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Phil Amato Leaves First Coast News

amatoPhil Amato is no longer with Jacksonville ABC and NBC affiliate WJXX-WTLV, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The Times Union reports GM Eric Land confirmed Amato resigned Monday.

Land would not give a reason for Amato’s resignation, only that he thanked him for his service to the station and wished him well. He said no decision has been made about filling Amato’s place on the show, but Andrew Capasso and Lewis Turner had been filling in temporarily.

Amato had been with the station since 1993, having worked in Idaho and Montana before that.

WNWO Adds Laura Emerson as Anchor

emerson wnwoLaura Emerson is returning to Toledo as an anchor for Sinclair owned NBC affiliate WNWO.

The Blade reports Emerson will co-anchor the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. shows with Jim Blue.

Emerson was an anchor at WUPW-TV, Channel 36, for 16 years, before she left in January, 2012, to co-anchor the 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts at NBC affiliate WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky, a market that stretches into western Missouri, southern Illinois, and the northern edge of Tennessee, and is slightly smaller than the Toledo-area market.

“She brings a familiar face to our viewers,” said Nicole Hahn, who was recently promoted to WNWO’s news director position. “She has a vast knowledge of the area, and she will bring leadership and experience to our team.

California Firefighters Ground Civilian Drone Shooting Wildfire

drone_AP_croppedA drone shooting video of a California wildfire was grounded because fire officials feared it might interfere with efforts to contain the blaze burning near Sacramento, CA.

A California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times, the owner of the unmanned vehicle was asked by Sheriff’s Deputies to stop flying the drone to keep it away from the low-flying aircraft being used to fight the Sand fire.

The owner was apparently operating the craft, described as a “quadcopter,” so he could “check out the fire” for his “own personal entertainment,” she said.

It was the first time CalFire had encountered such a device during their firefighting efforts, [CalFire spokesperson Lynne] Tolmachoff said. But she expects it won’t be the last.

“I anticipate it possibly being a problem in the future,” she said. Read more

‘Post-Newsweek’ Name Retired, Company Now ‘Graham Media Group’

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Post-Newsweek Stations announced today the company would now be known as Graham Media Group, effective immediately. The name change comes after the sale of The Washington Post to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The company owns five television stations, WJXT in Jacksonville, WDIV in Detroit, KPRC in Houston, KSAT in San Antonio, and WKMG in Orlando.

In a statement, Emily Barr, president and CEO of Graham Media Group, said the new name was a better fit for the company:

“Much like our parent company, Graham Holdings, this new name better reflects the diversity of our creative and innovative company,” said Emily Barr, president and CEO of Graham Media Group. “We provide our communities with the best local news, programming and critical information, delivered on-air, on-line and on-demand, via our television stations, websites and social media, as well as 90 news, weather and community-focused mobile apps. In addition, we have recently made a strategic investment in Storm Pins, a crowd-sourced, social weather and breaking news app that connects you to your community, and we continue to look for ways to expand our reach into local communities through innovative digital media and web-based communications.”

Miami station WPLG, previously a Post-Newsweek station, was sold this year to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway

Danielle Wagner out at KWWL

wagner kwwlDanielle Wagner, reporter and anchor at Waterloo, IA, NBC affiliate KWWL, is no longer with the station.

KWWL news director Shane Moreland confirmed Wagner’s departure but wouldn’t comment on why she left or where she’s headed.

Saturday, she told viewers on her facebook page, “At this point in time, the station and I want different things. I’m very glad for the last seven years, but it’s time to move on.”

KDFW’s Melted Phone Story Goes Viral

A North Dallas teenager’s phone slipped under her pillow while she was sleeping. The phone melted and left burn marks on the pillow and on her sheets.

Dallas-Fort Worth FOX owned station KDFW did a story on it. The station posted the story on its YouTube page and now it has over 1 million hits.

KDFW reporter Steve Noviello told TVSpy he thinks the video got so many views because it was about something that is easy to relate to, “but the way it was posted, I think, really gave it a boost.”

Instead of using a generic picture, the station posted the story to facebook with cell phone pics he took of the damage, along with a link to the story on YouTube.

Robin Robinson Makes Last Appearance on WFLD Tonight

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After 27 years, Robin Robinson will make her final appearance on Chicago’s Fox station, WFLD, tonight. Robinson stepped down as co-anchor of the station’s 9 p.m. newscast last fall.

According to Robert Feder, Robinson’s sendoff has been strictly low–or no–key. “Colleagues said Robinson cleaned out her office Sunday. No send-off for her has been announced or planned.”

Robinson is a Chicago native who worked at WBBM before joining WFLD when the station launched its news operation in 1987.

Here’s Robinson’s farewell from the anchor desk last November:

FOX 32 News Chicago

Dave Strickland Resigns from KTRK

KTRK LOGOKTRK news director Dave Strickland has resigned.

Houston media blogger Mike McGuff, who first reported the story, said Strickland told staffers Friday “the job was affecting his family, life and personal relationships.”

Strickland started at the station as an intern. He left in 1994 to work at WAVY in Hampton Roads, VA, as an executive producer before being named news director in 1996. He returned to KTRK in 2000 as news director.

WBAY Reporter, Photographer Suffer Minor Injuries in Satellite Truck Rollover

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A reporter and photographer for Green Bay ABC station WBAY walked away from a scary accident Thursday, when their satellite truck rolled over on a highway outside Green Bay. “A tire blew out, and the vehicle went to the side of the road and rolled over,” the station explained in a post on Facebook.

Reporter Patrick Nelson and photographer Will Sentowski suffered “bumps and bruises,” but escaped serious injury.

The satellite truck, however, was badly damaged. Photos show windows shattered, the satellite dish crushed and the truck’s microwave dish torn off. The cause of the tire failure has not been determined.

WZZM’s Dan Harland Moving from Sports to News

harland wzzmGrand Rapids, MI, ABC affiliate WZZM has announced sports anchor Dan Harland will be the new morning anchor.

Harland will join Lauren Stanton and meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer on August 7.

“We expect Dan will go after the news of the day with the same passion he has for sports stories,” Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said in a statement.

Harland started his carer at WZZM in 2003 as a sports anchor after graduating from Southern Illinois University.

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