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Maybe It’s Time We All Stopped Touching People’s Stuff

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I’ve done it, plenty of times. As a reporter, I’ve sifted through the aftermath of fires in Colorado, tornadoes in Alabama and hurricanes in Florida. And often, in the process, I’ve touched plenty of people’s stuff–teddy bears, notes, family photos. Often, it makes a great standup or liveshot, and it makes the bosses happy. They love it when reporters touch things and pick things up. But maybe it’s time to call it quits, and just agree that from now on, we’ll leave families’ things right where we find them. Look, but don’t touch.

Sky News reporter Colin Brazier clearly crossed the line with viewers when he took items from the suitcase of an MH 17 passenger–a liveshot that infuriated victims’ families. ‘It’s sick and the worst example of news journalism which is sensationalising an appalling human tragedy,” said Thomas Mayne, whose brother Richard was killed when a missile brought down the Maylasia Airlines jet. A media professor told the Daily Mail the Sky News report was “a horrible moment for journalism.”

Even Brazier has second thoughts, saying in his report “we really shouldn’t be doing this, I suppose.” And he’s certainly right about that. Not only was it insensitive, but we generally avoid altering crime scenes–whether there are investigators there or not. But I can understand the urge to touch. In newsrooms it’s drilled into our heads as an understood fact: viewers love it when reporters reach down, grab things and hold them up. Consultants and newsroom managers pout when reporters resist a chance to turn people’s stuff into a prop in an active standup or liveshot.

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Jon Huffman Set to Retire From WGNO

jon huffman wgnoWGNO morning anchor Jon Huffman will retire from the ABC affiliate in New Orleans next month. Huffman has been on New Orleans television since 1990 and has anchored WGNO’s “Good Morning New Orleans” since 2008.

“Jon was a fabulous mentor for new employees on Good Morning New Orleans. His easy going nature helped them make the transition to waking up in the early morning hours a little easier. He’ll be missed,” WGNO news director Rick Erbach said in a statement. “Sleep in Jon. You’ve earned it.”

Before WGNO, Huffman worked as a reporter and anchor for WVUE, the Fox affiliate in New Orleans. He will officially sign off from WGNO August 1.

“I will deeply miss my co-workers at WGNO and the fun spirit of ‘Good Morning New Orleans.’ But I certainly won’t miss the alarm clock going off at 2:30 in the morning! It’s time to move on to a more relaxed—and relaxing—phase of my life,” Huffman said.

WLS to Add Assistant News Director

burke wlsWLS has announced Sarah Dunlap Burke will join the ABC owned Chicago station as assistant news director August 25.

Burke comes to WLS from WBZ in Boston where she was the acting news director.

“Sarah Burke is a strong news leader with impressive experience,” WLS VP and news director Jennifer Graves said in a statement. “Sarah understands the Chicago market’s love of news because she grew up here, and that’s a great plus for us too.”

Before joining WBZ in April 2013, Burke was an executive producer at WCBS in New York. She also worked at KCNC in Denver.

Reporter Explores the Curative Properties of Smelling Farts

Last week, WJZY reporter Jon Dick took a look at a study that claims smelling farts can cure cancer.

During the story, the reporter for the FOX owned station in Charlotte, NC, faux farted into a wine glass then smelled it.

“I think this might be…” Dick wrote on his facebook page. “The best thing I’ve ever done.”

While TVSpy likes a fart joke as much as the next blogger, We want to know what you think. Watch the story, then post your response on our facebook page.

[TVNewsCheck]

Orlando Reporter’s Book to Become Sandra Bullock Movie

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Leave it to WESH reporter Bob Kealing to tell a story so compelling, it’s slated to become a Sandra Bullock film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony has acquired Kealing’s book about Central Florida businesswoman Brownie Wise, who made Tupperware into a major brand in the 1950′s:

Tupperware was originally developed by Earl Silas Tupper but took off in the 1950s when sales exec Wise came up with the idea of having Tupperware parties. Soon those gatherings were sweeping the nation, and Wise became as popular as the product she was selling. In 1954, she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Businessweek.

The film is set to star Bullock as Wise, and be directed by Tate Taylor, best known for directing “The Help”. “I’m honored that two artists at the top of their careers like Sandra Bullock and Tate Taylor are embracing this story,” Kealing told The Orlando Sentinel on Saturday.

Zach Pagano Joins KRDO From KCWY

zach pagano_304Zach Pagano is joining KRDO, the ABC affiliate in Colorado Springs. Pagano joins the station from KCWY, the NBC affiliate in Casper, Wy., where he was the morning and noon anchor. He announced news of the move on Facebook:

I can’t thank all of you enough for your ongoing support. Wyoming is a great state, and I’m lucky to have been a part of its top-rated morning and noon newscasts for the past two years. Thank you all for your loyal viewership, and I hope you’ll keep in touch in the future.

I’m happy to be back in my home state and to be working for the same station where I had my first journalism internship.

Watch Pagano sign off from KCWY after the jump. Read more

WMGM’s First News Director Dies

Michael Schurman, the first news director for Linwood, NJ, NBC affiliate WMGM, has died.

Schurman had a long career in radio, working as news director for local station WOND during the 1970s and 80s. Schurman started working in TV when WOND’s owner at the time bought WMGM.

Mike is mentioned in former Atlantic City Philadelphia Mobster Phil Leonetti’s biography… It was Michael Schurman who over the airways coined a nickname for Leonetti, Schurman called him.. “Crazy Phil”  Leonetti hated the name… his fellow mobster reportedly told Phil. they’d give anything for that nickname.  So began a period of reporting for Mike that lead to in depth mob stories and even at one point death threats because of it.

He was 71.

Hospital Bomb Threat Phoned in to Oklahoma City Stations

An Oklahoma City hospital has been cleared of danger after a man called local stations, including CBS affiliate KWTV and NBC affiliate KFOR, and said there were two bombs in the hospital.

From KWTV’s website:

“The man on the phone said his cousin claimed he placed two bombs in the hospital to protest the gay marriage ruling last week,” said News 9 Assignment Editor Elyssa Mann who took the phone call. The caller told Mann the bombs were set to go off at 8:00 a.m. and were placed on the third floor of the hospital and in the parking garage.

News 9 immediately notified Oklahoma City police of the call. Police officers rushed to the hospital and did a sweep of all the buildings. They told our crew on scene there was nothing suspicious or unusual in the hospital. They said there was nothing for the bomb squad to come out and investigate.

Watch KWTV’s report:

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Hardcore Pawn Stars on Why Pawn Shop Shows are so Popular

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Remember when pawn shops were dark, dirty and cramped storefronts where you’d go to get twenty bucks rent money for the $300 stereo your parents gave you for Christmas? Now that pawn shops are featured on reality TV, the former dens of iniquity are revealing a softer. brighter side complete with a family focus.

Recently Les Gold and daughter Ashley, stars of truTV’s Hardcore Pawn sat down with MediabistroTV to give us some insight into why viewers like to watch them doing what it is they do. One hint? How much would you pay for a slightly used prosthetic leg?



Last week: Hardcore Pawn stars talk about the weirdest things they’ve bought or sold.

Next Week: Is Hardcore Pawn real or just reality show?

Meet KTHV’s Most Loved On-Air Purrsonality


Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV has an on-air personality who comes and goes as he pleases but still manages to be a fan favorite.

Joey the Garden Cat has a robust facebook following. On his page, he’s described as “a feral cat that made the THV Weather Garden my home and the entire News staff and viewers my family.” It goes on to say, “In 2012, I was diagnosed with bone cancer and today I’m a survivor.”

TVNewsCheck’s Paul Greeley has a profile on the newsroom feline.

“Joey just showed up,” said Theba Lolley, Joey’s momma-agent, and KTHV’s community relations director, careful to not let me get the idea that this was some sort of publicity stunt. Read more

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