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Archives: March 2014

Jason R. Latham Set to Join KIRO

jason r lathamKVVU assistant news director Jason R. Latham is leaving Las Vegas for a job at KIRO, the CBS affiliate in Seattle.

“I have accepted the Executive Producer position at KIRO-TV, a Cox Media Group station. My first day is April 15, which leaves very little time to say goodbye to Las Vegas, the place I’ve called home since 2001,” Latham wrote on his blog.

Latham has worked at KVVU since 2009 and has been the Fox affiliate’s assistant news director since 2012. Before that, he worked at KVBC (now KSNV), the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas.

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Almost Five Months After Joining WFLD, Morning Executive Producer Reportedly Out

wfld_304TVSpy is hearing from sources MJ Witt, executive producer for WFLD‘s “Good Day Chicago,” is out after nearly five months.

Witt started at the Chicago FOX owned station in November. At that time,”Good Day Chicago” was getting two new anchors (Jon Kelley and Melody Mendez)and an entertainment reporter (Jake Hamilton).

She started her career in Chicago, working for WMAQ, WTTW and WLS.  She has also been a producer on “Extra,” “Inside Edition,” and ABC’s “20/20.”

FCC Votes to Restrict Joint Service Agreements

fcc logoThe FCC voted today to tighten media ownership rules by cracking down on joint service agreements, The Hill reports:

Under Monday’s 3-2 vote, a broadcast company that sells 15 percent or more of a station’s advertising will be considered as owning that station. “What we’re doing is closing off what has been a growing end-run around [the FCC’s ownership] rules,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Monday.

“JSAs have been used, skirting the existing rules, to create market power that stacks the deck against small companies seeking to enter the broadcast business,” he said. The order allows broadcast stations using JSAs to apply for an exemption to the new ownership rules and requires the agency to reply to a station’s request within 90 days.

“We make it clear that JSAs are appropriate when they further those statutory goals of competition, diversity and localism,” Wheeler said. Republicans on the FCC slammed the agency’s move to constrain cooperation between broadcasters. Commissioner Ajit Pai called it “the most problematic item I’ve encountered” during his time at the agency.

FCC Votes to Prevent Joint Retransmission Negotiations

fcc sealThe FCC has voted to bar broadcasters from negotiating retransmission deals for multiple television stations in the same market, TVNewsCheck reports:

Under the new regulation adopted, two or more separately owned Top-4 broadcasters in the same market would be prohibited from negotiating retrans deals altogether.

During the meeting, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that Congress gave broadcasters the right to charge for their programming and that’s not changing. “All we’re doing today,” he said, “is leveling the negotiating table.”

On a related action, the FCC also proposed a further notice of rulemaking seeking comment on whether to eliminate the agency’s network non-duplication and syndicated exclusivity rules, regulations that make it easier for stations to protect the exclusivity of their programming in their markets.

Statements from the American Television Alliance and the American Cable Association are after the jump. Read more

Jene Nelson Named KRDO News Director

nelson_krdo_croppedJene Nelson has been named news director for Colorado Springs ABC affiliate KRDO.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity that allows me to lead the team at the very station where I did my internship so long ago,” Nelson told TVSpy. “The move also allows me spend time with my elderly mother, which of course, is very important.”

She told TVSpy she wrote her first script as an intern for KRDO.

Nelson started at KRDO as managing editor in 2013. She was promoted to assistant news director in September. Before coming to KRDO, she said she worked as a freelancer with a stint at KDVR in Denver before moving back to southern Colorado. She spent 14 years with KUSA in Denver and started her career at KOAA in Colorado Springs.

[Rick Gevers]

Greg Easterly Named GM of Tribune’s WGN

wgn-logoGreg Easterly has been named general manager of WGN, Tribune’s CW affiliate in Chicago, Robert Feder reports.

“Greg is a proven leader, both at the head of a station and in the newsroom, and he has a keen understanding of the management and operations of a legacy station with market dominance,” Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert said in a statement. “WGN programs a powerful schedule of news, sports and entertainment for itself and CLTV, with more news than any other Chicago station — I’m confident WGN will continue its growth and success under Greg’s expert guidance.”

Easterly comes from WJW in Cleveland, where he has been general manager since 2007. Tribune added WJW to its station portfolio as part of the Local TV acquisition in December.

“I truly feel like one of the most fortunate broadcasters in the country – to first be a part of a powerhouse legacy station like WJW and work with the great people there, and now to be able to take the next step to WGN, another legacy station with a rich history and a top-ranked news product,” Easterly said.

WGN has been without a general manager since Marty Wilke left the station in 2012.

Paola Varela Rossi Joins Telemundo Denver

paola varela rossiPaola Varela Rossi is joining Telemundo Denver as a sports anchor-reporter. Beginning March 31, she will anchor the sports segment for both of the station’s daily newscasts.

It is a return to Telemundo for Varela Rossi, who previously worked at Telemundo Network in Miami. Most recently, she was an anchor and reporter at Caracol TV network in Colombia.

“Paola is a team player and will be a great asset to our station in Denver,” Telemundo Denver news director Pedro Calderón Michel said in a statement. “We are glad to welcome her back to the Telemundo family.”

Megan Coleman Recovering After Fainting On-Air Friday

coleman wstm faintsWSTM said anchor Megan Coleman is feeling better after leaving the Syracuse NBC affiliate’s 5:30 p.m. Friday newscast early.

About 20 minutes into the show, the anchor team were talking about the Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball team when Coleman appeared to faint.

“You OK honey?” asked anchor Matt Mulcahy who helped Coleman as she fell forward onto the news desk. “What do you say we go to a commercial right now? Megan’s been under the weather today.”

The station reports Coleman hadn’t been feeling well, but wanted to tough it out.

A short time later – off the air –  Megan was laughing, talking and walking.  Paramedics checked her out just to be sure she was o.k.   They found her to be alright, but ordered her to get some rest and relaxation at home this weekend.

Ron Steele Celebrates 40 Years with KWWL

steele_kwwlKWWL news anchor Ron Steele marks his 40th year at the Waterloo, IA, NBC affiliate Tuesday.

Steele came to KWWL in April 1974 as sports director, then later made the switch to news.

According to the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Courier, Steele credits his longevity to his family and his loyalty to the station and a willingness to embrace change.

Steele also credits his co-anchors over the years. “I’ve been lucky. I’ve had five female co-anchors. All of them have been just great — Liz (Mathis, now an Iowa state senator) and Bobbi Earles, then Ann Kerian, then Tara (Thomas) and now Amanda (Goodman).
That makes it easier. We really need to get along, and we do. Those five, they’re all really talented, hard-working reporters.” Read more

B&C: FCC Will Put ‘Shot Clock’ on Joint Service Agreement Waivers

fcc-logo_white-on-blackThe FCC will vote today on a proposal to restrict joint service agreements, seeking to limit situations where stations share facilities, and staff to lower costs. Broadcasting & Cable reports the FCC will implement a “shot clock” on waiver requests:

According to a source familiar with negotiations over the FCC’s joint sales agreement (JSA) item, the FCC’s Media Bureau will have 90 days to act on waiver requests. There will also be a strong presumption that JSA’s that benefit diversity are in the public interest, which could be good news for the Sinclair JSA’s with Armstrong Williams stations.

Negotiations over the item had stretched into the weekend, with Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said to have pushed for the shot clock, as well as for giving owners more than two years to unwind existing JSA’s that would exceed ownership limits, though according to sources that unwind period remains two years.

The media ownership item being teed up for a vote at the FCC Monday (March 31) is also said to include more specificity about what types of JSA’s would qualify for a waiver than was in the original draft item.

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