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Archives: September 2011

A Month Later, Little Progress in LIN-Mediacom Stalemate

Tomorrow marks one month since LIN-owned stations in seven markets went dark for Mediacom subscribers, and the stalemate is showing no signs of progress.

A uniform statement on the LIN-owned stations’ sites says negotiations are ongoing. “Unfortunately, we do not know if, or when, we will reach an agreement,” the statement, which has not been changed all month, reads. “In the meantime, we hope you will continue supporting local television and watch us through alternative means.”

According to Broadcasting & Cable, Mediacom sent a letter to the FCC this week, asking their help in preventing blackouts during retransmission disputes. The FCC has previously claimed they have no authority regarding the issue. 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! 
 

Longtime WOWK Anchor Sandra Cole Lands at ONN

Sandra Cole, who is ending a 17-year run with WOWK in Huntington, WV, is set to join ONN, a Dispatch Broadcast-owned cable news channel serving Ohio.

Cole will anchor ONN’s evening news block alongside Mike Kallmeyer. She’s scheduled to make her on-air debut on Monday, October 24th.

“Sandra is very excited to join ONN and embark on a new challenge,” said ONN news director Greg Fisher. “We are delighted that she has joined our staff and I am certain that her talent, experience and enthusiasm will prove to be invaluable to our network.”

WOWK announced in August that Cole was leaving the station at the end of her contract, which expires in October. In the meantime, Cole continues to anchor the CBS-affiliate’s 6, 7, and 11 p.m. newscasts.

VIDEO: WRC’s Pat Collins Wears Grape Costume to Interview Student Suspended For Banana Costume

One of the stories Washington, DC stations have been folllowing recently was the case of Bryan Thompson, a 14-year-old student at Colonial Forge High School who was suspended for running onto the field during a school football game — wearing a banana costume — earlier this month.

Thompson was interviewed by WRC reporter Pat Collins this week (watch the video, above). Thompson wore the infamous banana suit, and Collins, not to be outdone, dressed like a grape, in a not-so-subtle attempt to make the point that Thompson was doing nothing wrong. Read more

KOMU Puts Local News on a Global Platform Using Google+ Hangouts

As local stations nationwide struggled with how to replace “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in their programming lineup, a new idea emerged at KOMU, the NBC-affiliate in Columbia, MO: a social-media driven newscast that would connect viewers from all over the world through “hangouts,” 10-person video chats on Google+.

“There is something magical about bringing people in from around the world in a singular space to discuss the day’s news,” KOMU’s Sarah Hill, who has anchored the 4 p.m. newscast since its debut on September 12, told TVSpy. “Globally, we are reducing the space between us.”

Hill pointed to a recent segment about Kenza Drider, who is running for president of France and targeting the country’s ban on Islamic face veils, as an example of the benefits from the hangout-style newscasts (watch video of the hangout segment inside). Read more

President Obama Tells WESH’s Jim Payne: America Has Gotten ‘a Little Soft’

President Obama sat down with anchors from WTVF, WXII, and WESH on Thursday, trying to sell his new jobs bill.

WTVF’s Vicki Yates, WXII’s Cameron Kent, and WESH’s Jim Payne all got seven minutes with the President and, even though each interview had a local focus, Obama’s message appeared to be the same throughout all of them: things are bad but will get better, as long as my jobs bill is passed.

One notable exchange, though, came when Payne wondered whether his children would have the same opportunities as generations past. Obama responded by saying he feels that America has gotten “a little soft.” Read more

WWBT’s Andrew Freiden In Denial About 4:30 a.m. Newscast

WWBT morning meteorologist Andrew Freiden is having some trouble coming to terms with his new schedule.

In the above video promoting the launch of a 4:30 a.m. newscast on the Richmond NBC-affiliate, Freiden jokingly stops short each time his script mentions the early hour.

“Just rewind that a little bit,” he said. “I’ll think happy thoughts! Like instead of saying 4:30, I’ll think I’ll be saying sunshine and roses, or something. I’ll be thinking rainbows.” Read more

KTXL Story on Anti- ‘Bless You’ Teacher Has Everyone Talking

A story from Sacramento Fox-affiliate KTXL about a local teacher’s controversial decision to ban the use of “bless you” following a sneeze has gained national attention this week, fueling debate on morning shows and online.

Earlier this week, KTXL reporter Rowena Shaddox interviewed Steve Cuckovich, a health teacher at a Bay Area public high school who had received complaints from parents about his practice of punishing students for saying “bless you” in his classroom, and he defended his policy (video above). Read more

WSFA’s Dan Atkinson Retiring After 40 Years

Meteorologist Dan Atkinson, who has worked in television for 40 years, has announced his retirement from WSFA, the NBC-affiliate in Montgomery, AL.

Atkinson worked for WSFA from 1974-82 before joining the The Weather Channel as a meteorologist. He then returned to WSFA to close out his career in 2006.

“Seldom, if ever, have I ever gone anywhere and had anybody come up to me and say, ‘I’ve got a word for you about that Channel 12,’” he said at a reception honoring him (watch the video, above). “It’s always, ‘Boy, you guys are doing great.’ And what an honor to be a part of that.” Read more

Amber Sullins Named Chief Meteorologist at KNXV

Amber Sullins has been promoted to chief meteorologist at KNXV in Phoenix.

“Whether it is on the air, in the building or in the community, Amber has proven to be the ultimate ambassador for ABC15,” KNXV news director Joe Hengemuehler said, in announcing the move. “She has the kind of passion for excellence and for winning that can help elevate our efforts on all platforms.”

An Arizona native, Sullins joined the ABC-affiliate in September 2009 and has been working the weekday morning shift.  In her new role, she will appear on KNXV’s nightly newscasts in addition to providing hour-by-hour weather updates on the station’s website.

“Just deleted my 1:45 a.m. alarm.  That felt good!!!” Sullins tweeted on Thursday.  “See you nights on ABC15 starting Sunday.” Read more

Veteran Anchor Jim Watkins Fired From WPIX

Anchor Jim Watkins has been fired from New York’s WPIX.

According to FishbowlNY, Watkins, who had been with the station since 1998, was abruptly let go on Tuesday by news director Bill Carey and has been barred from the station’s offices.

Watkins had a long run as weekday evening co-anchor, alongside Kaity Tong, but moved to weekends last year when Jodi Applegate joined the station.

>Update: Okay, not so fast.  Carey is now saying that Watkins “remains employed by WPIX.”  Watkins has been unavailable for comment.  Read more at FishbowlNY

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