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Archives: December 2012

Tribune Emerges From Bankruptcy

Tribune Co. emerged from bankruptcy Monday after spending four years under Chapter 11 protection. Following the reorganization, the company is expected to sell off its newspaper assets and focus on its 23 television stations, Reuters reports:

Tribune is expected to focus on building its TV operations. In its portfolio, it owns WGN America, a national feed of Tribune’s Chicago TV stations that it distributes through cable and satellite to more than 76 million U.S. homes.

Tribune’s TV operations are estimated to account for $2.85 billion of the company’s $7 billion valuation, while its publishing assets are estimated to represent $623 million, according to report by its financial advisor, Lazard. The rest of its value resides in other assets including its 30 percent stake in the Food Network and its cash balance.

In November, Tribune received regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission to transfer its broadcast licenses to the owners who would take it over after emerging from bankruptcy.

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Rival Stations Staff KFDM During Bill Leger’s Memorial Service

Two rival stations are pitching in today at KFDM in Beaumont so anchors and staffers can attend the memorial of anchor Bill Leger, who was killed in a car accident last week.

ABC affiliate KBMT and Fox affiliate KBTV (a sister station to KFDM) both offered to help, according to a post on the station’s Facebook page from meteorologist James Brown on Thursday:

How wonderful is this? Channel 4 and 12 are covering for us so we can attend Bill’s memorial tomorrow. Fox 4 anchor Jessica Guidry will anchor the News at Noon show and Meteorologist Dana Melancon will cover the weather for me on KFDM. Thank you for doing this for Bill and for us.

KFDM executive producer Scott Lawrence told the Houston Press that KBMT offered to also provide coverage of any breaking news that occurs during the memorial service, which takes place today.

Jamie McGriff Says Goodbye to Tulsa’s KOTV

Jamie McGriff (second from left) said goodbye to viewers of Tulsa CBS affiliate KOTV for the last time today.

“Uhm, wow,” McGriff, the morning and noon news anchor/reporter, said on the morning news set.  “I’ve been here for almost three years now and I can only say that I have grown so much. And of course for you, the viewers,” she added while holding back tears. “Thank you.”

When asked where she was headed next, McGriff, who started at KOTV in 2010, added she was going to take a break.  Then co-anchor LeAnne Taylor handed her a plate of cookies before signing off.

McGriff previously worked in Tyler, TX, Las Vegas, NV and her hometown of Huntsville, AL.

[Tulsa News Stations Info]

Doug Meehan Joining KPNX Morning Newscast

Doug Meehan is joining the morning newscast at KPNX, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix.

Meehan, who was a traffic reporter for WFXT in Boston until 2010, announced the news on Twitter:

BTVN reports that Meehan will co-anchor the station’s morning newscast beginning January 14. Since leaving WFXT, Meehan has been a radio host in Massachusetts.

On the Move 12/28/12

Luke Notestine joins WLOS in Asheville, NC as weekend sports anchor and reporter.  Luke previously worked for WKEF in Dayton, OH.

Allison Bourne-Vanneck joins KATC in Lafayette, LA as a reporter.  She comes from CBS TV2 in the U.S. Virgin Islands where she was an anchor/reporter/photographer and producer.

Notestine and Bourne-Vanneck are represented by Steve Swienckowski at DCA, The David Crane Agency.

To report a new move, send an email to tvspy@mediabistro.com with the subject line “On the Move.”

WXIX News Director Matt Miller Resigns

WXIX news director Matt Miller has resigned from the Cincinnati Fox affiliate, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Miller has been news director at WXIX since 2010. In an email to staff obtained by the Enquirer, general manager Bill Lanesey said Miller’s resignation was handed in yesterday and is effective immediately.

Assistant news director Marita Matray will be the interim news director until a permanent replacement is named, Lanesey said.

Former KMOV Anchor Vickie Newton Says She’s Being Cyberstalked

Vickie Newton, a former anchor at KMOV in St. Louis, is speaking out about her five-year battle with a cyberstalker. Newton describes the harassment in The Village Celebration, an online magazine which she founded:

“I don’t know who is stalking me and I don’t know what the end game is,” said Newton. “Recently, some of the postings have included key words that describe rooms in my home, family members names are included and so the level of the threat is more aggressive.”

Newton has described her situation as “mind-boggling” – she hid her computer, but her computer case is missing; the stalker has described the “sterling silver picture frames in her master suite;” and the alarm at her Arkansas lake house was going off while she was in St. Louis at early hours in the morning, but no one was ever found.

Newton signed off from KMOV in July, hoping her relocation would deter her stalker, but she says it has only intensified. She said she has installed new security systems and changed her locks, as well as contacting the authorities about the harassment, but it has continued. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Sadie the Donkey Gets Loose Outside WXIN

A donkey named Sadie was reunited with her owner Thursday after getting loose outside WXIN, the Fox affiliate in Indianapolis.

The station reported on Sadie during the 4 p.m. newscast, showing video of the donkey running around outside WXIN’s headquarters in the snow. Animal Control was called, but three officers who responded were not able to corral Sadie, who escaped into some nearby fields.

“I even sacrificed my apple to help lure Sadie in,” Walt Maciborski said in his report. “She wasn’t going for it.”

Animal Control eventually gave up the chase. But later in the night, a big red trailer — with Sadie inside — pulled into the WXIN parking lot. Volunteers from the Hearts and Hoofs Equine Ministry drove from nearby Monrovia to rescue Sadie after seeing WXIN’s early afternoon report.

Watch the WXIN report after the jump. Read more

Study: Sometimes a TV is Just a TV

Despite a growing trend of connecting TV sets to the internet so viewers can watch TV and surf the web, a recent study shows consumers are using their new connected TVs to do one thing, watch TV.

The study, conducted by consumer research company NPD, shows that six out of ten consumers who own a connected HDTV are watching what they call “Over the Top” video services through the TV instead of using the device to tweet, post on facebook or read books or magazines. The culprit?  Too much choice.

There are six or more types of devices bringing the Internet to HDTVs: the TV itself, video game consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, streaming media set top boxes, TiVo, and a few audio/video receivers. While 15 percent of HDTV displays are connected directly to the Internet, that number increases to 29 percent of HDTVs screens due to these other devices. This is driving the availability of around two connected eco-systems on the same TV screen, leading to a confused user-experience as consumers have more than one way of accessing their favorite TV apps. Read more

Andy Cunningham Joins WDSU From WKYT

Andy Cunningham is joining WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans.

Cunningham moves to Louisiana from Kentucky, where he has been a general assignment reporter at WKYT in Lexington since March. This is Cunningham’s second stint at the station. He previously worked there from 2007-09.

Cunningham has also been a reporter at KABB in San Antonio, KFXA in Cedar Rapids and KLJB in Davenport, Iowa.

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