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Posts Tagged ‘Holly Gauntt’

KOMO News Director and GM Issue Statement on Helicopter Crash

140318_helicopter_memorial_660Holly Gauntt, news director for Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO, and station GM Janene Drafs jointly issued a statement about Tuesday’s helicopter crash.

The two remembered Bill Strothman and Gary Pfitzner, the men who were killed in the crash. “Our hearts are heavy today. We miss them. We cry for our loss and their families.  We thank everyone who has reached out to us and offered to help in any way they can.” The statement added, “The flowers, the cards, the emails… they help more than you’ll ever know. How lucky we are to be surrounded and supported by such compassionate viewers and listeners. You’ve helped us in hard times before. Thank you for doing it again.”

You can read the entire text of the statement after the jump. Read more

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There’s a ‘One’ in 12th Man: KCPQ Shuts Rivals Out of Super Bowl Rally

Wilson_KCPQFor all of Seattle’s talk of the importance of the 12th man in the Seahawks Super Bowl win, only one man, or station, was allowed to cover the entire Seahawks victory event yesterday.

The celebration started out with a parade, which all the stations covered live. But as soon as the parade entered CenturyLink Field around 2:00 p.m., only FOX affiliate KCPQ stayed in live coverage.

According to KCPQ GM Pam Pearson all the other Seattle stations were welcome to cover the rally “but only the partners were allowed to broadcast it LIVE.” And by “partners” Pearson meant the Tribune owned FOX affiliate.

KOMO news director Holly Gauntt told TVSpy the ABC affiliate was getting calls from puzzled viewers when it broke away shortly before 2:00 p.m. Bob Jordan, news director CBS affiliate KIRO said several viewers asked why the station was ending its coverage of the celebration early.

Even the Governor’s office got involved. Jaime Smith, director of media relations for Washington Governor Jay Inslee, told TVSpy Inslee’s office reached out to the Seahawks because they wanted as many people as possible to watch the celebration. But in the end she said they left it up to the Seahawks to decide. Read more

KOMO News Director Loses Super Bowl Bet, Dresses Like Seahawk

Holly Gauntt, news director for Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO, came out on the wrong end of Super Bowl bet.

Gauntt told TVSpy, “Note to self, never take a bet concocted by a clever photographer! Being a huge Bronco fan has been quite the challenge of late! But I’m true to my Colorado roots!”

She said she has to wear the suit all day. She added, “If the Broncos won he had to wear my Orange Bronco shirt and his own orange pants, socks, underwear and shoes for the day!”

Gauntt also sent TVSpy another photo of her hard at work in the getup. Check it out after the jump. Read more

Layoffs at Sinclair Stations in Seattle, Portland

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group has handed down a round of layoffs at its newly-acquired stations in Seattle and Portland, TVSpy has learned.

A source at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO tells TVSpy that there were 10 layoffs in the station’s newsroom and close to 20 across all Sinclair’s properties in Seattle. They include satellite truck operators, editors, producers and radio reporters and editors.

The source describes the mood at KOMO as “a combination of sadness and nervousness,” noting that the newsroom is a “very tight-knit group” that has been through a lot, including the death of Kathi Goertzen, over the past two years. Staffers are said to be banding together to help laid-off employees find new jobs.

KOMO news director Holly Gauntt declined to comment. General manager Janene Drafs did not respond to an email from TVSpy.

In Portland, The Oregonian reports nine people were laid off at ABC affiliate KATU, including “three editors, a writer, a producer, two truck operators and two folks who work with KATU’s web operation, including an executive producer.”

More details? Email us: tvspy@mediabistro.com.

Washington State Supreme Court Hears KOMO Case on Police Dashcam Videos

A legal battle between KOMO and the Seattle Police Department over access to police dashcam videos has reached the Washington State Supreme Court. The Seattle ABC affiliate reported on the case Tuesday:

The arguments before the Supreme Court are the last step in a years-long effort by KOMO to use police videos as a means of checking officer behavior. KOMO first requested a database and copies of Seattle police dashcam videos in 2010 during a Problem Solvers investigation about excessive force and biased policing.

In spite of numerous requests, the department told KOMO that the video records — the way the station asked for them — didn’t exist. After more than a year, the city did provide KOMO with a database, but then refused to supply the dashcam videos, saying there was a three-year exemption under the law.

“This is about every single citizen in the state of Washington and their right to have access to the videos that the police have, and their right to hold police accountable,” [KOMO news director Holly] Gauntt said.

KOMO reports the Supreme Court bypassed the appeals court and took the case directly, which can be done when the court believes there is “substantial public importance.” A decision is expected in three to six months.

Watch KOMO’s report after the jump. Read more

Morning Anchor Peggy Bunker Leaving KOMO

Peggy Bunker is leaving Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO, according to a staff memo obtained by NewsBlues.

“Peggy has decided to spend some quality time with the twins and see where [her husband's] career takes their family before deciding on her next career move,” news director Holly Gauntt wrote. “Peggy has done what many of us have, she’s traveled the country getting experience and building her career. Her husband has been at her side, making the trek to bigger markets as her career took off. Now it’s Peggy’s turn to be at his side.”

Bunker is a former anchor of ABC’s “World News Now.” She joined KOMO in 2011.

NewsBlues reports that Bunker will be replaced by Liz Dueweke, the morning anchor at KOKH in Oklahoma City, beginning in April.

KOMO News Director on Joel Connable’s Death: ‘Honestly, we’re numb’

KOMO news director Holly Gauntt says the station is “incredibly sad” after the death of weekend anchor Joel Connable.

“Honestly, we’re numb,” Gauntt told TVSpy in an email. “Joel hadn’t been here long but he fit in fantastically. He was already bonding with the weekend team.”

Connable died unexpectedly Monday. He joined the Seattle ABC affiliate last week after a three-year break from the television business.

“He was excited about getting back in the business and couldn’t wait to get going. He turned in his first story on a day he was supposed to train,” Gauntt said. “He just wanted to get into the field.” Read more

One Week After Joining KOMO, Weekend Anchor Joel Connable Dies at 39

KOMO weekend anchor Joel Connable died Monday from complications of diabetes. He was 39.

Connable joined the Seattle ABC affiliate last week. The station announced his death on Wednesday evening’s 6 p.m. newscast.

“He suffered from diabetes and we’re told likely died from a seizure,” anchor Dan Lewis said. “Joel had an impressive career in broadcasting at stations all over the country. We regret that our KOMO viewers will not get the chance to get to know Joel Connable.”

Connable was just getting back to the television business after a three-year break. He was fired from WTVJ in Miami in 2009 for allegedly violating the NBC O&O’s policy on accepting free gifts. At the time of his death, Connable had a lawsuit pending against the station. Read more

KOMO Anchor Kathi Goertzen Dies After Long Battle With Brain Tumors

Kathi Goertzen, a longtime anchor for KOMO in Seattle, died today after a long fight with brain tumors. She was 58.

News director Holly Gauntt announced the news in a post on the station’s website this afternoon:

The long fight against the tumors that have ravaged her brain is over. She is at peace now, comfortable and surrounded by all that is good. Please know, as we do, that your love enveloped her. It strengthened and encouraged her.

She loved your compassion and concern more than you’ll ever know. You helped her fight a valiant fight. We want to thank each and every one of you for that.

Goertzen was hospitalized over the weekend after developing pneumonia while undergoing treatment for the tumors, which she has battled for more than 10 years.

Goertzen’s career, which spanned more than three decades at the Seattle ABC-affiliate, was significantly altered by non-cancerous brain tumors, which were discovered in 1998. She returned to the station after surgery later that year, but the tumors re-appeared in 2005, eventually compromising her facial features and ability to speak on air. Read more

May Day March Footage May Be Subpoenaed From Seattle Stations

Police and prosecutors in Seattle are preparing subpoenas requesting footage of the violent May Day protests from television stations in the area, according to the Seattle Times.

Tuesday’s protests turned violent and resulted in widespread vandalism in downtown Seattle. Footage shot by television stations could be used to identify suspects, the Times reports:

The state’s “reporter shield law” limits law-enforcement access to unpublished material gathered by journalists, but three network-affiliated TV stations contacted Tuesday said that with a subpoena they would turn over footage that already had aired.

Holly Gauntt, KOMO-TV news director, said one clip the station aired shows a black-clad protester changing into street clothes. “There’s one shot we have where you can clearly see the guy,” she said.

A veteran photographer for KING was injured while covering the protests for the NBC-affiliate.

Watch KOMO’s report on the violence after the jump. Read more

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