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Archives: April 2011

As Tornado Ripped Through Alabama, ABC 33/40′s Weather Coverage Extended Well Beyond TV

Just as KMOV put Facebook to work in covering a tornado that ripped through St. Louis last weekend, Alabama’s ABC 33/40, a group ABC-affiliate (WCFT, WJSU, and WBMA) covering Birmingham, Anniston, Tuscaloosa and areas in between, used a handful of web-based tools to provide the local community with ongoing coverage of the devastating storm system that tore through the state on Wednesday.

Meteorologist James Spann led the charge as the station used Facebook and Twitter to update and interact with its audience (as well as those outside the local viewing area); Ustream to live stream the weather radar online; and the ABC 33/40 weather blog to share photos and videos, many captured by viewers.

Of course Spann also appeared on TV (video above), giving live weather updates while also curating the information and photos that the station was receiving from viewers online. Read more

After 33 Years, Gene Cox Prepares to Leave WWBT Anchor Desk

Gene Cox, who has been a fixture of Richmond TV for over three decades, announced on Wednesday that he will be leaving the WWBT anchor desk.

Cox, 70, currently anchors WWBT’s 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts alongside Sabrina Squire. The pair has been working together for 27 years, making them one of the longest running anchor teams in the country.

“Gene is an important part of the NBC12 News family and has given us and his viewers a legacy of superior journalism and commitment that we intend to continue,” said Kym Grinnage, WWBT’s vice president and general manager, in making the announcement. Read more

On the Move, 4/28/11

Meteorologist Jason Dunning moves to weekend mornings at WZVN/WBBH in Ft. Myers (from WCBI, Columbus-Tupelo).

Ericka Miller joins WXII in the Greensboro-High Point market as a weekend anchor and reporter.

Jason and Ericka 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.”

Veteran Reporter Leaves WJZ for Government Post

Reporter Suzanne Collins, who has been with Baltimore’s WJZ since 1984, is leaving the CBS O&O to become chief of staff for Nancy Jacobs, the minority leader of the Maryland state senate.

“Suzanne’s understanding of public policy, the legislative process and her compassion for people make her a wonderful addition to our staff,” Jacobs said in a press release.

Collins has crossed paths with Jacobs throughout her tenure with WJZ, during which time she became known for her award-winning coverage of local government.

“I first interviewed Senator Jacobs in 1995, so I’ve covered her for a long time,” Collins told The Baltimore Sun recently. “And we’ve really gotten along well.” Read more

Suzanne Geha’s Former Colleague: ‘It’s Time for Women to Power Up’

“It absolutely bothers me,” says former WZZM anchor Anne Doyle (near right) about WOOD‘s recent dismissal of Suzanne Geha (far right, circa 1975). “She was publicly humiliated by the station that she has been the face of and brand for several decades.”

Doyle, 62, told the The Grand Rapids Press recently that WOOD showed a total lack of respect for a journalism pioneer. Doyle and Geha rose through the ranks of their respective stations in the early 70s, eventually landing at the anchor desk during a time when men still held most of the stations’ on-air positions.

Doyle went on to join Detroit’s WJBK, becoming one of the country’s first female sports anchors.

“I think women are lulled into this perception that everything is fine,” Doyle told the Press. “Everything is not fine. It’s time for women to power up.”

At 72, Longtime WISH Anchor Returns to TV

Mike Ahern, an Indianapolis TV institution who retired from the WISH anchor desk in 2004, is returning to the air next month with his own show.

Ahern, 72, is set to host “Mike Ahern: One on One,” which debuts May 12th on WNDY, WISH’s MyNetworkTV sister station. As its title suggests, the show will feature in-depth interviews with the top newsmakers in central Indiana.

“You’ve welcomed him into your home for nearly four decades,” teases the show’s new promo. “Now get ready to welcome him back.”

“Mike Ahern: One on One” will air Thursday’s at 10:30 p.m., following WISH’s 10 p.m. newscast, and also re-run on Saturday evenings.

White House Interview Round-Up: WSB, WXYZ, WTKR, WKYC Sit Down with Obama

President Obama didn’t offer any etiquette advice to the four reporters invited to the White House on Tuesday for the latest round of local one-on-one interviews.

While WSB’s Justin Farmer, WXYZ’s Stephen Clark, WTKR’s Barbara Ciara, and WKYC’s Romona Robinson (video above) pressed Obama on hot-button issues, including rising gas prices and the weak economy, they didn’t goad the president into the type of reaction that WFAA’s Brad Watson received earlier this month.

More interviews after the jump… Read more

Paul McGonagle Picked to Lead WFXT Newsroom

Boston’s WFXT has picked Paul McGonagle to lead its news department. The Fox O&O announced today that McGonagle, who has served as assistant news director since 2004, has been named vice president and news director.

“Paul is a talented, creative and dedicated news manager with extensive Boston market knowledge and experience,” said Gregg Kelley, WFXT’s vice president and general manager, in announcing the promotion. “He has excelled as the Assistant News Director for this station over the past seven years and has earned the opportunity to be the next leader of our news operations.”

Before joining WFXT, McGonagle served as a general assignment reporter and later assistant news director for Providence’s WJAR. He began his TV career as an anchor and reporter for Burlington’s WNNE.

“I’m excited for the incredible opportunity and the privilege to lead such a talented news team,” McGonagle said. “I look forward to continuing to serve our viewers in the Boston market, my hometown.”

Sacramento DA Decides Not to Pursue Charges in Attack on KTXL News Crew

Prosecutors in Sacramento have decided not to pursue criminal charges against two people accused of attacking a KTXL news crew earlier this year.

In February, reporter John Lobertini and photographer Rebecca Little were covering a vigil being held for a young man who had been shot and killed outside of a local IHOP when they were approached by a group of angry mourners.

One relative of the deceased man took a swing at Lobertini while another pulled Little to the ground by her hair.

The incident was captured on video but the Sacramento district attorney ultimately decided that the case was not worth bringing to trial (video above).

KATV Promotes Nick Genty to News Director

Nick Genty has been named news director of Little Rock’s KATV.

Joining the station as assistant ND just a couple of months ago after 21 years with crosstown rival KTHV, Genty succeeds Randy Dixon, who announced in February that he was leaving KATV after more than three decades with the ABC-affiliate.

Genty announced the promotion via Twitter, saying, “I have been given the job to lead the best News Team in the market.”

Genty joined KATV in February as a replacement for the departing Alan Faulkner. At the time, he said that the job “just kind of found me.” Before joining KATV, Genty worked as an executive producer for KTHV. [Via Arkansas Business]

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