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WMAR Meteorologist During Hurricane Arthur: ‘The Station Just Got Hit By Lightning’

Mike Masco, meteorologist at WMAR, was in the middle of covering how the outer bands of Hurricane Arthur were affecting the Baltimore area, when the station was affected by a lightning strike. Masco’s audio went out for a matter of seconds, but the station was dark for about :20. While he news continued, the lightning strike affected several power functions at the station which is located in Towson. “The AC is still not fixed at ABC 2.,” Masco Tweeted around 9pm Thursday, “Meaning we will look like night of the living dead on TV..Stay tuned….”

Mary Benton Leaving KPRC

benton kprcMary Benton is leaving Houston NBC affiliate KPRC after 20 years, reports Houston media blogger Mike McGuff.

“It is certainly with mixed emotions at I am leaving,” Benton told McGuff. “I think what I will miss most is being a voice in the newsroom and represent those that did not have a voice in the media.”

Benton’s facebook page is filled with people wishing her well. One commenter wrote, “You have been a inspiration and provided a wonderful service to the communities you’ve served. May you be blessed Mary!!” Read more

Aereo’s Loss May Be Antenna Supplier’s Gain

aereo_304A Missouri based antenna supplier is looking to take advantage of Aereo’s recent misfortune.

Antennas Direct said it’s giving away 1000 free antennas to Aereo subscribers “as a solution to their signal loss.”

To receive a free antenna, customers must upload their last Aereo billing statement and pay $10 for shipping. They will receive the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2 Complete antenna (50+ mile range), 30 feet of coaxial cable and 20” J-Mount (MSRP $129.99).

“The Aereo Supreme Court case helps illustrate what we have said all along: local digital TV is free, offers more local channels and has a better picture quality than pay TV,” said Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct. “All that’s required is a simple, easy to connect antenna.”

The company said the offer is good through this Sunday July 6 or while supplies last.

[The Hill]

Squirrel Leaves Oregon Station in the Dark

Yesterday’s Good Day Oregon show on Portland FOX affiliate KPTV was a bit moodier than usual thanks to a squirrel.

According to the station, Portland General Electric said the squirrel knocked out power to 9,500 customers in Washington County at about 6:30 a.m.

The utility said a squirrel came into contact with some electrical equipment, causing the outage.

KPTV said it used a backup generator to stay on the air. The power came back on by 9:45 a.m.

Meteorologist Mike Breunling Joins WAOW

mike breunlingMeteorologist Mike Breunling is joining WAOW, the ABC affiliate in Wausau, Wisc. Breunling joins the station from rival WSAW, the CBS affiliate in the market, where he has been the chief meteorologist since 1997.

“A strong weather team has long been a Hallmark here at WAOW. I’ve known Mike for many years and applaud his deep local experience and genuine commitment to our community. He will be a great addition to an already superb team of meteorologists,” WAOW station manager Brad Heinkel said in a statement.

Breunling will officially join WAOW later this summer. “This move to WAOW will present exciting new personal and professional opportunities for me,” he said in a statement.

One Station Group Makes Big Move in a Small Market

npg logoNews-Press & Gazette is now the only game in town for TV viewers in the Yuma, AZ-El Centro, CA, market.

NPG has agreed to a sharing agreement with Blackhawk Broadcasting to operate both NBC affiliate KYMA and CBS affiliate KSWT.

NPG owns KECY and KESE the CW, ABC, FOX and Telemundo affiliates in that market (DMA #166).

Mike Meara, EVP and COO at NPG Broadcasting, told TVSpy, “Due to the economic challenges facing Yuma/El Centro, and similar markets our size, this agreement will allow us to share resources in News, Engineering, Operations and Promotions that will result in a stronger operation that will be able serve the Yuma/El Centro area with a more robust news gathering operation and deeper commitment to Community Service.” Read more

July 4th on the 3rd? Hurricane Arthur Forces Boston Pops Concert to Move Up One Day

While residents from Virginia to South Carolina brace for the approach of Hurricane Arthur, further North along the East Coast the storm’s threat is forcing some cities to change Fourth of July plans.

WBZ, the Boston CBS owned station, has announced the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Show has been moved up one day.

A WBZ spokesperson told TVSpy the concert that normally airs on the night of July 4th will now air live on July 3rd from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. The show will also stream live on cbsboston.com

State Police warned that inclement weather tomorrow could further alter plans, and that could include cancelling the fireworks until Saturday. Performer schedules and contracts prevented organizers from rescheduling the entire show for Saturday.

Lightning, rain and wind are all concerns, but for different reasons.

“The rain is a factor for the orchestra. If the rain is coming down hard enough that it comes into the hatch shell, it affects your instruments. These instruments are valuable and old,” event organizer Rich McDonald said earlier today. “For the fireworks, we have a sustained wind of 20 mph, which is pretty hard. That’s when we cannot fire by law the fireworks.”

Sharyl Attkisson to Work as Investigative Reporter for Sinclair

SharylAttkissonFormer CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson will work for Sinclair Broadcasting as an independent freelance investigative reporter.

Attkisson quit CBS in March. At the time, Politico’s Dylan Byers reported Attkisson “had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said.”

In an email obtained by FTVLive, which first reported the story, Scott Livingston head of news for Sinclair wrote, “Sharyl will focus on stories that follow the money and waste watch type of investigations.” Waste Watch is a Sinclair investigative franchise.

Livingston told TVSpy Attkisson would file one to two pieces a month starting next week and that all Sinclair stations would be strongly encouraged to run them. He added, Attkisson “fits with our commitment to tracking the truth and being our advocate for the taxpayer.”

Anchor Fired for Saying ‘Let’s Get the F*ck Outta Here’ Dreams of Hollywood

kraemer fundRemember Justin Kraemer? He was the KSNW anchor who had a job lined up in Colorado Springs until he was caught on a hot mic ending his weekend newscast by saying, “Let’s get the fuck outta here.”

Soon he was out of a job at the Wichita NBC affiliate and the station where he was heading.

Now Kraemer is looking for $10,000 via his “Getting the f— out of here fund” on gofundme.com. Click here to check it out. As of this writing he’s at $407.00.

“For all my friends and family that were hoping and praying I would make a risky and bold move, you’ll like this,” writes Kraemer on the website. “I am moving to Hollywood.”

Kraemer added, “This is a gamble to say the least but it’s also calculated. I truly believe I’ll be able to make this work.”

[FTVLive]

DOT Warns FAA Facing ‘Significant Barriers’ to Clearing Drones for Use

DOT SEAL-BLUE 286The Department of Transportation was asked by some members of Congress to check in on the FAA to see if the agency was going to meet the September 2015 deadline for safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System.

With almost a year to go for overall approval, the DOT says things aren’t looking so good.

As far as small drones go, the ones most likely to be used by local TV stations, the report stated the FAA won’t meet its August deadline to issue its final ruling on their use. According to the audit, “FAA officials indicated that privacy concerns have been the primary contributor to this recent delay.”

The DOT audit also outlined two areas of concern for overall drone use.

First, because there are no pilots on board, a UAS cannot comply with the “see and avoid” requirements that underpin operational safety in the NAS. However, there is currently a lack of a mature UAS technology capable of automatically detecting other aircraft operating in nearby airspace and successfully maneuvering to avoid them. Experts we interviewed stated that “detect and avoid” is the most pressing technical challenge to integration. Read more

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