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Posts Tagged ‘René LaSpina’

WIVB’s Jacquie Walker Diagnosed With Cancer

AR-141118954Jacquie Walker, anchor at Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB, will take the next few weeks off as she is treated for breast cancer. The Buffalo News reports the cancer was detected early, and Walker plans to return to work in about a month:

The station’s general manager, Rene LaSpina, made Channel 4’s staff aware of Walker’s condition Tuesday when she posted an email from Walker.

Here’s the full statement from Walker, who has been at Channel 4 for 31 years: “To my colleagues here at Channel 4. I wanted to let you know why you are not seeing me in the newsroom this week. I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and I am now being treated by the experts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. I expect to return to work in a few weeks.

“During Breast Cancer Awareness Week in October, you hear about the importance of early detection and the importance of mammograms. Believe it. I have never missed an annual mammogram, and that is how my cancer was discovered at an early stage.

“My family and I have faith that I will be cured. We ask for your prayers and understanding. We look forward to a healthier New Year, as we continue our lifelong support of those seeking a cure for cancer.”

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Buffalo Station Losing Two Reporters

drantch kingston_wivbBuffalo CBS affiliate WIVB will soon see the departure of two of its reporters.

Yesterday, The Buffalo News reported Ed Drantch will be leaving the LIN-owned station next month to work at cross-town rival ABC affiliate WKBW.

Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse said Drantch’s Channel 4 contract had expired. He added that Channel 4 had the right to match Channel 7’s offer and declined.

Today, The News said Rachel Kingston is getting out of broadcasting to work at the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Kingston wrote on her facebook page., “Yes, it is true. My time at Channel 4 – and in news/broadcasting altogether – is drawing to a close.” She added, “While I am leaving journalism, I’m not leaving my native and dearly-loved Western New York.”

Drantch’s defection, along with other departures at the station led Buffalo News TV Critic Alan Pergament to speculate WIVB GM Rene LaSpina‘s belt tightening may be behind the moves. Read more

Diana Fairbanks Leaving WIVB

fairbanks wivbWIVB anchor Diana Fairbanks is leaving the Buffalo CBS affiliate to follow her husband to Michigan.

Alan Pergament of The Buffalo News first reported WIVB news director Joe Schlaerth told staffers about the move.

GM Rene LaSpina said Fairbanks wasn’t leaving for another station but to follow her husband who got a job in Traverse City, MI. Fairbanks was an anchor and reporter at WPBN in Traverse City before coming to Buffalo.

Fairbanks started at WIVB in January 2012 and has also worked at KRTV in Great Falls, MT.

LIN Media Names New GM for Buffalo’s WIVB

LIN Media has announced the naming of René LaSpina as president and general manager of its Buffalo, NY, CBS affiliate WIVB and CW affiliate WNLO.

“I am excited about joining one of the most respected and forward-thinking multimedia companies in the country that has a long history of investing in its products people and communities,” said LaSpina in a statement. “I am very fond of Buffalo, having lived in New York state for five years, and I am eager to work with the talented staff and management at WIVB-TV and WNLO-TV and achieve new levels of success.”

LaSpina takes over for Chris Musial who retired recently. She last worked as vice president and general manager for Nexstar’s Memphis and Jackson, TN, stations WPTY (now WATN), WLMT and WJKT. She has also managed stations in Albany, NY, Minneapolis, MN and Wilkes-Barre, PA.