeared today on NECN covering a story about a group of sick dogs that were brought into New England illegally. Anchor Mike Nikitas introduced her as “our Eileen Curran.”

Boston TV news blog btvn, which first reported the move, points out that Curran is a veteran of the New England area, having worked as a weekend anchor for WFXT before joining WBZ.

Curran is just the latest local talent to land at the Comcast-owned channel, which has been aggressively remaking its news lineup to compete with network affiliates in the area.  NECN’s new morning and evening newscasts, for instance, are anchored by alumni of Providence’s WPRISteve Aveson co-hosts NECN’s new 7 a.m. morning show and John Daly recently joined the channel’s evening newscast.

Video of Curran’s first NECN report inside… Read more

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! 
 

Stations Across the Country Run the Same Unclaimed Cash Story During Sweeps

Does the state owe you money that you didn’t even know about?

That’s the question being asked by stations around the country this month.  It’s a tantalizing set-up: the state treasury has millions of dollars in unclaimed cash and property and it could be yours with a few mouse clicks.

Stations in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Missouri, Virginia, Oregon, North Carolina, and South Carolina have all used the story to drum up ratings during the current sweeps period and increase traffic to their websites. Read more

Mylous Hairston Speaks Out After Abruptly Departing Buffalo’s WIVB

“I knew I would leave at some point this year,” veteran reporter-anchor Mylous Hairston told The Buffalo News about his abrupt departure last week from WIVB. “I just decided now is the time. We talked about it on Wednesday and finalized it on Thursday. It came together quickly. I’ve been looking to do something different. I have nothing lined up.”

Hairston, who is the president of the station’s chapter of AFTRA, departed WIVB amid heated labor negotiations with the station’s parent company LIN Media. He had been with the station for over 20 years.

A key issue in the ongoing labor discussions is the requirement that reporters learn to shoot and edit their own video.

“These are tough times all over in the media field,” said Hairston. “It’s just very tough. As more work is piled on, people are struggling at times to maintain the quality. It’s more challenging than it’s ever been.”

Serene Branson Appears on ‘Early Show,’ Talking Oscars Coverage

“I’ve been great,” KCBS reporter Serene Branson told Chris Wragge on the “Early Show” this morning, speaking about her first full week back at work following her slurred stand-up from the Grammys. Branson was back covering another big event on Sunday, reporting from the Oscars.

Branson described her experience reporting from the red carpet as “a little surreal” because she was approached by a handful of people that recognized her from the infamous Grammys report.

Covering the Vanity Fair after-party, Branson had to briefly walk down the red carpet. Paparazzi immediately began calling her name and snapping her photo. “It was a little uncomfortable to be on that side” of the velvet rope, she said.

Learn How to Capture Engaging Video for the Web in New Online Boot Camp

Mediabistro is currently offering a 4-week online video boot camp that teaches the skills necessary to capture engaging video for the web.

The course, which begins March 1st, is being taught by veteran cinematographer Barry Braverman, whose credits include ABC News, National Geographic, Discovery, and the History Channel. He is also a frequent collaborator and long-time mentor of filmmaker Wes Anderson.

The web-based course teaches the following:

  • The fundamentals of capturing compelling video
  • The rudiments of good story and visual technique
  • How to properly hold and manipulate the camera, set white balance and focus on the fly, and use proper field of view to communicate effectively
  • Best practices for producing professional-quality online video

For more information on the course, including a syllabus, visit HERE.

Romney Smith Becomes First African-American Anchor in Albany, Georgia

When WFXL made Romney Smith its main anchor this month, she became the first African-American anchor in Albany, GA (market #145).

Smith joined WFXL in 2009 and had been working as a reporter for the Fox-affiliate, which is one of two local news stations in Albany.

“Taking the job made me happy and sad,” Smith told the Albany Herald. “I was extremely happy about getting this promotion during Black History Month because I was kind of shocked it had never happened before. My frame of reference was always large metro areas that had black and Hispanic anchors.”

Smith was raised in Marietta, GA and earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

“I look at being the first black main news anchor in Albany as a personal responsibility,” she said. “I want to be the best reporter and news anchor I can be, but I also want to be a good role model, specifically for young black women.” Read more

Phoenix News Chopper Hit with Laser Beam

A Phoenix news helicopter was the victim of a dangerous prank last week as someone shot a bright laser beam into its cockpit (video above).

Police are currently investigating the incident and have yet to identify the culprit. According to The Arizona Republic, local police searched door-to-door last week in the area where the beam originated.

The helicopter shoots footage for multiple Phoenix stations, including CBS-affiliate KPHO and independent station KTVK.

“The message here is that if you want to engage in this kind of dangerous and irresponsible behavior, you can get arrested,” said a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Orlando’s WFTV Locks Up Star Reporter as Casey Anthony Trial Nears

Kathi Belich, a veteran reporter who has been covering the ongoing saga of murder suspect Casey Anthony, has signed a new long-term contract with Orlando’s WFTV.

Belich has been with WFTV since 1992 and has made a name for herself in central Florida with her aggressive coverage of the Anthony case over the last couple of years.  As the much-publicized case drags on, WFTV wanted to makes sure that it locked up its star reporter.

“I don’t want her thinking about her contract when she’s covering the Casey Anthony trial,” Bob Jordan, WFTV’s news director, told the Orlando Sentinel.

The murder trial is set to begin in May.

“I am very happy. I love my job,” Belich said about the new contract.

Former Columbus Anchor Lands in Tax Court Over Dubious Job-Related Expenses

Anchor Anietra Hamper, who had worked in the Columbus market for over a decade before departing WBNS last year, landed in tax court this month after reporting $167,356 in job-related expenses, including jewelry, teeth whitening, manicures, makeup, and lingerie.

According to the court ruling:

[Hamper] alleges that she acted in good faith and with reasonable cause in deducting her business expenses because the tax law says that all business expenses that are ordinary and necessary are deductible and that her deductions are specific to the job she performs as a news anchor.

Hamper worked at NBC-affiliate WCMH from 1999 to 2008, before leaving the station and eventually joining crosstown rival WBNS.  The expenses examined in court were reported between 2005 and 2008, during which time Hamper anchored WCMH’s morning and noon newscasts.

In addition to items that helped Hamper maintain her appearance, she also reported costs associated with self-defense classes, which local police allegedly advised her to take since she could be vulnerable to stalking. Hamper did not provide sufficient proof to the court that these classes were attended. Read more

Loughner’s Community College Ends Its Silence, Speaks with Tucson’s KVOA

Pima Community College, which suspended Jared Lee Loughner just weeks before he gunned down 19 people in a Tucson parking lot, has been stonewalling Tucson stations in recent weeks, refusing to speak about the actions it took in handling the troubled young man.

NBC-affiliate KVOA became the first Tucson station to speak with PCC since the days immediately following the shooting. Reporter Sandy Rathbun sat down with an attorney representing the college this week for an interview that aired on Thursday night (video above).

In the interview, attorney Alice Callison said that the college dealt with Loughner “in a reasonable fashion based on what we knew at the time.” She added that the school has not changed its policies since the shooting. Read more

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