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Posts Tagged ‘WBMA’

RTDNA Announces Winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

murrows 2014The RTDNA has announced the winners of the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, recognizing the best radio, television and online news organizations around the world. This year, the organization awarded 661 regional awards in 14 categories.

For the large markets, five stations — KARE in Minneapolis, WXIA in Atlanta, WCVB in Boston, WBMA in Birmingham and KING in Seattle — won six Murrows each. WBIR in Knoxville, KTVB in Boise and WISC in Madison led the way for the small markets, also winning six awards each.

Regional winners are automatically entered into competition for the national Edward R. Murrow Awards, which will be judged in May. A full list of the winners by region can be found on the RTDNA website.

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Garry Kelly Promoted to VP at WBMA

wbma logoGarry Kelly has been promoted to vice president at WBMA, the the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Ala. In his new role, which is effective immediately, Kelly will remain the station’s news director.

Kelly has been news director of WBMA since 1996. During his tenure at the station, WBMA has won several awards, including one national and 22 regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five Southeastern Emmys and 108 Associated Press awards.

“Without Garry Kelly’s efforts over the past 18 years, ABC 33/40 would not be the successful station it is today,” WBMA president and general manager Mike Murphy said in a statement. “Garry is well-deserved of this recognition.”

Bill Shory Named News Director at WAVE

Bill Shory has been named news director at Louisville NBC affiliate WAVE, Rick Gevers & Associates reports.

Shory moves to Louisville from Knoxville, where he spent eight years as news director for NBC affiliate WBIR. He has most recently been the director of production for Jupiter Entertainment. Shory has also worked at WCCO in Minneaplis, WHNT in Huntsville, WCNC in Charlotte and WBMA in Birmingham.

He replaces Kathy Hostetter, who was named news director at WTHR in Indianapolis.

Allbritton Exploring Sale of Television Stations

Allbritton Communications Company, the parent company of Politico and several ABC affiliates around the country, is considering a sale of its television stations, Politico’s Dylan Byers reports. In a memo to Politico staffers, chairman and CEO Robert Allbritton said the  potential sale comes with the desire to “stay on the leading edge” of the rapidly changing media business:

As excited as I am about my future and the company’s, it is not an easy decision to contemplate a break from something that is such an important part of our history. I love the television business, and am deeply appreciative of the success I have had in it. I have treasured working with the media professionals at all of our stations, and in recent years, I have especially enjoyed watching the collaboration here in Washington between POLITICO and WJLA / NewsChannel 8. I have always respected the deep connections with communities that our stations have, and am always humbled by the responsibilities—to citizens, to our employees, and to the next generation—that come with ownership. Those responsibilities are what led me to consider a sale now. This industry is in the midst of rapid consolidation and there are some clear advantages that come with increased scale. I want to ensure that our stations are well-positioned to continue their extraordinary success and participate in all of the new prospects for broadcasting going forward.

Allbritton writes he will look to “invest in or launch media companies that follow the POLITICO model of dominating targeted coverage.” Read his full memo here.

Allbritton owns seven stations: WJLA in Washington, D.C.; WHTM in Harrisburg, Pa.; WBMA in Birmingham, Ala.; KATV in Little Rock, Ark.; KTUL in Tulsa; WSET in Roanoke, Va.; and WCIV in Charleston, S.C. The company also owns NewsChannel8, a 24-hour local cable channel in Washington, D.C.

Alabama ABC Station Pulls Sam Champion Marriage Story From Website

ABC 33/40 the ABC affiliate for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Anniston, AL, has pulled stories about ABC weatherman Sam Champion‘s engagement from its website and its facebook page, according to blogger Jim Romenesko.

Romenesko quotes a viewer who says,

“This is the link to the FB thread that was pulled. This is where the “Sam Champion Engaged!” story was on ABC 33/40’s website. On this Facebook thread, you can see the link to the “Sam Champion Engaged!” story worked at one point, and Facebook is still pulling the proper thumbnail for that story. But if you click the link, it goes to a ‘Page not found’ error page on the ABC 33/40 website.”

Champion announced his engagement to boyfriend Rubem Robierb last week and sat down with his Good Morning America co-anchors to talk about the engagement.  You can watch the video of the discussion after the jump.

Read more

Pam Huff Remembers Wendell Harris, Who Made Her the First Female Anchor in Alabama History

Pam Huff, along with James Spann, took time during a recent ABC 33/40 newscast to remember longtime Birmingham newsman Wendell Harris, who passed away Tuesday morning.

Harris hired Huff and Spann during his time as news director at Birmingham’s WVTM, giving them both the first big breaks of their careers. When Huff was 24, Harris decided to give up his spot on the WVTM anchor desk and made her the first female nightly news anchor in the state of Alabama. Read more

Former Birmingham Newscaster Wendell Harris Dies

Wendell Harris, a longtime Birmingham anchor and news director, died this morning after a long hospital stay, according to the Birmingham News. He was 78.

Harris was hired at the Birmingham NBC-affiliate, which was then known as WAPI, in 1960. In his 21 years at the station, he worked as a reporter, assignment editor, news anchor and news director. In 1981, Harris left Birmingham for Austin, where he became general manager of KTBC. After three years, he took over as vice president and news director of KDFW in Dallas. He retired from television in 1996, according to the Birmingham News.

WBMA meteorologist James Spann remembered Harris in a post on his blog this morning. Read more

‘World News’ Interviews James Spann About Tornado Warnings, But Doesn’t Acknowledge Previous Report

After publicly criticizing Diane Sawyer and ABC News for inaccurate reporting on the Monday edition of “World News,” WBMA chief meteorologist James Spann was featured on the program last night in a segment about the tornado warning system.

The segment included reporting on how residents were able to get to safety before the tornadoes — with Sawyer noting “it could have been far worse” — but did not include acknowledgement or clarification of the previous night’s report, which stated that residents had “no warning” of the tornado threat.

ABC reporter Steve Osunsami said Alabama residents knew what to do “because the warnings came early” (watch above). Read more

New Campaign Rips TV Meteorologists for Denying Climate Change

As the AMS holds its annual meeting this week, a group of conservationists has launched a campaign pressuring TV meteorologists “to report the facts about climate change.”

Forecast the Facts is backed by three non-profit organizations and its goal is to hold meteorologists accountable on climate change.

“Scientists have been predicting for years that human-induced climate change would lead to a future of increasingly dangerous extreme weather events,” the campaign states. “But when most Americans tune into their local weather report, they won’t hear a peep about climate change. Why? Because the majority of TV meteorologists don’t believe in it.” Read more

WBMA Meteorologist James Spann to Diane Sawyer: ‘Get a Clue’ on Tornado Reporting

James Spann, chief meteorologist at Birmingham ABC-affiliate WBMA, is criticizing Diane Sawyer for her report on the Alabama tornadoes on yesterday evening’s “World News.”

Spann took to his blog to criticize Sawyer’s claim the pre-dawn tornadoes “took the South by surprise last night, no warning” (watch above).

“NO WARNING? Get a clue,” Spann wrote. “This event was forecast days in advance, and the average lead times for the entire event were 20 to 30 minutes. That is plenty of time to get to a safe place.” Read more

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