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What Did They Cover in Buffalo Last Night?

Today we take a look at the 52nd largest market in the US.

Pro sports and their effects on the city were top of mind for stations yesterday. NBC affiliate WGRZ devoted team coverage to questions about the future of the hometown NFL team Buffalo Bills.

Though each station touched on the same stories in their teases, the way each one stacked it show was very different. One interesting note: The WUTV 10:00 p.m. show, produced by WGRZ, was the most crime-centric, concentrating mainly on shootings and resident’s safety concerns.

Dallas Reporter to Leave KTVT for PR

SolisSusy Solis, a reporter at CBS-owned KTVT in Dallas, will leave reporting to join a public relations firm, according to Ed Bark:

CBS11’s Susy Solis, who joined the station in January 2011 after a four-year stay with NBC5, has now opted to join Real News PR, which is run by former Fox4 reporter Jeff Crilley. Her last day at CBS11 will be on Aug. 29th, Solis and the station’s director of communications, Lori Conrad, confirmed Friday.

Former Jacksonville Anchor Says New Arrivals Could Face ‘Backlash’

ActionJaxA former Jacksonville news anchor says Cox Media Group’s decision to replace five news anchors at WTEV-WAWS with new talent from outside the market may confuse and even anger viewers.

Marcia Ladendorff was an anchor for seven years at WTLV-WJXX, and says the move not to renew Mark Spain, Paige Kelton, Tera Barz, Mike Barz and Lynnsey Gardner as anchors (Kelton will remain at the station in a new role, as special projects manager) flies in the face” of the relationship-building that happens when anchors have deep roots in a community:

“The people who are sitting at home are like, ‘Wait a minute, I like Paige Kelton. …’ That’s got to be unpleasant, in fact it’s depressing as hell,” Ladendorff said.
As far as new hires for Action News anchors, there could be backlash from the First Coast audience and the first public hire in Bachman could prove severely challenging, Ladendorff said.

“If people in the station and in the community are not appreciative of what Cox is doing, he’s [Bachman] going to be the hired gun in their view,” Ladendorff said. “I would not want his job because I have to assume, because of the longevity of the people who are disappearing in the view of the community, he’s going to be the guy coming in.

David Deeley, an assistant professor of communications at the University of North Florida and former sports talent, said the scale of the personnel shakeup in Jacksonville could be traumatic both for the newsroom and for the audience.

WFTV Reporter Berndt Petersen Leaves for Atlanta

Picture 1Berndt Petersen, known as a voice of reason in an increasingly chaotic local TV world, has bolted Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV for sister station WSB in Atlanta, also an ABC affiliate.

Petersen, who worked at WFTV for ten years, departed earlier this month, according to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker:

That beaming-up to Atlanta was deserved because Petersen is a gifted journalist. In his career, he noted that has won three Edward R. Murrow Awards, six Emmys and two dozen honors from The Associated Press. He also has worked at stations in Birmingham, Charleston and Paducah, Ky.

I worked with Berndt in Orlando and in Birmingham; he’s a true gentleman, a great reporter and profoundly gifted storyteller. It’s a big loss for WFTV and a nice gain for WSB.

KTVT Anchor Faces Charges After Fight; Accused of Threatening Police

HigginsBrendan Higgins, an early morning anchor at CBS-owned KTVT in Dallas, faces criminal charges in Aspen, Colorado after a fight and allegations the vacationing anchor threatened to kill officers who responded to the disturbance.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Higgins was drunk when “he punched a man in the face and attempted to fight off officers at his hotel on the night of Aug. 6″:

According to the incident report, when police proceeded to arrest Higgins he cursed at them and said, “I will beat you until you are dead.”

Police say he swung at one of the officers, who pushed Higgins toward the elevator doors, causing him to hit his head and “pretend” to pass out on the the floor, according to the police report.

Higgins joined KTVT in 2012 after anchoring morning newscasts for rival station KXAS for several years.

WCHS Reporter Reveals He Has Parkinson’s

BobAaronBob Aaron, a longtime reporter at WCHS, the ABC affiliate in Charleston, WV, said Friday he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Aaron was reporting on the death of Robin Williams, who had also been diagnosed with the disease, when he made the announcement to viewers. “It kind of feels good getting it off my chest,” he told The Charleston Gazette. “It’s not hanging over me.”

Aaron, who has reported for WCHS for more than three decades, said he has no plans to stop. He credits his wife with noticing the early symptoms of Parkinson’s:

“My wife sort of saved my life,” he said. “She noticed things about me I just attributed to getting older. I was walking slope-shouldered, tilted forward. I was shuffling my feet. I lost my sense of smell. I have what you could call ‘senior moments’ when I paused … and my balance isn’t quite what it used to be. I got some shakes … I didn’t really notice it, but she certainly did.”

Jesse Jones Jumping Stations in Seattle

jones kiroConsumer reporter Jesse Jones is leaving Seattle NBC affiliate KING for CBS affiliate KIRO.

“After nine years I am moving on from KING-TV,” Jones wrote on his facebook page. “I want to thank the station for its support of my family and the Get Jesse franchise.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, Jones grew up in Tacoma and led Montana State University to a national title in 1984 as a fullback.

Using a broadcaster’s talents, and a won’t-be-stopped style borrowed from his gridiron position, Jones blew threw dishonest Puget Sound-area businesses and made “Get Jesse” a consistently interesting feature on the evening news.

King said on his facebook page he starts at KIRO in October, but because of his contract, he can’t appear on-air until April.

Telemundo Announces Changes in Sales Leadership

telemundo_304x200The Telemundo Station Group announced a few changes in its sales leadership team.

Matt Boxer was named VP of Business Development, Joe Napolitano was named VP of the National Sales Offices and Jenney Valverde was named VP of Sales Marketing.

Mike Chico, SVP of Sales for the Telemundo Station Group said in a statement, “Matt, Joe and Jenney each bring valuable insights and years of experience to our sales team and I look forward to working with them.”

Boxer will head up a newly created team of five Business Development Directors. He spent 18 years at Univision working in various sales leadership positions at Univision’s local stations in Miami and New York. He has also served as VP of Marketing and Strategic Solutions for the Univision Station Group and as SVP of the Client Development Group. Boxer comes to Telemundo from Meredith Xcelerated Marketing.

Napolitano will oversee the National Sales Offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Mexico City. He has worked at Telemundo since 2004.

Valverde was most recently the senior director of Sales Marketing for the Telemundo Station Group. She started her career with NBCUniversal as a page 17 years ago.

Alison Morris Leaving WTIC

WTIC evening anchor Alison Morris is leaving the Hartford, CT, FOX affiliate.

She came to WTIC from KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, in 2010. She has also worked at CNBC Europe as a stock market reporter and producer.

Morris hasn’t said where she is going. She told TVSpy her last day is Friday.

In case you’re wondering, The JLo on the cake is not a famous singer dancer moonlighting in local TV, but a member of the production staff.

Jack Williams Says He’s Stepping Away from WBZ Anchor Desk

jack williams headshotAfter 39 years with the Boston CBS owned station WBZ, anchor Jack Williams said he wants to spend more time with his family.

“After 39 wonderful years, I’ve decided to step away from the anchor desk, but I’m absolutely not leaving WBZ-TV News,” said Williams.  “Even though I won’t be a nightly anchor, I am thrilled that I’ll be able to continue my ‘Wednesday’s Child’ reports, substitute anchor when need be, and still be a part of WBZ-TV’s signature events and specials.”

The “Jack Williams’ Endowment for Wednesday’s Child” was started by Williams and his wife Marci to help special needs children find permanent homes.

He started working as a TV journalist in 1968 and began anchoring at WBZ in 1975. In 2012, he stopped working on the 11:00 p.m. news, focusing, instead, on the 6:00 p.m. show.

Williams won a Columbia duPont Award in 2014, and Peabody in 2013, as part of team coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombings. In 2012, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and he’s in the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

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