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LIN Media and CBS Renew Affiliation Agreements in Ten Markets

linmedia_304x200LIN Media announced today it has signed a “comprehensive, long-term” agreement to renew affiliation agreements with CBS in 10 markets.

The agreement includes WIAT in Birmingham, AL, WIVB in Buffalo, NY, KRQE, KBIM and KREZ in Albuquerque, NM, WPRI in Providence, RI, WANE in Fort Wayne, IN, WTHI in Terre Haute, IN, KIMT in Mason City, IA, KOIN in Portland, OR, WKBN in Youngstown, OH and WLFI in Lafayette, IN.

“We are pleased to have reached long-­term agreements with CBS,” Vincent L. Sadusky, president and CEO of LIN Media said in a statement. “Our stations are important assets to our local communities and these new agreements ensure that LIN Media and CBS will continue to serve local viewers with high-­‐quality network programming.”

LIN recently lost the CBS affiliation at its Indianapolis station WISH, the Indianapolis Star reported, LIN stands to lose as much as $100 million after its proposed deal with Media General was revalued after the loss.

KSTP Photographer Dies After Battle with Cancer

Russ Brown, retired photojournalist for Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP, has died after a battle with cancer.

KSTP reports Brown started at the station in 1972 and retired in May.

“He had such a big heart, a huge heart,” Joe Caffrey, KSTP chief photographer said on the station’s website. “He was always one of the first ones here and the last ones to leave. He loved the TV news business.”

Brown was remembered by current and former co-workers across the country, including Gus Rosendale, reporter and anchor at WNBC in New York.

Read more

Another Denver News Director Says Goodbye

wews_304KMGH news director Jeff Harris has announced he is leaving the Scripps owned Denver ABC affiliate to work as news director at Scripps’ Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS.

Joanne Ostrow, TV Critic for The Denver Post reports Harris told the newsroom Wednesday. WEWS interim station manager Lana Durban Scott told TVSpy, Harris will start October 6.

“This is all things coming together at the same time,” Harris told The Post. “It’s a great opportunity for me personally and a perfect match for the company. Everything is aligned. It is incredibly bittersweet because of the affection I have for Denver.”

On Monday, KDVR-KWGN news director Ed Kosowski announced he was leaving the station when his contract is up next week.

Todd Gutner Says He’s Heading to Maine

Todd Gutner, WBZ morning and noon meteorologist, has announced he is leaving Boston CBS owned station for NBC affiliate WCSH in Portland, ME.

Gutner, who came to WBZ from WCSH, was replaced this week by weekend morning meteorologist Danielle Niles.

Scripps Drops ‘Jeopardy’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ at KMGH

KMGH-1A few years ago we reported on Scripps Television’s decision to swap ”Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune”, two hugely popular syndicated game shows, for programming they produced. Back in 2012, the company brought in two of their own shows so they could have more control over their content (and not have to pay those pesky syndication fees).

Well, it looks like it’s happening again.

The Denver Post reports that ABC affiliate KMGH will lose “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” on September 8, to be replaced by a new 6:00 p.m. newscast and a half-hour newsmagazine, a Scripps-produced show called “The List.” According to a KMGH press release, the new show’s “upbeat, fast-paced style brings viewers non-stop weather coverage and the very latest on developing stories from the studio and in the streets.”

We reached out to KMGH vice president and general manager Byron Grandy to see if other Scripps stations will be adopting this model in the coming months. He did not immediately respond to our email.

Former NFLer Clint Stoerner Joins KTHV

ClintKTHV, the CBS affiliate in Little Rock, Ark., has announced a new addition to the team: Clint Stoerner. The former pro football player (and University of Arkansas quarterback) will provide a Thursday NFL breakdown of the match-ups slated for “Thursday Night Football.” Stoerner will also work alongside sports anchor Mary Dunleavy on “The Hog Zone”, a weekly post-game special on the University of Arkansas.

“Adding someone with Clint’s playing field experience and love for the game just shows again how seriously we take our football here in Arkansas. Clint is a stand-up guy and we are thrilled to have him joining us,” KTHV news director Dave Parker said in a statement.

Stoerner makes his debut on September 11.

Gray Finds Diverse Buyers for Six Stations

New_Gray_304Gray Television announced today it has found buyers for six full power TV stations that may have disappeared otherwise.

In June, Gray said it was transferring the programming of the six stations it operated under shared service agreements and also had the option to buy, to stations it owned in the same market. Rather than surrendering the licenses of the now program-less stations, it hired the brokerage arm of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to find new owners for the stations.

When it hired MMTC, Gray stipulated the buyers had to be “socially disadvantaged enterprises, such as businesses controlled by women, minorities, or innovative new entrants, or non-profit entities such as a school or religious institution.”

The six stations are KXJB in Fargo, ND, KJCT in Grand Junction, CO, KHAS in Hastings-Lincoln, NE, KAQY in Monroe, LA, KNDX in Bismarck, ND, and KXND in Minot. Read more

Dave Zawilinski Ditching Des Moines for WOWT in Omaha

WOI sports anchor Dave Zawilinski is joining NBC affiliate WOWT in Omaha, NE.

The Des Moines Register reports he’ll be a morning news anchor.

Zawilinski started at WOI as an intern while he was a sophomore at Drake University in 2002. Since then, his station bio said, he’s “filled every role on the sports team – Intern, Part-Time Photographer, Sports Reporter and Weekend Sports Anchor.”

Julie Martin Joins WXIA from The Weather Channel

Julie-Martin

Julie Martin, a meteorologist and field reporter at The Weather Channel, has decided to leave her gig for a weekend morning meteorologist position at NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta.

Martin had worked at The Weather Channel since 2006. With a two-year-old and an often traveling husband at CNN, Martin made the move to “pursue a career path that keeps her closer to home,” according to a statement by The Weather Channel’s senior director of coverage and talent, Jennifer Rigby.

Martin’s last day is September 30.

Fox Chases Young Viewers in the Last Place on Earth You’d Expect to Find Them

Chasing-NJHere’s the thing about Fox’s break-all-the-rules-this-one’s-for-you-young-folk newscast, Chasing New Jersey: they’re chasing the right viewers in precisely the wrong places. A year after its buzzy launch, TVNewsCheck reports Fox-owned WWOR has seen its ratings evaporate:

WWOR has taken a big hit since launching the 10 o’clock newscast on July 8, 2013. Only 11,000 viewers tuned in during the May sweeps, down 62% from the conventional newscast that aired in the slot in May 2013, according to Nielsen.

There’s no doubt Fox Television Stations boss Jack Abernethy had the right idea when—largely alone among major station groups—Fox set about trying something different. The demographics are not encouraging for station owners, who know their core audience is aging, and the viewers advertisers want to reach just don’t sit down to watch a local newscast. Six o’clock news, you say? Sure. And you want me to buy a copy of the morning newspaper, too?

Last year Abernethy declared the era of the “typical anchorman” was over, and described Chasing New Jersey as an example of desperately needed innovation in an industry that’s frustratingly resistant to moving past a business model with roots in the 1950s:

It’s “easier to start from scratch at times than waiting to evolve.”

“It replaces a traditional newscast, uses new technology in a fast-paced, cost-effective environment that can best be described as TMZ for local news,” Abernethy said.

The debut of Chasing New Jersey was designed to lure them back. Gone was the anchor desk, the news-weather-sports structure, and the anchor-to-reporter-to-package-and-back format. In came young reporters with GoPros and iPhones, more attitude, more opinion, and fewer rules.

Vice News has staked a claim to these very consumers, arguing that “no one is reporting journalism that speaks to today’s youth.” Vice has linked with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and sent young reporters around the world, producing some engaging stories and sparking a debate about what constitutes TV news in 2014: Read more

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