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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Zerwekh’

It’s Official! Jacksonville Stations to Change Call Letters

WJAX WFOXSunday is the day Jacksonville FOX affiliate WAWS officially becomes WFOX and CBS affiliate WTEV becomes WJAX, both Cox Media and Bayshore Television have announced.

“Changing the call letters to WFOX-TV better represents FOX30 with the FOX TV network,” WAWS-WTEV VP and GM Jim Zerwekh said in a statement. “FOX30 has historically and continues to be one of the top 10 performing FOX TV affiliates in the country.”

The Cox Media owned FOX affiliate signed on in 1981 as an independent station and picked up its FOX affiliation in 1986.

“Changing the call letters to WJAX-TV better identifies the strengths and ties of CBS 47 to the Jacksonville market,” said Bruce Baker managing partner of Bayshore Television.

WJAX signed on as WXAO in 1981. Its call letters were changed first to WNFT in 1983 and then to WTEV in 1995. WTEV picked up its CBS affiliation in 2002.

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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

Jacksonville Anchor Reportedly Fired Gets Promoted

Kelton PRCOX Media Group has announced Paige Kelton will move off the anchor desk and into the role special projects manager for WTEV-WAWS.

Jim Zerwekh, VP and GM of WTEV-WAWS, told TVSpy, Tenikka Smith-Hughes will replace Kelton on the anchor desk in early September. Smith-Hughes is joining the station from WSOC in Charlotte.

“Paige has been a dedicated employee of CBS47/ FOX30 for many years,” Zerwekh said in a statement. “I am extremely happy she is transitioning to our management team. Paige’s unique skill set and community contacts are valuable assets to CBS47/FOX30 Action News.”

In May, Kelton was reported to be one of the five anchors let go by the Jacksonville station.

[Florida News Center]

Tenikka Smith to Join Jacksonville Station

Tenikka-SmithWSOC has announced Tenikka Smith is leaving the Charlotte, NC, Cox owned ABC affiliate for Cox’s Jacksonville stations WAWS-WTEV.

Smith was the weekday morning anchor for Eyewitness News This Morning on WAXN.

“I am very excited to join the CBS47 and FOX30 Action News family as we continue our mission to provide viewers quality coverage and original content,” Smith said in a statement.

“We were searching for a key team member to fill this anchor role at WAWS/WTEV, and Tenikka has everything we were looking for,” said WAWS-WETV GM Jim Zerwekh.

Smith started working at WSOC in 2009. Smith starts at WAWS-WTEV in early fall.

Mike McCormick Out as WTEV-WAWS ND

action news jacksonvilleNews director Mike McCormick is out at WTEV-WAWS, Cox Media’s CBS and Fox affiliates in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Mike McCormick has left our company,” general manager Jim Zerwekh told TVSpy. “Mike Dreaden, WSB-TV News Director will additionally be overseeing the news operation until which time I name a new ND.”

McCormick has been news director since 2008. Before joining WTEV-WAWS, he worked as news director at WPMI in Mobile, WKYC in Cleveland and WTLV in Jacksonville.

WTEV-WAWS Renovating Newsroom

The newsroom at WTEV-WAWS, Cox Media Group’s duopoly in Jacksonville, is undergoing a renovation to “to upgrade and coordinate its news dissemination through traditional and web channels, social media and mobile apps,” according to the Jacksonville Daily Record:

Jim Zerwekh, vice president and general manager of WAWS TV-30 and WTEV TV-47, said changes in the news industry necessitate the newsroom updates for efficiencies.

[...] the newsroom has been vacated to prepare for the work and those functions have been relocated to other areas in the building during renovations. About 140 employees work in the TV operation, according to Zerwekh. He expects the project will be completed in 10-12 weeks.

“It’s a significant investment for our parent company,” he said. “It definitely shows their commitment to us and our continued growth.”

After 27 Years at WJXX-WTLV, Sportscaster Dan Hicken Joins Rival Jacksonville Station

After 27 years at WJXX-WTLV in Jacksonville, Dan Hicken is joining rival WTEV-WAWS.

“This opportunity was a no-brainer. They’ve got the Jaguars, they have SEC football and they have a strong presence in the high school sports scene,” Hicken told the Florida Times-Union. “They’re committed to local sports, and that’s what I want to do, and that’s who I am.”

Because of a six-month non-compete clause in his contract, Hicken will begin his on-air reporting duties at WTEV-WAWS, the CBS and Fox affiliates, in November.

“We’ll all miss him,” WJXX-WTLV general manager Eric Land said. “And hopefully we will be able to see his career take a new step that is fulfilling for him and his family.”

As Hicken joins the sports team at WTEV-WAWS, Brent Martineau is promoted to sports director, effective immedately.

“Brent has done a tremendous job for us and has won multiple awards for his efforts,” general manager Jim Zerwekh said. “He’s spearheaded our coverage of not just the Jaguars but with a lot of the other sports that we cover.”

Watch WJXX-WTLV’s tribune to Hicken after the jump. Read more

Cox Names Bill Funke Director of Sales for WAWS-WTEV

Cox Media Group has named Bill Funke director of sales for Jacksonville, FL, FOX affiliate WAWS and CBS affiliate WTEV.

“Bill is a true professional, who knows that relationships are the key to driving our business in this highly-competitive market,” said WAWS-WTEV vice president and general manager Jim Zerwekh. “We are truly fortunate that we can tap into CMG’s vast sales talent pool for this key position.”

Before coming to WAWS-WTEV, Funke was general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s WFTV and WFTV.com in Orlando. He first joined Cox in 1995 as an account representative with TeleRep before joining WFTV as its national sales manager. Funke was promoted to local sales manager in 2002.

“I’m thrilled to take on this amazing opportunity to work with the CMG Jacksonville TV team of dedicated sales professionals,” said Funke.

[Broadcasting&Cable]

Cox Media Group Closes on Purchase of Newport Stations

Cox Media Group has closed on its purchase of four Newport Television stations in Jacksonville, FL, and Tulsa, OK.

“Countless hours of hard work have taken place over the last few months to prepare for today, and I want to thank everyone at CMG and these stations involved who made today a reality,” Cox Media Group president Doug Franklin said in a statement.  “This is an exciting time as we grow CMG’s presence in these markets, and we are thrilled that these stations are joining our team of media professionals.”

Cox acquired Newport’s Jacksonville duopolies, WAWS (FOX) and WTEV (CBS) and Tulsa’s FOX affiliate KOKI and MyNetworkTV affiliate KMYT. Read more