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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Spain’

Former Jacksonville Anchor Says New Arrivals Could Face ‘Backlash’

ActionJaxA former Jacksonville news anchor says Cox Media Group’s decision to replace five news anchors at WTEV-WAWS with new talent from outside the market may confuse and even anger viewers.

Marcia Ladendorff was an anchor for seven years at WTLV-WJXX, and says the move not to renew Mark Spain, Paige Kelton, Tera Barz, Mike Barz and Lynnsey Gardner as anchors (Kelton will remain at the station in a new role, as special projects manager) flies in the face” of the relationship-building that happens when anchors have deep roots in a community:

“The people who are sitting at home are like, ‘Wait a minute, I like Paige Kelton. …’ That’s got to be unpleasant, in fact it’s depressing as hell,” Ladendorff said.
As far as new hires for Action News anchors, there could be backlash from the First Coast audience and the first public hire in Bachman could prove severely challenging, Ladendorff said.

“If people in the station and in the community are not appreciative of what Cox is doing, he’s [Bachman] going to be the hired gun in their view,” Ladendorff said. “I would not want his job because I have to assume, because of the longevity of the people who are disappearing in the view of the community, he’s going to be the guy coming in.

David Deeley, an assistant professor of communications at the University of North Florida and former sports talent, said the scale of the personnel shakeup in Jacksonville could be traumatic both for the newsroom and for the audience.

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Jacksonville City Council President: Cox ‘Exercised Bad Judgment’ at WTEV-WAWS

1000px-Cox_Media_Group_svgJacksonville City Council President Bill Gulliford has sent a letter to Cox Media criticizing the decision to dismiss five anchors at WTEV-WAWS, the Jacksonville Daily Record reports:

In a letter to [Cox Media Group President Bill] Hoffman dated today on council letterhead, Gulliford said the move by Action News is “getting a lot of push back in the community.”

“I have heard it constantly since the story broke,” Gulliford wrote. “People are challenging the wisdom of such a move and questioning whether Cox Media really gets the local aspect of their operation here.”

Asked about the letter, Gulliford said he heard a little more background about the situation from one of the anchors after an interview. After hearing about the situation, he said he didn’t “think someone up the line understands what Jacksonville is about.”

“I think they exercised bad judgment,” he said.

Mark SpainPaige Kelton, Lynnsey Gardner and Mike and Tera Barz will be out in September in a move described as “hitting the station reset button.”

Jacksonville Station to Reportedly Let Five Anchors Go

the five_wtev

Cox owned Jacksonville CBS and FOX affiliate WTEV-WAWS is reportedly cleaning house in its anchor ranks.

The Jacksonville Business Journal reports, “anchors Mark SpainPaige Kelton, Lynnsey Gardner and Mike and Tera Barz were told last week that the station has ‘decided to go in a different direction,’ said a person familiar with the situation.”

When asked about it by TVSpy last week, WTEV news director Bob Longo wouldn’t comment, citing personnel policy at the station.

The Business Journal quotes a source who told them the anchors will be out “on or around September 1.”

“No positions have been eliminated. We have not reduced the size of our staff. Our staff size has grown. As for personnel questions, and in respect to our entire staff, we do not comment on any personnel matters,” Jim Zerwekh, Action News general manager, wrote in an email.

The cuts are not performance based, the source said, and the group was told Cox is “hitting the station reset button.” Read more

VIDEO: Cars Collide Live Behind WTEV Reporter

During last week’s Florida primary, WTEV reporter Catherine Varnum and her crew were reporting from outside Mitt Romney‘s campaign headquarters when two cars collided behind her live shot location (video above).

“It looks as though some kind of accident happened behind Catherine there,” Mark Spain, an anchor for the Jacksonville CBS-affiliate, said as Varnum stepped away from the camera. “We’ll check back with her and make sure everybody’s okay.” Read more