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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Higgins’

WTNH Re-Signs Anchor Sonia Baghdady, After Advertising Her Job

Anchor Sonia Baghdady has signed a new contract with WTNH, following a period of negotiations that included the station posting a job opening for her position.

“There was a rumor out there that the main anchors were going to leave,” WTNH general manager Mark Higgins told the New Haven Register, discussing Baghdady’s new contract. “It’s standard to post for a position… but it all worked out.”

Earlier this month, WTNH posted a job listing on its website announcing that the station had “an opening for a main anchor” who would work alongside Darren Kramer.  Baghdady currently anchors the station’s 5, 5:30, and 11 p.m. newscasts with Kramer.

The job listing has been removed as Baghdady retains her seat next to Kramer.

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Beloved WTNH Meteorologist Dr. Mel Passes Away

Longtime WTNH meteorologist Mel Goldstein, who was known to Connecticut viewers simply as Dr. Mel, passed away this morning.  He was 66.

Goldstein had been battling multiple myeloma–a cancer of plasma cells–for the past fifteen years.

He became chief meteorologist at WTNH in 1986 and was a fixture on the station until he retired in October 2011.

“We not only lost a great journalist today, but a great humanitarian and close friend,” WTNH vice president and general manager Mark Higgins said in an email to staff. Read more

Erik Schrader Named WTNH News Director

Erik Schrader, currently the news director at WNEP in Scranton, has been tapped to lead the newsroom at New Haven’s WTNH.

“Erik’s experience and hard-hitting style make him the ideal person to lead our news operation,” said Mark Higgins, vice president and general manager of WTNH-WCTX, in announcing the move. “He specializes in aggressive local news that always reflects the ‘voice of the people.’ I’m excited to have him join the team.”

Schrader fills a position that was vacated last November when Kirk Varner left the station to become news director at WKRC in Cincinnati.

During his time at WNEP, Schrader helped launch digital subchannel WNEP2, which features two and a half hours of local news programming each day, and oversaw the station’s transition to HD. Before joining WNEP, he held the news director post at KODE in Joplin, MO and WJCL-WTGS in Savannah, GA.

Trying to Compete with New York Stations, WTNH Opens Bureau in Connecticut Post Newsroom

WTNH announced today that is has struck a partnership with the Connecticut Post. As part of the new arrangement, WTNH, an ABC-affiliate based in New Haven, will operate a Fairfield County bureau in the newsroom of the Connecticut Post and regularly broadcast segments from inside.

“Our new partnership with the Connecticut Post will give News 8 shared access to their resources and viewers will see increased news coverage immediately,” John Bell, WTNH’s managing editor, said in announcing the move. “We’re very excited about the opportunities this partnership will provide now and in the future.”

The Connecticut Post is based in Fairfield County, the most populous county in the state and an area currently considered part of the New York DMA. By moving into the Post newsroom, WTNH hopes to compete with New York stations and increase its standing with Connecticut viewers. Read more

WTNH Hires Steve MacLaughlin After Dumping Popular Meteorologist Geoff Fox

WTNH, which has been dealing with a public outcry after it let go of popular meteorologist Geoff Fox in January, has added a new meteorologist to its weather team.

The New Haven ABC-affiliate has hired fresh-faced Steve MacLaughlin (right), who recently worked at New York’s WPIX.  Although MacLaughlin has not been directly positioned as Fox’s replacement, it’s hard not to assume as much.

WTNH decided not to renew Fox’s contract after 26 years of service.  The station originally told Fox that he could work until his contract was up at the end of February but then rescinded the offer after a “Keep Geoff Fox on Channel 8″ Facebook campaign caused a stir.

“Steve is known for developing and delivering a forecast that is clear, accurate and to the point,” said Mark Higgins, WTNH’s vice president and general manager. Read more

Viewer Support Leads to Quicker Exit for Veteran Meteorologist Geoff Fox

Geoff Fox, the veteran meteorologist who received an overwhelming amount of support online after word spread that his contract would not be renewed by New Haven’s WTNH, has been let go early.

Fox, who had been with the the ABC-affiliate for 26 years, learned earlier this month that the station was going to let his contract expire at the end of February.  At the time, he told TVSpy that he was happy that the station was giving him the opportunity to work through the end of his contract, and he planned to do so.

Fox announced via a blog post on Sunday, though, that Mark Higgins, WTNH’s general manager, informed him that he would no longer be allowed to serve out the rest of his contract “because all of this has become a distraction.”

“This” being the significant amount of support that the popular meteorologist has received from Connecticut viewers since being informed that his contract would not be renewed, including a “Keep Geoff Fox on Channel 8″ Facebook campaign that has been liked by nearly 10,000 people.

Earlier this month, Fox told TVSpy that the social media-fueled support that he’s experienced “is going to have to make all stations stop and think for a moment.”

It turns out, though, that the “Keep Geoff Fox on Channel 8″ Facebook campaign, and others like it, actually resulted in a quicker exit for Fox. Read more