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John Bachman Set to Join WTEV-WAWS

John Bachman is making a move within Cox Media Group, joining WTEV-WAWS in Jacksonville after seven years at WSB in Atlanta:

[h/t Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Brendan Keefe to Leave WCPO for WXIA and Gannett Teaching Gig

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WCPO investigative reporter Brendan Keefe will leave Cincinnati in the fall to join Gannett-owned WXIA in Atlanta as chief investigative reporter. Keefe will also serve as a corporate trainer for the Gannett stations group. “It’s always sad to leave friends, and there are certainly mixed emotions as we prepare to say goodbye to Cincinnati, Scripps, and WCPO after seven great years,” Keefe wrote in a post on Facebook.

Here’s the full announcement:

“As part of 11Alive’s ongoing mission to hold the powerful accountable and make Metro Atlanta a better place to live, we have hired one of the most awarded and talked about investigative reporters in the country. Brendan Keefe, winner of the 2014 National Murrow Award for best Investigative Journalism, is 11Alive’s new Chief Investigative Reporter. Brendan has received two regional Murrow Awards, 38 Emmy Awards, Numerous Associated Press Awards all for Investigative and in-depth reporting. He has been embedded with our military during the Iraq War, covered Presidential campaigns, chronicled the aftermath of 9/11, documented hurricanes and exposed injustice and wrong doing of politicians and those in power.  Read more

Sinclair Reportedly Clears Last Hurdle Before Closing Deal for Allbritton

sinclair_304The Wall Street Journal reports Sinclair Broadcast Group is moving closer to sealing its deal for Allbritton Communications by settling a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

The DOJ thought Sinclair’s purchase of ABC affiliate WHTM in a market where it already owns CBS affiliate WHP and CW affiliate WLYH would affect the cost of advertising in the market.

Last month Sinclair agreed to sell the station to Media General when the Allbritton deal is finalized.

“The rivalry between the stations has helped to constrain advertising rates, and without the divestiture, advertisers on stations in this area would likely have paid higher prices,” said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

The settlement comes less than two weeks before a one-year clock will run out for Sinclair to get regulatory approval for its Allbritton deal. If approval isn’t reached in time, Sinclair has said the deal may not close.

The settlement will “pave the way in fact for a DOJ approval,” wrote Evercore analyst Doug Arthur. “Next stop: the FCC,” referring to the Federal Communications Commission. Read more

Cox Reporter Stopped By TSA Agent Who Isn’t Familiar With the District of Columbia

Justin Gray DC licenseFile this under people who need a geography lesson: a TSA agent in Orlando recently stopped Justin Gray, a Washington correspondent for Cox Media Group, because he did not recognize his D.C. driver’s license as a valid form of identification.

Gray, who says his license is legal and up-to-date, says the agent said he did not recognize the license and asked him for his passport. Gray told the agent he did not have his passport and, after a brief conversation, realized the agent did not know what the District of Columbia is.

The agent eventually let him through. Gray filed a report on the incident yesterday: “The TSA says because of what happened to me, they’re now showing pictures of DC IDs to every TSA agent there in Orlando,” he said. Watch the report after the jump. Read more

Longtime Albuquerque Anchor Set to Retire

dick-knipfing krqeKRQE anchor Dick Knipfing has announced his retirement after 51 years in the business.

Knipfing started his career at the CBS affiliate in 1963 when it was known as KGGM. According to the Albuquerque Journal, he will be replaced by Dean Staley.

Knipfing was taking it all in stride. “I’m 71 years old. It’s just time,” he told the Journal. “I’ve got a lot of energy and I’m in good health and I just want to participate more fully in life. Being a TV news guy, the daily deadline stress and pressure are unending. That’s the way it should be, but I’m tired of it. It’s time for me to move on and a younger guy to move in.”

Knipfing, who has also worked for the news operations at KOB-TV Channel 4, and KOAT-TV Channel 7, is finishing his career where it began.

His last day will be July 31.

Reporter’s Emails Reveal Questions Over Comp Time at WFOR

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According to a report by Jose Lambiet, veteran WFOR reporter Gary Nelson has taken the unusual step of raising public questions about the CBS O&O’s overtime policies–in emails shared with the entire newsroom.

“According to an email exchange between 22-year station veteran Nelson and (news director) Liz Roldan sent to the entire newsroom, Nelson has been denied requests for time off based on comp time for several 15-hour work days,” Lambiet reports. “Seems that Nelson was told his comp time expired before he was able to enjoy it.”

WFOR has a history of conflict, including a reported “internal investigation” led by CBS bosses in New York into difficulties between talent and management:

Allegations include that newsroom employees were told to work overtime for no pay, the lack of open communication with management, and comments to reporters that they “don’t appeal to the right demographics.”

The poisoned atmosphere has been fueled further by difficult contract talks with some of the talent, and the departures of several high-profile personalities.

Josh Taylor Leaving KHBS-KHOG

JOSH-TAYLOR-DIAGRID-WEB-jpgSports anchor Josh Taylor is leaving Hearst’s Fort Smith-Fayetteville, AR, ABC affiliates KHBS-KHOG.

“I’ve decided to move back home to Pittsburgh to be closer to my family,” Taylor wrote on his facebook page.

Taylor, who joined KHBS-KHOG from Hearst’s WTAE in Pittsburgh, PA, told TVSpy he doesn’t have anything lined up yet back home.

[Arkansas TV News]

News12 Reporter Out After Comments About ‘Young Black Men Growing Up Without Fathers’

bergin news12_croppedSean Bergin, a freelance reporter for Cablevision’s News12 New Jersey, is out at the regional cable news network after telling viewers on-air what he thought was the root cause of what he called the “anti-cop mentality” among young black men in inner cities.

Bergin told TVSpy he was suspended with pay for two days because of his comments and that the station, “made me an offer I had to refuse.” Bergin said News12 said he could come back for $350 a week and a chance to do what he called his “goofy feature segment” but not report hard news. He added, “I told them I had no choice but to turn it down.”

The controversy started Sunday night when Bergin was wrapping up a story about the killing of a Jersey City police officer. As part of the story, Bergin had interviewed the wife of the man alleged to have shot and killed the officer.

Bergin told viewers the station was “besieged” with calls from police officers angry he had given time to “the life of a cop killer.” He then told viewers, News12 aired the interview because it wanted to “shine a light on the anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities.” He went on to say, “The underlying cause of all of this, of course: young black men growing up without fathers.”

A News12 spokesperson told TVSpy, “It is News 12′s policy that reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air.” Read more

WDAY Takes Over WDAZ 5 p.m. Newscast

wday_croppedFargo’s WDAY took over the production this week of the 5 p.m. newscast on sister station WDAZ, the ABC affiliate in Grand Forks, the Grand Forks Herald reports:

WDAZ and WDAY began collaborative weekend newscasts in 2011, which gave WDAZ more time and resources to cover more local news on weeknights at 10 and more regional news on the weekends, the statement said. “We want to give North Dakota and Minnesota viewers the best we have to offer,” WDAZ and WDAY General Manager Mari Ossenfort said in the release. “By combining our teams, we’ll be able to make it happen.”

Anchor Terry Dullum was sad to see the broadcast go, as were his Facebook friends and followers. “We’ve focused on local, regional and community news and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way as well,” Dullum wrote in a Monday blog post. “We put a lot of energy into the broadcast in those seventeen years including a little bit of our heart and soul.”

Is There Room in Journalism for Reporters Who Make Paid Product Endorsements?

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You don’t ordinarily think of a local news reporter having endorsement deals, but Sara Hopkins, a reporter at WWAY in Wilmington, NC, reportedly does.

As Deborah Potter writes at NewsLab, Hopkins has leveraged her social media cred–a combined 350,000 followers across Twitter, Vine and Instagram–into a significant enhancement to her starter-market salary. Old Navy paid her $2,000 for a Vine ad and a Tweet; she’s also been a paid spokesperson for Coca-Cola.

And no, her boss at WWAY is neither unaware or unhappy:

Hopkins doesn’t hide the fact that she’s a journalist on her social media profiles and none of her activities come as a surprise to WWAY news director Scott Pickey. “[Sara] was active on social media before we hired her,” Pickey told me. “She has a huge following that has nothing to do with her job.”

While he understands that allowing a reporter to flog products could raise eyebrows, Pickey says Hopkins does the ads on her own time. And he says her social media experience has been a net plus for the station because of what she’s been able to teach the rest of the staff.

Here’s a Vine pushing Coca-Cola: Read more

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