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Archives: April 2011

Feel-Good Video of the Day, Tornado Edition

ABC 33/40 captured more than just frightening live images of severe weather this week, as a tornado system ripped through Alabama. They also uncovered this story (above) about a puppy that was discovered buried underneath rubble. Auh!

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Police Uncover Child Pornography at WCAG, Station Boss Arrested

Peter Mallory, whose LinkedIn profile lists his occupation as “WEATHER MAN,” was arrested at the WCAG offices after police discovered child pornography on several of the station’s computers.

According to WSB, an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force raided the low-power independent station this week, seizing hard drives from WCAG computers and arresting Mallory. The computers contained pornographic images involving children.

Mallory, 63, was charged with possession of child pornography and tampering with evidence.

Mallory is apparently more than just than just the weather man. According to WCAG’s Wikipedia page, he also owns and manages the station, which serves households along the Georgia-Alabama border. TVSpy has been unable to reach anyone at the station today.

WAAY Meteorologist Reports Live From His Porch as Tornado System Rolls In

“I’m only about 10 feet away from my safe place, and it won’t take me three seconds to get there,” veteran meteorologist Gary Dobbs assured his WAAY colleague Brad Huffines as he provided a first-hand report from his home on the powerful storm system that ripped through Alabama this week (video above).

Dobbs, who was home after working the morning shift, called in to the station on Wednesday afternoon and reported live from his porch as the storm quickly moved closer to his house.

“You hear about tornadoes, you report on tornadoes,” WAAY news director Keith Lowhorne told the Beaver County Times about Dobbs’s reporting. “Gary’s had his share of tornadoes, but when you’re actually in a tornado, it’s a whole different ball game.”

Knocked Off the Air, Tallahassee’s WCTV Posts Abridged Newscast on Facebook

Due to technical difficulties, Tallahassee’s WCTV couldn’t air its 11 p.m. newscast on Wednesday so the CBS-affiliate to took the web, using its website as well as Facebook and Twitter, to give viewers their nightly news update.

As Lost Remote reports:

The newsroom kept the updates flowing on WCTV.tv, Facebook and Twitter, and it also posted a few videos of anchor Lee Gordon reading stories from the newscast.

WCTV alerted viewers on Facebook and Twitter that technical difficulties would cause the station to cancel its 11 p.m. newscast, and then posted three videos, that appeared to be shot by a phone, on its Facebook page with Gordon providing updates on local elections as well as the arrest of a man in connection with a recent shooting death.

“We hope that you’ll continue to make WCTV your choice for local news coverage,” WCTV wrote on its Facebook page, subtly emphasizing that the station’s news coverage extends beyond the TV screen.

In Fort Myers, WINK Replacing ‘Oprah’ with Newscast

WINK, a CBS-affiliate in southwest Florida, is preparing a new 4 p.m. newscast to replace “Oprah” when the show leaves syndication at the end of May.

WINK is the latest station to announce that it would replace “Oprah” with local news. Earlier this week, Atlanta’s WSB said that it was preparing to debut a new, one-hour newscast, following similar announcements from New York’s WABC and Chicago’s WLS, which has served as Oprah’s TV home for decades.

The new newscast will be anchored by Cayle Thompson and Stacey Adams (above, left), with Scott Zedeker providing weather updates. Thompson currently anchors WINK’s noon and 7 p.m. newscasts while Adams helms the 11 p.m. news in addition to doing a 10 p.m. newscast on CW-affiliate WXCW.

“There’s a substantial appetite for news in this market,” said WINK news director Russ Kilgore.

Meteorologist James Spann Attributes Success of Tornado Coverage to Volunteer Videographers

“If you can show a live tornado with a camera, there’s no doubt that people will react in a more urgent way,” said ABC 33/40 meteorologist James Spann, whose in-depth coverage of Alabama’s brutal tornadoes has been admired by newsers across the country this week.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Spann said that live video of the tornado system, much of it shot by volunteers, made the difference in ABC 33/40′s (WCFT-WJSU-WBMA) coverage. Here’s the Times:

Live video of tornado touchdowns is a relatively new phenomenon, one that has been made possible by extensive mobile access to the Internet. In Birmingham, WBMA recruits and trains volunteers to follow severe thunderstorms and act as spotters, complete with dashboard cameras linked via the Internet to the station.

“They’re just like an extension of what we do,” Spann said of the volunteer videographers.

WABC-TV Seeks Experienced Newscast Producer

Calling all New Yorkers! WABC-TV is looking for a skilled newscast producer/writer to join its growing team.

If you have the right stuff, you know the deal. You should have top-notch news judgment, impeccable copy editing and tease writing skills. Of course, you’ll need to be proficient in shooting and desktop editing, as well.

To make the final cut, you should have a good graphic sense and the ability to conceive and execute outstanding production techniques. Good story ideas and the ability to motivate others is a major bonus. If you have Top 25 market producing experience and love New York, apply here.

For more openings and employment news, follow The Job Post on Twitter @MBJobPost.

Tony Cassara Named Young CEO

Tony Cassara is the new CEO of Young Broadcasting.

The company announced this week that Cassara, a current board member, would succeed longtime boss Vince Young, who resigned from the CEO post in March.

“Young Broadcasting is experiencing a terrific resurgence, having emerged from bankruptcy with the best balance sheet in the industry,” Cassara boasted in a press release. “I am proud to lead Young and look forward to expanding our opportunities for continued success.”

Cassara has decades of experience in the TV industry. In 1977, he joined KTLA and became the youngest general manager in the station’s history. He went on to oversee the expansion of Paramount Pictures’ Television Stations Group from 1993 to 2000, and eventually joined Chartwell Partners where he worked to grow Univision.

Deborah McDermott continues as president of Young, overseeing the company’s 10 stations.

After Five Years Away, Longtime WJTV Anchor Melanie Christopher Returns to TV

Five years after leaving WJTV to spend more time with her family, Melanie Christopher has returned to the Jackson CBS-affiliate, joining the station’s morning team. Christopher debuted this morning alongside longtime anchor duo Erin Pickens and Ken South.

“This is a win/win for our station and our viewers” said WJTV general manager Bob Romine. “The viewers remember her and they love having her back on the air.”

In 2006, Christopher bid farewell to WJTV after 25 years with the station, telling The Clarion-Ledger at the time that she felt she had “missed so much” in her children’s lives while anchoring the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

“After so many years of putting people to bed after the late news I am excited to be part of a team that will wake them up and get them ready for the day,” Christopher said in a press release. “This opportunity is like opening a new chapter in my broadcast career and I look forward to sharing it with the WJTV viewers.”

WOIO Reporter Nearly Swept Away During Live Shot

“Yeah, the wind’s very powerful,” WOIO reporter Bill Safos deadpanned this morning, while doing his best not to get swept away by 50-mile-an-hour wind gusts (video above).

As the Cleveland Scene blog points out:

Rule No. 1 of weather reporting: It’s not raining unless your anchor looks like he just emerged from a dunk-tank, it’s not snowy unless he looks like Frosty the Snowman standing next to a grid-locked highway, and it’s sure as hell not windy unless he’s outside, being blown around, hair whipping in the wind, trying to scream over the noise.

The winds wreaked havoc on more than just Safos’s hairdo this morning. While preparing for a live shot, Safos and his photographer got locked out of the news van when a powerful gust closed the car door behind them. They ended up breaking a window to get inside.

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