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Archives: March 2013

On the Move, 3/29/13

Trent Butler joins WIAT in Birmingham where he will be the primary anchor. He comes from WHNS in Greenville, S.C.

Butler is represented by Mort Meisner Associates.

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

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Mark Zinni, Matt Lauer and the Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

As our sister site TVNewser has been reporting, there has been a media pile-on about the future of NBC’s “Today” — and specifically co-host Matt Lauer — this week. On Tuesday, an executive producer at Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW asked weekend anchor Mark Zinni, who interned at “Today” in 1997, for his take on the situation.

Zinni responded that Lauer was “not so nice” to him while he was there. The producer, Darren Sweeney, tweeted the quote, using Lauer’s twitter handle. And that’s where the snowball effect began. On Wednesday, Lauer responded:

Thursday, Zinni appeared on WJW to address the situation (video here). Zinni also set the record straight on WJW’s website, saying he’s not disgruntled:

If you know me, you probably know that I don’t take myself too seriously. So, my answer was more of a joke about being young and naive during my time at Today, but I added that he wasn’t nice to me.

I didn’t slam the guy, I just made an honest comment.

[...] Bottom line, I was shocked Matt Lauer even bothered with me and, really, he remembers me? I’m flattered.

I’m not disgruntled (thanks, BuzzFeed!) but I am someone who’s happy to be working at the best station in my hometown with wonderful people. By the way, Katie [Couric] and Ann [Curry] were great, but now I start my day with FOX 8 News in the Morning.

WLEX Graphic Doesn’t Add Up

WLEX, the Lexington, KY, NBC affiliate aired a misspelled graphic on its Noon news Tuesday. The story was about five people who were arrested in a meth lab bust.

While the mistake was posted to the WLEX facebook page by one sharp eyed viewer another viewer commented, “investigators found a slide rule, an abacus, and several 16 and 17 year old’s doing differential equations…What has our society come to, this is KENTUCKY, we don’t do those things here.”

Former Anchor Sues WGME for Discrimination

Former news anchor Doug Rafferty is suing the Portland, ME, CBS affiliate WGME and its parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group for disability and age discrimination.

Rafferty had been an anchor at the station for 13 years before suffering a stroke on-air in 2006. According to the Portland Press Herald, Rafferty’s attorneys David Webbert and Matthew Keegan said Rafferty had fully recovered from the stroke by 2007.

In 2007, General Manager Terry Cole and News Director Robert Atkinson told Mr. Rafferty that the station was removing him from ‘the chair.’ In other words, the station was removing Mr. Rafferty from his anchor position,” says the seven-page complaint in the lawsuit. “When Mr. Rafferty was replaced as anchor, he was 55 years old. His replacement was in his early 40s.”

Rafferty stayed on at the station doing some broadcast work and eventually assumed a role behind the scenes. At the time, he told the Maine Sun Journal, “Leaving the anchor desk is hard, but change and excitement are some things I’ve been looking for. The daily grind of turning out half-hour newscasts is not doing it for me.” He also told the Sun-Journal the decision had nothing to do with the stroke he suffered. Read more

Tampa’s WFLA Adds Midday Newscast

WFLA, the NBC affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg, is launching an 11:30 a.m. newscast on Monday.

Natalie Shepherd will anchor the half-hour newscast. WFLA’s entertainment and lifestyle show, “Daytime,” will move to 10 a.m., replacing the station’s current 10 a.m. newscast.  “Extra” will move to 11 a.m.

Rod Carter and Gayle Guyardo, the 10 a.m. anchors, will continue to anchor the morning newscast. Morning meteorologist Leigh Spann will “continue her weather coverage throughout the day,” according to a statement from WFLA.

WCMH Launches Content-Sharing Partnership With Columbus Business First

Columbus NBC affiliate WCMH has launched a content-sharing partnership with Columbus Business First.

Don DePerro, the publisher of Business First, will appear weekly on the station’s 6 a.m. newscast to discuss the week’s business news.

“NBC4 is excited to share content with Central Ohio’s best source for local and regional business news. We know it is important content that our viewers are interested in and this partnership will help us deliver it to them,” WCMH president and general manager Dan Bradley said in a statement.

Former WNBC Reporter Bob Teague Dies at 84

Bob Teague, one of New York City’s first black television journalists, died Thursday of complications of T-cell lymphoma. He was 84.

Teague joined NBC-owned WNBC in 1963 and worked as a producer, reporter and anchor for more than 30 years. The New York Times reports Teague was often sent to minority neighborhoods to report on racial tension during the 1960s, later becoming a principal correspondent for “Harlem: Test for the North,” a network show that examined riots in that neighborhood.

Teague, who was critical of the news business later in his career, was a trailblazer for the first black television journalists, the Times reports:

The changing public response to Mr. Teague and others in the first wave of black television journalists was suggested in a letter he received that he described in an article in The New York Times Magazine.

“When you first began broadcasting the news on television, I watched you every night, but I realize now, years later, that I was so conscious of the fact that you were black that I didn’t hear a word you said about the news,” it read.

“Now, I am happy to say, I still watch you every night, but only because you are a damn good newscaster.”

“Bob Teague was a broadcast pioneer with a passion for news and for serving his New York viewers,” WNBC said in a statement. “We were saddened to hear of his passing and send our most sincere condolences to his wife and the entire Teague family.”

Former WSEE Anchor and Reporter Carol Pella Dies

Carol Pella, former reporter for Erie, PA, CBS affiliate WSEE has died.

Pella started her career at WSEE in 1974 and worked as both an anchor and a reporter. She was known for her fearless style of investigative journalism.

“She wasn’t afraid of anything,” said Pierre Bellicini, former WSEE news director. “She wasn’t afraid of politicians. She wasn’t afraid of gangsters who we had to cover for crime stories so I think she was, probably the best way to describe Carol is, a very tough reporter.” You can watch a retrospective on Pella by Scott Bremner after the jump. Read more

TV Jobs: WRNN, KATU, WWLP

This week, WRNN is hiring a freelance one man band reporter, as well as an editor/graphics associate. Meanwhile, KATU is seeking an investigative reporter, and WWLP is on the hunt for an assistant news director. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great TV jobs on the TVSpy job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented TVSpy pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

KUTV Graphic Frames Utah Governor and Attorney General as Gay Couple

The layout of a graphic used on Salt Lake City’s CBS affiliate KUTV appeared to make Utah Governor Gary Herbert (pictured in graphic on the right) and Attorney General John Swallow (on the left) a gay couple.

The graphic was used for a story about three gay couples who filed a federal lawsuit claiming Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Governor Herbert and Attorney General Swallow are both named in the lawsuit.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General told Jim Romenesko, “I don’t think anyone in Utah will mistake the Governor and the Attorney General as one of the ‘gay couples’ filing the lawsuit.” Read more

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