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Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Bianchi’

WWOR Replacing Evening Newscast With Show on New Jersey Politics, Issues

WWOR, the Fox-owned MyNetworkTV affiliate serving the New York market, is canceling its 10 p.m. newscast and replacing it with “Chasing New Jersey,” a 30-minute program focused on “issues driving conversations” in the state.

WWOR, which is licensed to and based in Secaucus, N.J., will outsource production of the show to Fairfax Productions, a production company overseen by Dennis Bianchi, the vice president and general manager of Fox-owned WTXF in Philadelphia. Bianchi, the show’s creator, will share oversight of “Chasing New Jersey” with Dianne Doctor, the recently-named station manager at WWOR.

The change will result in a handful of layoffs, although it is not immediately clear how many people will lose their jobs. WWOR’s on-air staff will be assigned to new roles, station sources say, including main anchor Brenda Blackmon who will produce and anchor news specials for WWOR. Co-anchor Harry Martin has been offered a reporter position at sister station WNYW. Meteorologist Audrey Puente and sportscaster Russ Salzberg will take on increased roles at WNYW.

“Chasing New Jersey” will originate from Trenton, N.J. and will feature Bill Spadea as “ringleader” and several reporters as “chasers.” Spadea is a former Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in New Jersey’s 12th district.

TVSpy has found filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office that show Fox Television Stations has registered for trademarks of “Chasing New Jersey,” “Chasing Seattle,” “Chasing Texas, “Chasing Florida,” “Chasing San Francisco, “Chasing Charlotte,” and “Chasing America.” Except for Seattle and San Fransisco, Fox has an O&O in each area.

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Iain Page Joins WTXF in Philadelphia

After two years at KPRC in Houston, Iain Page is joining WTXF in Philadelphia.

Beginning February 18, Page will join the Fox O&O as co-anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast alongside Kerry Barrett. He will also contribute to the 10 p.m. newscast as a reporter.

“Iain’s unique background, having worked in various broadcasting roles and as an attorney, will serve our viewers well. This, along with his strong reporting experience and ability to tell a compelling story, will bring a valuable perspective to our newscasts,” WTXF VP-GM Dennis Bianchi said in a statement.

Page takes over for Thomas Drayton at the 5 p.m. anchor desk. Drayton will continue to co-anchor WTXF’s 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Barrett.

WTXF Taps Fox Veteran Jim Driscoll as News Director

Philadelphia Fox O&O WTXF has tapped Jim Driscoll as its next news director. Driscoll has spent the last five and a half years working as news director of WWOR, the Fox-owned MyNetwork TV affiliate in Secaucus.

Driscoll is also a former assistant news director of WNYW, the Fox O&O in New York City. Prior to that, he spent 18 years at WWOR, where he began as a production assistant and eventually rose to executive producer.

“Jim’s impressive track record of success at WWOR and WNYW speaks for itself. I’m confident that his leadership, solid local news instincts and inventive style will continue FOX 29’s growth and expand the station’s presence in the market,” WTXF vice president and general manager Dennis Bianchi said in a statement.

WTXF has been without a news director since Steve Schwaid left the station in July. Driscoll’s appointment is effective January 2. Read more

WCAU GM Dennis Bianchi Joining Rival WTXF

Dennis Bianchi, the general manager at Philadelphia NBC O&O WCAU, will join rival WTXF, the Fox O&O, as vice president and general manager next month, Fox announced today.

Bianchi, who has been at NBC for more than 25 years in a variety of roles, has been general manager of WCAU since 1998. His first day at WTXF will be February 1.

“While we typically promote from within, we feel lucky and particularly excited about hiring an executive of Dennis’ caliber,” Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, said in a statement.

Bianchi replaces Patrick Paolini, who was promoted to SVP of Station Sales at Fox last fall.

WCAU Adds Another Hour of News to Lineup

Philadelphia’s WCAU is expanding their fall lineup to include an extra hour of news during their morning broadcasts, the station announced today.

The NBC O&O will add two half-hours of news a day: one at 4:30 a.m. and one at 11 a.m. The 11 a.m. show will aim to keep viewers from NBC’s “Today” show, which airs from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on WCAU.

“With these changes in our programming lineup, we are confident we can do a better job serving our viewers and their changing lifestyles,” WCAU president and general manager Dennis Bianchi said.

WCAU currently airs “The 10! Show,” an entertainment and lifestle program, at 11 a.m. Under the new programming schedule, they will shift that show forward to 11:30 a.m. timeslot. “We’ll be offering a great balance of local news and entertainment at times when our viewers have told us that’s what they want,” Bianchi said.