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Posts Tagged ‘WLBT’

Bert Case Reportedly Leaving WLBT Just Short of 40 Year Anniversary

bert_case_croppedBert Case, longtime reporter and anchor for Jackson, MS, NBC affiliate WLBT, is leaving the station just months shy of his 40th anniversary, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

The Clarion-Ledger said Case has been asked to retire on January 31.

But the station’s GM disagreed. “It’s his choice,” WLBT GM Dan Modisett, told the paper which also wrote “State Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said the decision seems misguided.”

“Bert is an institution in this state,” said Horhn. “He is a much beloved newscaster who has been so much a part of the success of WLBT. I can’t imagine the station without his voice.”

Case started working in Mississippi in 1965 as news director and anchor for WJTV and WAPT in Jackson. He started at WLBT in May 1974. He has worked as news director twice between 1981 and 1986. He has been an anchor and reporter since 1986.

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C.J. LeMaster Joins WLBT From WTVA

cj lemasterAfter five years in Tupelo, WTVA weekend anchor C.J. LeMaster is set to join WLBT in Jackson, Miss.

“In broadcast journalism, it’s a rarity to be able to start in your hometown, but I’m thankful for that, with people I look up to. What I’ve learned here will help me invaluably later in life, and I’m incredibly thankful for that as well,” LeMaster wrote on Facebook.

LeMaster will be the weekend anchor at WLBT, the NBC affiliate in Jackson.

Sportscaster Stephen Gunter Joins WSFA

Stephen Gunter has joined WSFA, the NBC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., as a weekend sports anchor and reporter.

Gunter, an Alabama native, joins WSFA from WLBT in Jackson, where he has worked as weekend sports anchor since 2010. He made his debut on WSFA Thursday.

Gunter replaces Derek Steyer, who left WSFA after 14 years to join WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio.

In His Last CBS Report, Randall Pinkston Looks Back at WLBT Broadcasting Milestone

For CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston‘s last “Evening News” report, he looked back at a milestone for Jackson NBC affiliate WLBT, the station where he started his television career (video above).

Today is the 50th anniversary of Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers‘ historical speech on WLBT. In 1963, it was unheard of for a black man to appear on television in the segregated south — until Evers was granted time to speak on WLBT. He was assassinated less than a month later.

The request for equal air time became a long legal battle that resulted in the FCC revoking WLBT’s license and awarding it to new owners who shared Evers’ vision. Pinkston was hired as anchor of the 10 p.m. newscast in 1971. Read more

Former WLBT Meteorologist Eric Law Indicted on Child Sex Charges

Former WLBT meteorologist Eric Law was indicted Wednesday on child sex charges. He is accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year old girl, according to the Jackson NBC affiliate.

Law was arrested in March and charged with two counts of sexual battery and two counts of gratification of lust. At the time of his arrest, WLBT suspended Law indefinitely; in newscasts reporting on his indictment Wednesday, the station referred to him as a “former” meteorologist.

Law’s trial has been set for July 15.

Facebook Messages Reveal Sexual Contact Between WLBT’s Eric Law and Underage Girl

Facebook messages revealed the sexual contact between WLBT meteorologist Eric Law and 15-year-old girl, according to his arrest report. Law was arrested last week and charged with two counts of sexual battery and two counts of gratification of lust. The Clarion-Ledger has details from the report:

“(Redacted) stated she and Eric would go to the ‘law and order’ room (redacted) and this is when they would engage in sexual behavior,” the report says.

Rankin County investigator Sheila Tucker advised Madison police that she viewed “many Facebook messages” that had been turned over to the Rankin sheriff’s office showing messages about sexual contact between Law and the juvenile, according to the report.

Tucker interviewed the girl who said all incidents took place when she spent the night at Law’s house, the report said.

Law has been suspended from the NBC affiliate in Jackson, Miss.”until further notice,” according to the station.

Court Allows TV anchor to Keep MLK Papers

A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling allowing WLBT anchor Howard Ballou to hold on to documents and other material tied to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The lawsuit, filed by MLK’s estate in September 2011, said Ballou’s mother, Maude (pictured left), kept items pertaining to King. Maude Ballou worked for King from 1955 to 1960 and said King gave her the items.

U.S. District Court Judge Tom Lee dismissed the lawsuit in March 2012 saying there was nothing to contradict Ballou’s assertion she was given the material. Lee’s decision was upheld by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday.

WLBT, the NBC affiliate for Jackson, MS, has the back story to the suit on its website.  Click here to view.

[abcnews.com]

Meteorologist Eric Law Arrested on Child Sex Charges, Suspended From WLBT

Eric Law, a meteorologist at WLBT in Jackson, Miss., has been suspended from the NBC affiliate after he was arrested and accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Law, who has been a meteorologist at WLBT since 2004, is charged with two counts of sexual battery and two counts gratification of lust, according to a statement on the station’s website. Law is accused of having inappropriate contact with a girl under 16.

“Eric Law has been suspended until further notice,” WLBT news director Wilson Stribling said in a statement. Law’s bio has been removed from the station’s website.

A judge set bail at $50,000 for each count for a total of $200,000.

After 23 Years as News Director, Dennis Smith Retires from WLBT

Dennis Smith, news director for Jackson, MS, NBC affiliate WLBT is retiring at the end of February.

“I have been truly fortunate to have worked for such top stations like WLBT and WWL,” Smith told TVSpy. “45 years in the business and over 23 years as ND here have been great along with being a retired Colonel in the Mississippi Army National Guard which has also been great a experience.”  Smith added, “It’s been a great ride. I have also been blessed to have such a great staff and a first rate Assistant News Director in Wilson Stribling.”

Smith was named news director at WLBT in 1989. He’s also worked for KATC in Lafayette, LA, WWL in New Orleans and WJTV in Jackson, MS. Read more

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against WLBT Anchor Howard Ballou

A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed by the estate of Martin Luther King Jr. against Howard Ballou, an anchor at WLBT in Jackson.

The lawsuit claimed Ballou has historical materials, including photographs, transcripts and handwritten letters, that rightfully belong to the King estate. Ballou’s mother, Maude, was a personal secretary for King from 1955-60, and Ballou argued in court that the archival materials were gifts from King and rightfully belonged to his family.

U.S. District Judge Tom Lee dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled, although the King estate can appeal the ruling, according to the Associated Press. The attorney that represented the estate, Bob Owens, said he is “certain that the estate is going to appeal.”

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