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Posts Tagged ‘WPBF’

GM Paul Sands to Retire From WPTZ-WNNE; WPBF News Director Tapped as Replacement

Paul Sands, president and general manager of Hearst Television’s WPTZ-WNNE in Plattsburgh-Burlington, has announced his retirement.

Sands will be succeeded by Kyle Grimes, who is currently the news director at another Hearst station, WPBF in Palm beach. The move is return to WPTZ-WNNE for Grimes, who was news director at the stations from 2005-08.

In a statement announcing the moves, Hearst president and CEO David Barrett said the management transition “takes on special significance, with Kyle Grimes succeeding his one-time mentor Paul Sands at the helm of our stations.”

Sands will stay on for the next few months during the transitional period, according to the statement. Read more

Meteorologist Leslie Hudson Returning to Florida TV

Leslie Hudson, a former meteorologist at Orlando NBC-affiliate WESH, is returning to Florida television on a freelance basis at rival station WOFL, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“It’s very part time, but I am very excited,” she wrote. “Can’t wait to track the radar again! Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes, they worked!”

Hudson worked at WPBF in West Palm Beach and WSVN in Miami before joining Orlando’s Central Florida News 13 in 1998. She joined WESH in 2001, spending six years at the station. Most recently, she has worked as the weekend meteorologist for a local radio in Orlando.

Hudson will handle the weekend forecasts for WOFL beginning in December.

Meredith McDonough Joins WESH in Orlando

Meredith McDonough has joined WESH, the NBC-affiliate in Orlando, as a reporter and weekend evening anchor, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Since 2007, McDonough has been a reporter and weekend morning anchor at WPBF, the ABC-affiliate in West Palm Beach. Before joining WPBF, she was a weekend anchor and meteorologist at WATM-WWCP in Johnstown, PA.

McDonough is a permanent replacement to Craig Lucie, who left WESH for Atlanta’s WSB in July. Her first day is today.

WPBF Captures Mother’s First Phone Call with Missing Daughter Connected to Philadelphia Dungeon

WPBF cameras were rolling when the mother of a missing West Palm Beach teenager spoke to her daughter on the phone for the first time since the 15-year-old disappeared three months ago.

Benita Rodriguez was found in Philadelphia this week in connection with the rescue of four mentally handicapped adults from a basement dungeon. She was apparently dating the son of one of the accused captors, who had lived in the West Palm Beach area before moving to Philadelphia.

“I can breathe,” Benita’s mother Juana said following the phone call. “I can breathe now because she’s doing good. I can breathe. She’s okay.” Read more

Tampa Bay’s WTSP Adds Meteorologist Kate Wentzel to Revamped Weather Team

After a string of defections, WTSP has rounded out its revamped weather team with the addition of meteorologist Kate Wentzel this week.  Wentzel comes to WTSP after working as a weekend weathercaster for West Palm Beach ABC-affiliate WPBF–a post that she departed in April.

“Kate is going to be another great addition to the team,” WTSP news director Peter Roghaar said, in announcing the move.  “She brings almost ten years of experience forecasting Florida weather and is hurricane-tested.”

Wentzel, who is set to begin on September 26th, is the third meteorologist to join WTSP in the past two months.  The CBS-affiliate recently named Orlando veteran Jim Van Fleet chief meteorologist and added Mark Collins, a native of St. Petersburg. Read more

West Palm Beach Stations Gear Up for Hurricane Irene With Smartphone Apps

This year’s hurricane season has officially begun: Hurricane Irene, which was upgraded from a tropical storm overnight, is projected to hit southern Florida on Thursday and make its way up the east coast. Three stations in West Palm Beach — which is directly in Irene’s projected path — are using smartphone applications to help deliver southern Florida residents up-to-date information.

WPBF, WPEC and WPTV are all using slightly different versions of the smartphone technology to keep viewers informed. WPBF, the market ABC affiliate, has a hurricane tracker app (pictured) that follows the standard  — and increasingly popular — model for local hurricane apps: it features interactive maps, information about evacuation zones and the Twitter feeds of WPBF meteorologists.

WPTV has a slightly different forum: the NBC affiliate is using their standard weather app, which is always active and features updates on daily weather without being restricted to hurricanes, to deliver hurricane-related updates.

CBS affiliate WPEC is offering weather updates on their standard station app, which is available across every smartphone platform and delivers daily news on weather and traffic, as well as breaking headlines.

Lester Holt’s Son Set to Join NBC O&O

Stefan Holt, the son of NBC’s Lester Holt, is returning to the city where he grew up and joining Chicago’s WMAQ, an NBC O&O.

The junior Holt has been a reporter-anchor for WPBF in West Palm Beach, FL since 2009. He is set to join WMAQ as a reporter and weekend morning anchor beginning in June.

“We are happy to bring Stefan home,” Frank Whittaker, WMAQ’s station manager and vice president, said in announcing the move. “He spent most of his childhood growing up in Lincoln Park.”

Lester Holt worked in Chicago for 14 years as an anchor for CBS O&O WBBM in the 80s and 90s.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rosenthal points out that Stefan is joining other WMAQ staffers with Chicago broadcasting lineage, including Anthony Ponce (the son of Phil Ponce), Lauren Jiggetts (the daughter of Dan Jiggetts), and Christian Farr (the son-in-law of WGN’s Robert Jordan). Read more

Longtime WPTV Anchor Laurel Sauer Returns to Air with Rival Station WPBF

Laurel Sauer, who was a fixture on South Florida TVs for 28 years before being let go by West Palm Beach’s WPTV in 2009, is returning to TV.

Sauer has joined WPBF, WPTV’s crosstown rival, where she is providing special reports for the February sweeps period. Sauer, 55, did a similar run with the ABC-affiliate during the November sweeps.

“It’s been fun,” Sauer told The Palm Beach Post in a recent interview. “I get my hands back in, certainly show my face back on TV.”

It’s certainly a familiar face for West Palm Beach viewers. Along with Jim Sackett, Sauer co-anchored WPTV’s top-rated newscast for decades before being unceremoniously let go.

The abrupt exit from WPTV still rankles Sauer. Read more

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