Swanson, who came to Orlando from Seattle in 2011, said family reasons were behind the decision to leave. “Gaard’s family lives in Seattle. He’s been flying back and forth,” WKMG general manager Skip Valet told Boedeker. “His wife has a job she loves. His children are entrenched there. We don’t want to lose Gaard. He’s well liked in the newsroom.”
Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Rowe’
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Orlando Stations were ready to go once word of a verdict in the George Zimmerman trial came. All four stations broke into regular Saturday night programming to bring viewers a live feed of the jury’s verdict.
CBS affiliate WKMG was first on-air at 9:48.36 with Lauren Rowe, Tony Pipitone and legal analyst Eric DuBois from outside the courthouse telling viewers a verdict had been reached. Next up was FOX owned station WOFL at 9:49.11 with word of activity in the courthouse.
ABC affiliate WFTV and NBC affiliate WESH were one second apart with ABC breaking into network show “666 Park Avenue” at 9:50.02 with legal analyst Bill Sheaffer and Greg Warmoth. The pair told viewers the Seminole County Justice Center had tweeted confirmation a verdict had been reached. Jim Payne from WESH broke in solo tossing, as all the stations did, to the live feed of the courtroom and the reading of the verdict by the jury.
Zimmerman has hired Mark O’Mara, a legal analyst for CBS-affiliate WKMG. Zimmerman was dropped as a client on Tuesday by Hal Uhrig, a former WOFL legal analyst, and Craig Sonner. Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder charge.
In a WMKG interview on Tuesday night — before he was hired by Zimmerman — O’Mara said Uhrig’s decision to step down presented a serious challenge in the case. Read more
Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Casey Anthony was released from jail. The Orlando stations, which have followed the case for the better part of three years, were ready. All five stations in the market started coverage in primetime Saturday night and stayed on the air well past midnight, when Anthony allegedly boarded a jet at a local airport and took off for a still-unknown destination.
WESH stayed in regular programming until a few minutes before Anthony was released from jail. The NBC affiliate broke in to “Saturday Night Live” with coverage anchored by Cara Moore. WESH went back into regular programming at 1 a.m.
All five Orlando local stations are planning extended coverage this weekend for the release of Casey Anthony from jail, which is slated to happen at an unknown time on Sunday, July 17.
WOFL, WFTV and WKMG will all prepare for a potential release in the middle of the night, starting their coverage during the Saturday late evening broadcasts and going through midnight. All three stations will stay on the air at least 90 minutes and possibly longer as news warrants.
WESH will present live updates during primetime on Saturday and will have extended Anthony coverage on its evening broadcasts. Unlike the other three stations, WESH did not make a minimum time commitment for overnight coverage, but The Orlando Sentinel reported that regular programming will be interrupted for Anthony’s release.
Central Florida News 13 also plans live coverage of Anthony’s release from jail when it happens, supplemented by live hourly reports throughout the weekend.
Orlando stations honored the final mission of legendary space shuttle Discovery on Thursday afternoon, providing with live coverage from nearby Kennedy Space Center. NBC-affiliate WESH was well-positioned for the launch, originally scheduled for 4:50 p.m., since it fell within the station’s hour-long 4 p.m. newscast. WFTV, WKMG, and WOFL all preempted regularly scheduled programming to bring viewers coverage of the launch.
CBS-affiliate WKMG began its live coverage at 4:30 with Lauren Rowe anchoring a special news report from KSC.
Fox-affiliate WOFL had Sonni Abatta and Bob Frier anchor its special report from the studio beginning at 4:30, relying on reporter Steve Gehlbach, as well as NASA’s radio feed, for live updates from KSC.
Rowe, who has been with the Orlando CBS-affiliate for ten years, was in awe of Swanson when the two read together during his audition.
“It was very exciting to sit next to someone I found fascinating personally,” she told the Orlando Sentinel:
Gaard’s depth was immediately apparent. It won’t take long for people to know that this guy has leadership, skills, intelligence. We can’t have enough leaders in that newsroom. We all need to innovate.
Swanson comes to WKMG from Seattle’s KIRO, where he served as sports director for eight years. In addition to his job at KIRO, Swanson has worked as a host for HGTV, appearing on the network’s popular series “Generation Renovation.”
The CBS-affiliate announced this week that Swanson, who has been with KIRO since 2002, would become the station’s primary male anchor.
He will join Lauren Rowe at the anchor desk for WKMG’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.
In addition to his job at KIRO, Swanson has worked as a host for HGTV, appearing on the network’s popular series “Generation Renovation.” He has also hosted KIRO’s daytime lifestyle show “Better Northwest.”
“He’s very comfortable on camera,” said Skip Valet, WKMG’s general manager. “You’ll see that almost immediately. He’s very versatile.”
Swanson’s first day on-air will be February 3. Video of Swanson in action after the jump… Read more