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Cox Looking to Change Call Letters of Jacksonville Stations

WTEV-WAWS logo_304x200The Florida Times-Union reports Jacksonville, FL, CBS and FOX affiliate WTEV-WAWS is asking the FCC to change its call letters.

In a July 30 filing, station owners, Cox Media Group, asked the FCC to change WAWS to WFOX and WTEV to WJAX.

“These call letter changes are natural fits for our TV stations. It symbolizes our commitment to our local communities and showcases the rebirth of our two great stations,” [station GM Jim] Zerwekh said in an email Tuesday.

An FCC official in Washington, D.C. said call letter change requests are not unusual both for television and radio stations and the agency receives dozens of requests and grants changes every month.

Zerwekh said the change from WTEV to WJAX was aimed directly at clearly identifying with the local market. Read more

NY1 Anchor Roma Torre Taking Leave After Cancer Diagnosis

Roma-Torre-1The New York Daily News reports that NY1 anchor and theater critic Roma Torre has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be taking a leave of absence from the Time Warner Cable News station.

“Anyone who knows me is well aware I don’t seek public attention,” Torre told The Daily News. “And so when I received a diagnosis of cancer, my inclination was to keep it private. But if there’s any good to come out of all this, it’s the hope that sharing my story can spare others the pain of my experience.” Torre has worked at NY1 since 1992 and is a mother of two.

She will be treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. According to an article on the station’s site, Torre will have surgery on Thursday to remove the cancer, at which point a more detailed diagnosis will be made.

Sunbeam Confirms New GM at Boston Stations, Makes Changes in Sales Management

sunbeam televisionSunbeam Television has announced sales management changes at Boston NBC affiliate WHDH and CW affiliate WLVI prompted by naming Robert “Bubba” Burns, VP and GM of both stations.

Sunbeam announced Paul Magnes will replace Burns as Director of Sales for WHDH-WLVI. Magnes was the local sales manager at WHDH. WLVI local sales manager Marcy Burt McCauley replaces Magnes as local sales manager of WHDH. WHDH account executive Jennifer Howe MacDermott was named local sales manager at WLVI, replacing McCauley, while WHDH account executive Charles Shiebler was named national sales manager for WLVI.

“As I move to the corporate offices of Sunbeam Television, I am excited that we have Bubba Burns and a strong management team leading the Boston stations into the future,” Chris Wayland, executive VP and GM of Sunbeam Television Corporation said in a press release.

San Antonio Station Cuts One Newscast, Expands Another

ksat logoSan Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT is dropping its 4:00 p.m newscast and adding a half hour to its 6:00 p.m. show.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the last 4:00 p.m. show will air September 5, while the expanded 6:00 p.m. will debut the following Monday, September 8.

[Ursula] Pari and Steve Spriester, who currently co-anchor the 6 p.m. news, will expand their duties to include the 6:30-to-7 p.m. half-hour.

The addition will end WOAI’s status as the only station to feature local news at 6:30 p.m.

The change likely registers as a victory at news rival KENS-TV. Read more

Kyle Hill, Former WKRC Anchor, Has Died

1408986253000-Kyle-Hill-1976-Nick-Clooney-WKRC-TVKyle Hill, former reporter and anchor at Cincinnati CBS affiliate WKRC, has died, his wife told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“He always knew what he was doing, because he had all that experience. He had this air of authority,” said Howard Ain, Channel 12′s semi-retired “Troubleshooter” consumer reporter.

“I followed his lead. He taught me how to get a story and get it right. I still use what he taught me,” said reporter Deborah Dixon, who was hired by Hill. “Kyle chased stories. It was fun to watch. He would hear a possible story on the police radios and jump up grab a photog and run out as if he were a 20-year-old.”

His former station remembered Hill as a “kind man and devoted husband and father.”

What Did They Cover in Rockford Last Night?

Today we travel to Rockford, IL, where they are dealing with hot weather.

The heat was the main topic of conversation on a couple of newscasts, while CBS affiliate WIFR and FOX affiliate WQRF reported mainly on non-weather related news in the first five minutes.

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Joe Gumm Out, Ian Reitz In at WTSP in Tampa

reitz_gumm wtspWTSP morning anchor Joe Gumm (right) is no longer with the Tampa-St. Petersburg CBS affiliate.

WTSP GM Elliott Wiser confirmed with TVSpy, the station has named Ian Reitz (left) as Gumm’s replacement.

“I have some exciting news to share,” Reitz wrote on his facebook page. “Later this year my wife and I will be moving to the Tampa Bay area where I’ve accepted a morning anchor job.”

Reitz comes to WTSP from WSMV in Nashville, where he is a morning anchor. Before coming to WTSP in 2012, Gumm worked at KOKH in Oklahoma City.

[Florida News Center]

Former Anchor Settles Lawsuit Against Station, Starts Job as College Recruiter

eric wilson_wrexFormer anchor Eric Wilson, who left Rockford NBC affiliate WREX after 19 years, has taken a new job as a student recruiter for Rock Valley College. He announced the news on his Facebook page, where he said “it’s been a long, tough 7 months”, but he’s not necessarily looking to return to TV news:

I’ve been asked more times than I can count over the last 7 months, “When are you getting back on television?” I can honestly say that I don’t think it will be very soon. There are too many things about the job and the industry in general that bother me. And in some cases “bother” may be too mild of a word. There are issues of integrity and ethics that I see every day. I’m not sure I want to be a part of it. I never say never, but my heart isn’t in it now. I had amazing experiences as a TV reporter and anchor, but that job never defined me. I don’t need television to make me feel good about myself.

The Rockford Register Star, meanwhile, reports Wilson’s lawsuit against his former station has been settled:

Wilson had filed a lawsuit in Winnebago County court against WREX after being fired Jan. 29 following 19 years at the station. Court documents show that “all matters in the controversy have been compromised and settled.” No further details were available.

WBZ Makes Expected Anchor Moves

wbz logo copyYesterday, we reported the GM of Boston CBS owned station WBZ said more changes were coming when he announced the addition of two anchors to the morning news.

Today, WBZ revealed those changes: Starting Monday, Lisa Hughes and David Wade will co-anchor the 5:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts while Paula Ebben and Jonathan Elias will co-anchor the 6:00 p.m. on WBZ and the WBZ News at Ten on WSBK.

Chief meteorologist Eric Fisher, who will stay on at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. in addition to the WBZ News at Ten on WSBK.

“We are very fortunate that the entire WBZ-TV anchor team has great experience, a track record for outstanding journalism, strong local ties, and unmatched commitment to public service,” Mark Lund, president and GM of WBZ said in a statement. “These anchor assignments give us even more opportunities for the WBZ-TV news team to create the best content in the market, produce more investigative and enterprise reports, and continue to be the market’s #1 choice for news on the stories that matter most to our community.”

Last week, 6:00 p.m. anchor Jack Williams announced he was leaving the anchor desk.

WCPO’s Clyde Gray Not Retiring, He Says, But ‘Re-Wiring’

clydegrayheadshotWCPO anchor Clyde Gray steps down Friday, ending 33 years in Cincinnati television. But Gray wants to make one thing very clear, as he tells the Cincinnati Enquirer: he’s not retiring. He’s re-wiring.

Gray will devote his energy to Clyde Gray and Associates Public Relations Strategies, the agency he announced in February 2011 to the surprise of his Channel 9 bosses. At their request, he immediately “dialed back on my involvement to an investor,” he said. Four years later, he doesn’t even have an office.

“It’s small. It’s low-key. My job is to grow that business,” he said.

Since announcing his departure on June, some African-Americans have expressed disappointment to him that he won’t be on TV, “based on the feeling that I’m some sort of role model,” he said. “I understand some people see my transition as a loss, but this change is about an opportunity for me, and re-inventing myself, and re-wiring.”

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