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Alan Lee Leaving WJBK After 18 Years

WJBK anchor Alan Lee announced on-air this morning he is leaving the Detroit FOX owned station.

Lee, who has been the morning show anchor at WJBK since 1996, said he decided not to renew his contract and instead will pursue plans to write a novel.

WJBK general manager Mike Renda said in a statement, “We want to thank Alan for his many contributions to the FOX2 news team over the past eighteen years.”

Lee’s last day will be July 31.

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Today we look at the number two market in the US where the top stories seemed to be the Donald Sterling trial, immigration issues and the focus on the beating of a woman on a local freeway by a CHP officer.

KCBS was the only surprise with its first block focusing on recent beach dangers.

Mark Joyella Joins TVSpy

JoyellaA familiar face is joining us here at mediabistro. Starting today, Mark Joyella will be contributing to TVSpy. Mark has worked as a reporter and news anchor at local news stations across the country, including WFTS in Tampa/St. Pete, WPLG in Miami and WNYW in New York. Most recently Mark was an anchor at WFTV in Orlando.

Along the way, he’s won five regional Emmy Awards for reporting and writing, and covered stories around the world, including the Middle East, Central and South America and Cuba. Mark’s also worked as a digital producer at CNN. Mark lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter. On Twitter, you can find him here. Tip him early, and often.

Man Arrested for Beating WCHS Reporter with Tripod

aaron wchs tripod attackA Clay County, WV, man has been arrested for allegedly beating WCHS reporter Bob Aaron while Aaron was shooting a story about possible animal abuse.

According to the Charleston-Huntington ABC affiliate, Howard Lilly is being held on $25,000 bond after being charged with destruction of property, grand larceny and malicious wounding for allegedly grabbing Aaron’s tripod and hitting him with it.

“He came up off of his property onto the roadway,” Aaron said. “And before we could have much of a conversation further about it he came at me grabbed the tripod and starting hitting me with it. He broke the camera lens and gave me a couple of pretty good shots before we left.”

Bob sustained injuries to his leg and finger. His tripod was taken by the attacker and his camera was destroyed. Bob went to a local hospital as a precautionary measure but his injuries did not appear to be serious. Read more

Longtime WFIE Anchor Ann Komis to Retire

ann komisAnn Komis is retiring after 29 years at WFIE, the NBC affiliate in Evansville, Ind.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to start a new and hopefully adventuresome chapter in my life,” Komis wrote on Facebook. “I plan to have as few deadlines as possible.”

Komis anchors the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts alongside David James. Her last day at the anchor desk will be Friday, July 18.

Bus Goes Out of Control, Crashes into WCCO

A Minneapolis Metro Transit bus driver died Friday after his bus went out of control and at one point took out part of CBS owned station WCCO‘s building.

The station said the bus driver “suffered a sudden collapse while driving due to natural causes.”

WCCO Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak was walking down the mall and narrowly missed being hit.

“You do a quick calculation: Do I run away or sneak by it? Because it was moving so slowly, I decided to run toward it and around it, but had to jump over some debris that was being pushed towards me,” Augustyniak said. “The streets were empty because it’s a holiday, so I would say, all and all, lucky no pedestrians were hurt.”

A bicyclist near Augustyniak was sideswiped. He suffered some scrapes, and received medical attention at the scene.

The bus came to a stop next to Peavey Plaza on the corner of 12th Street and Nicollet Mall. Gasoline was seen spewing from the back of the bus, leaving a trail across Nicollet.

On the Move, 7/7/14

Thabie Sibanda joins KOKH in Oklahoma City, where she will be a general assignment reporter. Sibanda comes from Tulsa, where she is a morning producer at KOKI. Previously, she was a reporter at WJCL in Savannah.

Sibanda is represented by Mort Meisner Associates.

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

WISH Responds to Viewer Complaints Over Story About Alleged Cop Killer


After Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer Perry Renn was killed in the line of duty Saturday night, CBS affiliate WISH aired a story giving the alleged killer’s family time to give their thoughts about the shooting.

In the story, the family said when Major Davis, Jr., the alleged gunman, was young his father was killed by police. At the end of the story, reporter Jessica Smith told viewers, “The family did say it is sorry for Officer Renn’s family, but they said the tragedy may have been avoided if Officer Renn would’ve stayed at his car since he could see Davis had a gun.”

Viewers reacted to the story. On facebook, one viewer commented, “Unbelievable! I’ve been a long-time supporter of WISH TV, but this is completely unacceptable to me.”

Today, news director Steve Bray wrote on the station’s website in part, “As a news organization, we provide balanced coverage and both sides of the story. Our obligation to you is to cover every angle of a story.”

Bray went on to say, “We wanted to give insight into the mind of the people/family who were involved so there was some context and exposure for you into this world. For some, maybe it’s a world you are already familiar with; for others it may be something you cannot even comprehend. It was difficult for many of us to watch and understand — mostly for the reporter who did the story. Her father is a veteran of IMPD.” Read the full text of Bray’s comments after the jump. Read more

Former KHOU Reporter Brad Woodard Dies

Former KHOU reporter Brad Woodard was found dead in his Houston home last week.

According to KHOU, authorities found his body Wednesday morning. He hadn’t returned several phone calls from relatives prompting them to ask police to check on him. No foul play was suspected.

He worked at Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE from 1990 until 2006, before leaving for Houston CBS affiliate KHOU. Both stations remembered Woodard for being an “old school” journalist and award-winning writer.

We’ll forever remember Brad as a kind man with a soft heart.  He had two great passions—storytelling and animals.  Frequently, Brad turned a light on those who abused or neglected innocent creatures and his work on animal abuse—and many other topics—won him multiple local, regional and national honors.   One standout series was his investigative look exposing cruelty to animals used in research to produce pharmaceuticals.   He won a highly-coveted Sigma Delta Chi Award for his feature on the death of the family farm.  And he received the National Epilepsy Foundation Distinguished Journalism Award for his work providing an unprecedented glimpse into the life of a teenage boy living with epilepsy. Read more

WIS Responds to Viewer Outcry Over Anchor’s Departure

WIS has responded to viewer backlash after anchor Ben Hoover revealed he was leaving the Columbia, SC, NBC affiliate because his contract wasn’t renewed.

Thursday night, Hoover told viewers on facebook the station’s decision not to renew his contract caught him by surprise.

According to Columbia paper The State, Hoover was absent from Friday’s broadcast.

Reaction to the news flowed quickly in comments to his posting with praise of his work and condemnation of management’s decision. By Friday evening a protest to coincide with the station’s 10:30 broadcast had been organized.

The station posted a response both on its website and its facebook page Sunday night thanking viewers for their concern but saying,  “During the last several days much has been posted on social media about Ben Hoover’s departure from WIS news, much of it erroneous,” read the statement. “However, we simply cannot engage in a public conversation regarding details of Ben’s departure from WIS TV. It is a private personnel matter.” You can read the entire statement after the jump. Read more

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