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Archives: March 2011

WNYW’s Ernie Anastos: ‘It’s Just Like Being in a Candy Store When I Go into a Tie Shop’

Looking to give back to the New York community, veteran WNYW anchor Ernie Anastos found that the answer was right under his nose.

“I’ve collected ties over the years,” Anastos told TVSpy sister site FishbowlNY recently. “I’ve had a lot of ties as gifts. I’ve bought ties… It’s my passion. It’s just like being in a candy store when I go into a tie shop.”

Anastos realized that he could use his tie obsession for the greater good. In May, WNYW, a Fox O&O, is launching the “Ernie Great Tie Giveaway.” Viewers will be able to register online to win one of Anastos’s ties plus a photo of him wearing it. In turn, Anastos will donate money to a local charity.

“It’s a combination of thank you and having a little fun with it, and at the same time doing something good to help people,” Anastos says. Read more at FishbowlNY

Sinclair Makes GM Appointments in Raleigh and Flint

Sinclair Broadcast Group has made two general manager appointments this week. The company, which manages 58 stations across the country, announced on Wednesday that John Hummel had been named general manager of WLFL and WRDC in Raleigh, NC, and that Chad Conklin would replace him as GM of WSMH in Flint, MI.

Hummel has served as general manager of WSMH, a Fox-affiliate, since 2007.  Conklin has been with WSMH for the past 11 years, most recently serving as general sales manager.

“We are excited to promote Chad to the general manager position,” said Steve Marks, COO of Sinclair’s television group. “He has worked his way up through the ranks at the station, understands the market he is serving, and has demonstrated that he is ready for the next challenge. We look forward to Chad’s enthusiasm and leadership as he continues to build on the successes of John Hummel.”

Hummel, who has over two decades of experience in TV sales and management, said that he is looking forward to “working with the dedicated staffs at WRDC and WLFL.”

David Smith, President and CEO of Mission Broadcasting, Dies of Massive Heart Attack

David Smith, president and CEO of Mission Broadcasting, passed away over the weekend.

Smith founded Mission Broadcasting in 1998 and the company currently owns 16 stations–based mostly in smaller markets in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas–which are operated by Nexstar Broadcasting.

Smith suffered a massive heart attack while attending a friend’s wedding in Austin, TX, according to an email sent out to Mission and Nexstar stations by Perry Sook, Nexstar’s president and CEO.

“David was a friend, a partner in business and an innovative broadcaster,” Sook wrote in the email. “He will be missed by all of us who knew him.”

Ownership control of Mission will be handed to Smith’s wife Nancie, currently an officer and director of the station group, as well as his estate. According to Sook, COO Dennis Thatcher will continue to oversee day-to-day operations of Mission.

Tucson’s KVOA Promotes Newsroom Veteran Cathie Batbie-Loucks to News Director

Tucson’s KVOA has promoted Cathie Batbie-Loucks to news director.  Batbie-Loucks has been with the NBC-affiliate for 11 years, previously serving as assistant news director and, most recently, as “content management center director.”

“Cathie has tremendous institutional knowledge when it comes to the Tucson marketplace,” said Bill Shaw, KVOA’s president and general manager, in announcing the promotion. “Her strong work ethic and leadership skills will allow KVOA to continue to provide news excellence going forward.”

Batbie-Loucks succeeds Kathleen Choal, who was promoted to president and general manager of KSBY, another Cordillera Communications-owned station.

“Over the course of my professional career, KVOA has afforded me many amazing opportunities,” said Batbie-Loucks. “I am humbled — day in and day out — by the commitment of the talented journalists I work with at News 4 Tucson, and now I have the honor of leading this exceptional team as we open a new chapter in KVOA’s legacy.”

Stations get ready, Here comes Katie!

It may be the surest sign yet that Katie Couric will be leaving her perch at the CBS Evening News, and taking her talent to daytime talk. B&C reports Couric is close to a syndication deal and that CBS is the frontrunner.

Why? Because, reports B&C’s Paige Albiniak, “the company has a clause in its contract with Couric giving it the option to match any offer she gets prior to her contract’s expiration on June 4.”

While CBS is working hard to seal the deal, other companies remain in play. NBC, whose stations are seen as having the most need for a strong daytime show, remains interested, although CBS’ option to match any offer is causing NBC to tread lightly, because “we don’t want to negotiate her contract for her,” according to one NBC source.

And who is going to head this new show?

> Related, POLL: TVNewser asks: “Who should replace Couric on the Evening News?”

Read more

Marla Weech, ‘Grande Dame’ of Orlando TV, Joins Central Florida News 13

Marla Weech, who the Orlando Sentinel once called the grande dame of Orlando TV, has landed at Central Florida News 13, a cable-based news station serving central Florida. She’s set to make her on-air debut with the Bright House-owned station next month.

Weech, a native Floridian and a graduate of the University of Central Florida, has over two decades of experience anchoring in the Orlando market.

She spent most of her career with ABC-affiliate WFTV before moving on to CBS-affiliate WKMG, where she anchored the station’s noon, 4, and 5:50 p.m. newscasts.

Weech was eventually laid off by WKMG in the summer of 2008 in a move that was blamed on “tough economic times.”  Read more

New Season of LX TV’s ‘George to the Rescue’

LX TV, which produces daily and weekend lifestyle shows for the NBC O&Os, is debuting a new season of home renovation show “George to the Rescue.”

In the first episode, produced in partnership with NBC’s “Today” show, George Oliphant features the story of Rachelle Friedman and Chris Chapman, whose story first appeared on “Today.” Rachelle suffered a spinal cord injury at her bachelorette party when she was playfully pushed into a shallow pool and hit her head. She lost all movement and feeling below her collarbone. The first episode will go behind the scenes of the amazing transformation of the couple’s home in North Carolina and how an entire community rallied in support.

“This season is all about hope and human spirit,” says EP Marni Kupfer. “It’s amazing how the most inspiring people we meet are frequently those who spend all their time helping others.”

George to the Rescue airs weekends on the 10 NBC O&O’s.

On the Move, 3/30/11

Kathryn Burcham joins the reporting team at WSOC in Charlotte, NC. Burcham comes to WSOC from their Cox sister station, WHIO in Dayton where she has been a general assignment reporter since 2008.

Melissa Andrews, a former reporter-anchor with Toledo ABC-affiliate WTVG, is joining local PBS station WBGU as the new host of “Northwest Ohio Journal,” a weekly public affairs show.

How WJW’s Facebook Page Became the Most Popular Station Page in the Country

WJW’s Facebook page is the most popular station page in the country with over 165,000 fans and counting. So how has the Cleveland Fox-affiliate been able to garner so many Likes?

Lost Remote, which has an insightful post today about WJW‘s Facebook strategy, has a few keys to the station’s social media success.

One is a franchise titled “Facebook Friend of the Day” in which WJW’s morning show gives a daily shout-out to a new Facebook fan.

The other is a Facebook campaign that the station ran in September, promising to donate $2,500 to an area animal shelter if WJW reached 100,000 fans in a week. Video inside… Read more

KKCO Investigates Tooth Found in a Box of Ice Cream

“There was a foreign object in my ice cream,” Kenneth Smalley, a resident of Grand Junction, CO, informed local NBC-affiliate KKCO.  “All the sudden there was a chocolate chip that wasn’t melting.”

Smalley suspected that the object was a tooth so KKCO took it to a dentist for further inspection (video above).

While a dental hygienist backed up Smalley’s claim that it certainly looked like a tooth, Dr. John Poovey, a general dentist, concluded that it was “100 percent” not a tooth. Poovey guessed that it was just a piece of plastic. The verdict brought relief to Smalley, but perhaps disappointment to KKCO reporter Aaron Luna, who may have thought that he had a major consumer advocacy story on his hands.

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