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Posts Tagged ‘WFTS’

WFTS Ousts News Director and Assistant News Director

WFTS-304Both the news director and assistant news director Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS have been let go.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports, GM Nick Nicholson told staff in an email that news director Bill McFarland and assistant news director Michele Murray “were no longer with the television station. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Sources tell TVSpy the firings come in the aftermath of last month’s story about WFTS reporter Cameron Polom finding a child who had been reported missing.

The day after ten-year-old Paul Fagan was reported missing by his parents, Polom was walking through the boy’s neighborhood and saw him standing near a fence. Polom promptly turned him over to deputies.

Sources tell TVSpy that McFarland and Murray were not happy with how Polom handled the child’s return and thought he should have milked it for more exposure for the Scripps-owned station. An internal review of the situation was launched leading to today’s dismissals. We’ve reached out to WFTS GM Nicholson and Polom for comment but have not heard back. We will update when we do.

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WFTS Reporter Finds Missing Boy


Paul Ezekiel Fagan was reported missing by his family Thursday evening.

According to WFTS, Cameron Polom, a reporter for the Tampa ABC affiliate, was walking through Fagan’s neighborhood early Friday morning when he saw the 10-year-old Tampa boy standing by a fence.

“I said, ‘Have you been missing?’ [Polom] said, ‘Come here, buddy, and I just picked him up and I said would you mind if I lift you up?’” Polom said. “And I just said come with me, I just held his hand and walked him over to you guys. It’s crazy.” he said.

Deputies walked the little boy up to the house, and when family saw him, they ran to the little boy and hugged him.

According to ABC News, Fagan said he left to get some time away from his little brother.

Nick Nicholson Named VP and General Manager at WFTS

NickNicholsonNick Nicholson is joining Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS as vice president and general manager.

Steve Wasserman, divisional general manager of Scripps Media and GM of WPTV, confirmed the move to TVSpy following an internal email he sent to WFTS staff this morning.

“Nick is a highly regarded media executive with an impressive track record of success in several competitive markets,” Wasserman writes. Nicholson spent 27 years with the Belo TV group, most recently as President/GM of KTVK/KASW in Phoenix. Before that, Nicholson ran WVEC in Norfolk, was GM of the Belo-owned Fox/UPN stations in Tucson, and VP of Sales at Belo flagship WFAA in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Gannett acquired Belo late last year.

Nicholson replaces Rich Pegram who was shown the door last month after 7 years as WFTS GM. Nicholson’s first day in Tampa is Monday.

Ashley Yore Joins WFTS as Reporter

Ashley Yore has joined Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS as an MMJ and reporter.

Before working at WFTS, Yore worked at WSYX-WTTE in Columbus for three years. WSYX wished her well on twitter.

Two Scripps Stations Premiere New Style of News Show

the now kmghE.W. Scripps says it’s “redefining the afternoon news” with a show called The NOW.

The show will debut on Denver ABC affiliate KMGH and Kansas City NBC affiliate KSHB starting today at 4:00 p.m.. The station group said it covers what’s trending on social media and “invites the audience to join the conversation across traditional and digital media platforms” and is not a newscast.

“I believe The NOW will set the pace for the type of programming that audiences on multiple platforms crave,” Brian Lawlor, SVP of Scripps television, said in a statement. “These audiences want to know what’s happening right now, give their own take on those events, and share their thoughts with their own social media networks.”

Denver’s version of The Now will be anchored by Lionel Bienvenu while the KSHB show will feature digital reporter Deb Tuff. Read more

Lindsay Logue Makes Her Tampa Debut

logue wftsWhen Lindsay Logue left Fort Myers NBC affiliate WBBH earlier this month, she told viewers it was to spend more time with her family.

Yesterday, she was introduced as the new morning traffic reporter on Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS.

Under the picture featured (Logue is second from right), she wrote on her facebook page, “So excited for my Tampa debut! I’m thrilled to be joining this amazing team at ABC Action News – WFTS/TV. #UpWithABC — with Dan ShafferDeiah Riley and Shay Ryan.”

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Today we look at the Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, market.

We see more diversity of stories here than other markets we’ve looked at.

FOX owned station WTVT takes the prize, with NBC affiliate WFLA a close second, for doing something completely different by leading with a local man put on trial for allegedly planning a terror attack and only covering two stories in the first five minutes.

KNTV Wins Three SPJ Sigma Delta Chi Awards

spj logoThe Society of Professional Journalists has announced the winners of this year’s Sigma Delta Chi Awards for exceptional professional journalism. Topping the list of local stations is KNTV, the NBC-owned station in San Francisco, which took home three awards.

KNTV won in the breaking news category for coverage of the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco airport and for feature reporting for a piece called “Bay Area Proud.” The station also won in the public service for television journalism category for a report called “The Gift of Time: Exposing a District Attorney’s Secret Perk for his Appointees.”

KWTX in Waco, WFTS in Tampa, WVUE in New Orleans, KBMT-KJAC in Beaumont, Texas, KUSA in Denver, KHQ in Spokane and WKBT in La Crosse, Wisc., won one award each. See the full list of winning reports after the jump. Read more

Bill Berra Leaving Journal Broadcast Group

bill berraBill Berra is stepping down as vice president of news for Journal Broadcast Group and WTMJ in Milwaukee next month, TVSpy has learned. Berra will stay with the NBC affiliate through the Sochi Olympics, which begin Thursday on NBC.

A station spokesperson tells TVSpy Berra’s last day will be March 7 and the search is underway for his replacement.

No word yet on what’s next for Berra, who joined WTMJ in 2005 from WFTS, the ABC affiliate in Tampa. He has also worked as news director for WSYX in Columbus, WKMG in Orlando, KSAZ in Phoenix, KTVI in St. Louis and WREG in Memphis. He began his local news career reporting for WTMJ’s radio station, Newsradio 620.

WTSP Drops Sharing Agreement with Rival Stations

wtsp_304WTSP has dropped its local news sharing agreement with two other Tampa stations ABC affiliate WFTS and FOX Owned station WTVT.

Initial reports were that the CBS affiliate had laid off four staffers in the move, but according to Florida News Center, WTSP general manager Elliott Wiser explained there were three photographers and one reporter who were working as part of the sharing agreement. The three photogs were encouraged to apply for the same positions at WTSP and Wiser said freelance reporter Dave Heller will still be used.

There’s no word whether the three photographers and Heller will still be used by the other two stations.

Wiser, who came to WTSP in June, also told FNC that the original sharing agreement had expired in 2012, but the three stations had continued to participate until this month because Wiser said it was “just not working” for the station.

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