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Laura Gray Returns to Buffalo’s WKBW

laura grayLaura Gray is returning to Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW after three years working in public relations, The Buffalo News‘ Alan Pergament reports. Gray, who worked at the station for five years before leaving in 2011, will anchor the morning and noon newscasts beginning this fall:

A Pittsburgh native who worked in Erie, Pa. before joining Channel 7, Gray will work with meteorologist Andy Parker, who left Channel 2 “Daybreak” last week to return to Channel 7 on its new morning program.

Earlier this month, Channel 7 let go the morning team of Tiffany Lundberg and Cole Heath after they worked for a year on the low-rated program. The station’s new owner, E.W. Scripps, is attempting to get viewers to give the morning program another look when the revamp starts in mid-September.

“We saw someone with Laura who has a good news presence, is local and is committed to the market,” said Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse said this afternoon.

WPTZ Adds New Digital Subchannel

wptz-google-plus-logoOn September 15, WPTZ will split its CW and MeTV Network broadcasts into two digital subchannels.

The Plattsburg-Burlington NBC affiliate said the new channel 5.3 will allow the station to expand the programming of both networks. The two have been sharing the broadcast day on subchannel 5.2 since March 2013.

According to WPTZ/WNNE President and General Manager Kyle Grimes, “providing three separate channels of diverse programming is a really exciting opportunity for our market. Whether it’s local news and weather, cutting edge drama and entertainment or classic comedy, we will have something for everyone.” Read more

Cassie Heiter Joins KWTV as Sixth Meteorologist

heiter kwtvMeteorologist Cassie Heiter has joined Oklahoma City CBS affiliate KWTV.

“Please welcome our newest member of the News 9 Weather Team, Cassie Heiter (Meteorologist)!” KWTV meteorologist Lacey Swope wrote on her facebook page, “You might have caught a glimpse of her during our coverage yesterday. I promise she has a face, and you will get to meet her very shortly. We are so excited to add her to our team. She is filling the role of evening Weather Producer and on-air fill-in.”

Heiter comes to KWTV from WQAD in the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa, where she had worked since 2009. She will be the sixth meteorologist on staff at the station.

WCCO Adds Two to Morning Show

matt-and-kim wccoWCCO, the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, CBS owned station, has announced Matt Brickman and Kim Johnson will join 4 News this Morning starting September 1.

Brickman and Johnson currently anchor the station’s Saturday morning news.

Brickman also produces the “Best of Minnesota” segments. He replaces Mike Augustyniak, who, the station said, asked for reassignment. Augustyniak will stay on as weekend meteorologist and weekday weather producer.

“My body doesn’t work as well at 3 a.m. as it does at 3 p.m. I’m grateful that we were able to figure out a solution that allowed me to better balance my personal life with my work life,” said Augustyniak.

Kim Johnson, who joined the WCCO team in May, currently anchors Saturday Mornings and serves as a reporter on weekdays. Read more

Dan Wilson Named WPTV News Director

wptv logoDan Wilson has been named news director of West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV.

“As you know, he has been our interim News Director for this past month,” WPTV station manager Lloyd Bucher said in a statement. “And he really hit the ground running earning respect from all corners of the building.”

Wilson came to WPTV from KNXV in Phoenix, AZ, where he had been assistant news director since 2008.

[FTVLive]

Jay Towers Promoted to WJBK Morning News

towers wjbk croppedWJBK weekend anchor Jay Towers has been named co-anchor of FOX 2 Morning News for the Detroit FOX owned station.

“FOX 2 viewers have enjoyed Jay’s contagious energy and winning personality on the weekends for the last 10 years,” said WJBK VP and news director Kevin Roseborough. “We are looking forward to expanding his presence on our station and have no doubt he will enhance our number one morning news team.”

Towers will join Anqunette Jamison starting Monday from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.

For the last 10 years, Towers has anchored the weekend news and has been a feature reporter for FOX 2 News Weekend. He started his career as a 14-year-old radio DJ for WJRZ in Manahawkin, NJ.

It’s Trading Day! Five Station Groups Buy and Sell Ten Stations

station groups cropped

Five station groups have undertaken a station swap similar to what happens at the trading deadline in professional sports. This time, though, the moves affect hundreds of people.

Media General and LIN Media, looking to comply with Federal regulations over ownership rules have initiated a TV station swap involving Sinclair Broadcast, Meredith and Hearst Corporation.

Here’s the breakdown:

Sinclair will buy from Media General: Providence NBC affiliate WJAR

Sinclair will buy from LIN Media: Green Bay FOX affiliate WLUK, Green Bay CW affiliate WCWF and certain assets of Savannah, GA, FOX affiliate WTGS and the rights to acquire the principal assets of WTGS, which is operated by LIN but owned by WTGS Television, LLC.

Media General will buy from Sinclair: Tampa, FL, MyTV affiliate WTTA, creating a duopoly since they already own NBC affiliate WFLA, and Colorado Springs stations KXRM (FOX) and KXTU (CW).

Media General will sell to Hearst: Birmingham, AL NBC affiliate WVTM.

LIN Media will sell to Hearst: Savannah, GA ABC affiliate WJCL.

Meredith will buy from LIN Media: Mobile-Pensacola FOX affiliate WALA. Read more

Earthquake Rattles Studio, Anchors Dance in Celebration

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.00.06 AM

An earthquake rattled central Oklahoma Tuesday morning, shaking the studio at KAUT, an independent station in Oklahoma City. Emily Sutton and Lacey Lett were on the air and reacted with delight–and dancing.

US Geological Survey measured the quake at 4.2. There were reports of minor damage across the state, but the lasting legacy may be this priceless piece of video:

Former WSB Chopper Pilot Dies in Crash

matt wallaceMatt Wallace, a former chopper pilot for Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB, died in a helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuesday.

Wallace — who worked for WSB from 1997 to 2003 — was flying a helicopter contracted by Alabama Power. A passenger also died in the crash, according to the station:

Authorities say Wallace and his passenger, identified as 63-year-old David Carson, were conducting an aerial inspection of a transmission line when the crash occurred.

News Chopper 2′s Jason Durden says he’s heartbroken by the loss of Wallace, remembered as an “excellent pilot and an even better man.” Carson, Wallace’s passenger, was a senior line specialist at Alabama Power and had 44 years of service at the company, officials said.

After Arrest, Brendan Higgins Out at KTVT

HigginsThe Dallas Morning News reports KTVT anchor Brendan Higgins has left the CBS O&O in Dallas:

Lori Conrad, spokesperson for CBS11, tells Dallas media blogger Ed Bark that “Brendan Higgins is no longer with the station.”

Higgins was arrested after an incident in Aspen, Colorado, that involved a fistfight and allegations the news anchor threatened police officers. In his first public comments, Higgins posted a message to Facebook:

If my email inbox is any indication, many of you are wondering about a recent incident in Aspen, Colo., that resulted in my arrest. Sorry it took so long to issue a post as I’ve been dealing with the related matters. First, I need to apologize for the negative attention this incident has brought to my wife and our family, our friends and the many wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years. I’m also sorry to the authorities in Aspen, who do a great job every day. I simply put myself and others in a bad situation, which will not happen again. My plan is to answer the legal charges against me. Thanks to all of you who have sent your support.

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