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Posts Tagged ‘WPMI’

Mobile’s WALA Getting New Set, HD Upgrade

Mobile Fox-affiliate WALA will start producing newscasts from a new studio in high definition this Spring.

WALA’s newscasts have been broadcast from a temporary set (pictured) for the past several weeks while the new set is under construction, according to the station’s Facebook page.

“We’re building a brand new set at the moment,” WALA reporter Andrew Perez wrote. “We are temporarily using another set in the very back of our studio … should only be a few more weeks before we unveil the brand new set and Fox10 News in HD.”

WALA will be the third station in the market, after WEAR and WKRG, to produce HD newscasts. WPMI also has plans to upgrade to HD this Spring.

[h/t Newscast Studio]

WPMI GM Bob Dunn Dies Suddenly

WPMI vice president and general manager Bob Dunn, who joined the Mobile NBC-affiliate last spring, died suddenly late Tuesday afternoon.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened with Bob’s passing,” Michael DiPasquale, vice president of operations for Newport Television, which owns WPMI, said in a statement.  “Bob was a valuable member of the Newport Television family but more importantly he was a wonderful person, an absolute gentleman and a great family man.”

A native of Alabama, Dunn worked as a sales executive for Clear Channel, and later Newport Television, before joining WPMI in 2011.

The cause of death has not been released and WPMI has yet to report on Dunn’s passing.

Former WPMI Anchor Explains the ‘Crichton Leprechaun’ YouTube Sensation

For most people, St. Patrick’s Day means corned beef, green clothing, and plenty of Guinness. For former WPMI anchor Scott Walker, it means that a wildly popular YouTube video featuring him is passed around.

In 2006, Walker anchored a newscast that featured a story about a leprechaun sighting in the Crichton area of Mobile, AL. Video of the broadcast was uploaded to YouTube and it became a proto-”Bed Intruder” sensation, racking up tens of millions of views (video above).

Currently with New Orleans’ WDSU, Walker is now opening up about the experience and explaining the story behind the video that has inspired novelty t-shirts, various YouTube remixes, a Wikipedia entry, and even a “South Park” sketch. Read more

Shea Grandquest, Mastermind Behind Gang Rape Billboard, Exits VP-GM Post at WPMI

The Shea Grandquest era at WPMI has ended.

Grandquest, who has been the NBC-affiliate’s vice president and general manager since 2008, was let go this week.  Multiple employees confirmed to Mobile’s Lagniappe Magazine that Grandquest had been shown the door.

During his time atop WPMI, Grandquest focused on new ways for the station to connect with viewers, especially through social media. His drive for new media innovation backfired in 2009 when a digital billboard displaying live updates from the station’s Twitter feed embarrassingly displayed the tweet “3 Accused of Gang Rape in Monroeville” alongside an image of anchors Greg Peterson and Kym Thurman, and chief meteorologist Derek Beasley.

A photo of the billboard, taken by an observant driver, made the internet rounds and popular social media blog Mashable labeled it an “Epic Fail.” Read more

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