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In Buffalo, Big Snow Brings Big Ratings

WGRZAs surely as the snow has overwhelmed the Buffalo area, viewers have turned to local TV stations in huge numbers–particularly the morning newscasts.

The Buffalo News notes stations’ wall-to-wall coverage produced primetime-sized ratings throughout the day, with Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ leading the pack:

If you combine all three early evening newscasts, the rating was equal to or exceeded what a Buffalo Bills game normally receives.

The 6 a.m. morning ratings were much higher than the stations often get for most prime time network entertainment programs.

The clear winner for the day starting at 5 a.m. and continuing everywhere but 11 p.m. was Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.

No Felony Assault Charge for Former Fargo Sports Anchor

nelson kvrrFormer KVRR sports director Jim Nelson has been cleared of felony aggravated assault charges.

Fargo-Moorhead radio station KFGO reports “Nelson’s attorney, Charles Sheeley, says a private investigator interviewed other witnesses who were not cited in the police report and they said Nelson had intervened when someone else was getting beat up.”

Nelson says he was fired from his job at KVRR-TV Fox after the assault charge was filed. He says he wishes the station had waited for due process to be carried out, but wants to put the incident behind him.

Nelson pleaded guilty to obstructing police. He was initially suspended from KVRR and later fired.

WECT Anchor: ‘I Heard My Leg…Go ‘Crack”

5885640_GAshlea Kosikowski, an evening anchor at Wilmington NBC affiliate WECT, will remain off the air for the rest of the year after a fall at her home, breaking her ankle and her leg in two places:

“I had turned off all the lights in here and I was getting ready to go to bed and I just slipped,” Ashlea told us this week. “I went vertical in the air. When I came down I heard my leg just go ‘crack’ and I landed in the dog bed.”

A surgeon repaired the damage by placing a titanium rod and several screws in her leg.

Ashlea has been recovering from the broken bones, but the rehabilitation is going to keep her off the air for the rest of the calendar year.

Former Sacramento Anchor Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ in Theft Case

sabrina-rodriguez-mugshotSabrina Rodriguez, a former anchor at Sacramento Fox affiliate KTXL, entered a “not guilty” plea in court Wednesday on grand theft charges. Rodriguez will be back in court in January:

Rodriguez, who was a morning anchor on FOX40, surrendered to officials on July 31 for grand theft, burglary and conspiracy charges. She later resigned from her position at FOX40.

According to court documents, Rodriguez drove fiancé Nicholas Gray to San Francisco to help sell stolen goods. Included in the court documents are alleged texts between the couple that reveal a theft conspiracy.

Charlo Greene Catches Attention of State Election Commission

Greene at DeskThe Associated Press reports the KTVA “F*#ck it!” reporter who quit on air while reporting about a pot business she owned, has attracted the attention of a state commission that enforces election laws.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission wants to know whether Charlo Greene used crowdsourcing funds to advocate for a ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It says it’s trying to determine whether money that was spent would trigger reporting requirements.

Greene is the professional name used by Charlene Egbe, who considers the commission action to be harassment. She says if the panel continues to bother her, she will “most certainly” sue.

[Media Jobs Daily]

KMSP GM Retiring, Replacement Named

kmsp_logoCarol Rueppel is retiring after 17 years with FOX Television Stations.

“Carol has been a successful leader and respected colleague whose 17-year career with FOX is filled with many accomplishments,” FOX Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “We want to thank her for her many years of dedication and wish her much happiness in her retirement. I am disappointed that she is leaving us but respect her decision and she will be truly missed.”

Abernethy announced Rueppel’s replacement would be Sheila Oliver who is Director of Sales at KMSP-WFTC.

“Over the last 13 years with FOX, Sheila has proved herself as a results-driven, strategic and thoughtful executive,” Abernethy said. “She gets our business and understands what it takes to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”

Before coming to KMSP 12 years ago, Oliver had been VP and GSM at Phoenix FOX owned stations KSAZ-KUTP. She had also worked as VP and GM of WCGV-WVTV in Milwaukee, Wisc., WTVR in Richmond, Va. and WUPW in Toledo, Ohio. She started her career in radio at WJLB in Detroit, Mich.

“The FOX Minneapolis team is passionate, smart and talented,” said Oliver. “I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to build on our success and lead the team to even greater heights in this challenging, complex television environment.”

KAKE and Former Reporter React to Dismissed Lawsuit

cerullo_squareBoth sides in the now dismissed lawsuit Jared Cerullo brought against Gray Television, KAKE and news director Michael Sipes are having their say.

Cerullo brought the suit after being fired from KAKE in 2013 for reporting and later tweeting that the defendant in a story he had been covering had pleaded guilty to murder when he had actually pleaded not guilty. Cerullo later made an on-air correction.

“I am extremely disappointed that Judge Henderson dismissed the defamation claim, which was the bulk of my case, instead of allowing a jury to look at the facts and decide for themselves whether or not Sipes did, in fact, defame my character,” said Cerullo.

Cerullo was seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages in his defamation and breach of contract suit.

He told TVSpy he “provided the judge with numerous electronic communications in which Sipes told concerned viewers that I lied about the events surrounding my termination, that I had a history of inaccurate reporting, and that this wasn’t this first time that I had been reprimanded for doing so.” He added, “All of those things are patently false and destroyed any chances I had of getting another similar job in television.”

“We were obviously pleased that Judge Henderson granted our motion for summary judgment and  dismissed two of Mr. Cerullo’s three claims and limited the scope of his remaining claim in a manner that evidently led to Mr. Cerullo’s decision to dismiss his case,” Dan Wall, GM of the Wichita ABC affiliate, said in a statement. “We felt our position in the law suit was correct and our attorneys were preparing to try what was left of the case.  At no point did we make any offer to settle the case.” Read more

FCC Commissioner Calls Petition to Ban Word ‘Redksins’ From Broadcast Meritless

fcc sealFederal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai told an audience at The Media Institute Awards banquet Tuesday night, he disagrees with recent efforts to ban broadcasters from using the word “Redskins” when referring to the Washington, D.C. NFL team.

Pai said he worried TV stations could be fined and radio station’s could have their licenses revoked if they “accurately” report the score of game involving the team.

“If the FCC took these steps, we would be squelching public debate about an issue of public concern,” said Pai. “We would be standing in the way of media outlets reporting the news. And we would be prohibiting speech simply because we disagree with the viewpoint that is being expressed.”

Pai went on to say public officials shouldn’t “sound an uncertain trumpet when oft-offended opportunists urge us to undermine the First Amendment.”

He said he thinks the FCC should heed the words of Voltaire, who said, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” adding. “Anyone who takes seriously the Constitution—scholar or layman—knows the petition is meritless. The FCC should dismiss it tout suite, as Voltaire might have said.”

[The Hill]

On the Move, 11/19/14

Aaron Drawhorn joins KRQE in Albuquerque as an Anchor/Reporter. Drawhorn comes from KLAS in Las Vegas.

Chris Smith joins WAAY in Huntsville, Alabama, as chief meteorologist. He previously worked at KOLR in Springfield, Missouri.

Jillian Deam moves to WXIN in Indianapolis as a multimedia journalist from WCIA in Champaign.

Jason Kravarik joins CNN’s Los Angeles bureau as a producer. He was assistant news director at KOIN in Portland, Oregon.

Michael Hyland is promoted to co-managing editor/investigative reporter/fill-in anchor from general assignment multimedia reporter/fill-in anchor at WPMT in York, Pennsylvania.

Kevin Schwaller is promoted to the Investigative Unit from MMJ at KXAN in Austin, Texas.

Journalists in this post are represented by the Law Offices of Joel Weisman, P.C.

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

WNYW Meteorologist Mike Woods Named ‘Sexiest Anchor Alive’

It was a close call, but Mike Woods, a meteorologist at FOX affiliate WNYWbeat out hundreds of hunky local stars to win the coveted title of People‘s ‘Sexiest Anchor Alive.’

From People:

He says he’s not much of a chef, but the self-proclaimed weather authority can make one mean London broil for his date. “There aren’t very many things in my repertoire,” he admits. “I get a little intimidated when it comes to cooking. But my dad gave me this recipe, and it’s actually good— I promise!”

Woods has worked at WNYW since June 2001. He became the morning meteorologist for “Good Day New York” in October 2003. Woods was given the news of his win live on-air this morning. Judging by his shirtless dance moves in the video above, I’d say his new title is well deserved.

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