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Posts Tagged ‘WSLS’

Anchor Jay Warren Signing Off From WSLS

Jay Warren is leaving WSLS to “pursue other career opportunities,” the Roanoke NBC affiliate announced Monday. His last day will be April 19.

Warren began his WSLS career in 1998 as a reporter. Since 2008, he has anchored the station’s evening newscasts. He is also the senior political reporter at WSLS. He has covered every congressional, presidential and statewide election for WSLS since 1998.

“He has been a great mentor to reporters, and a great leader to those who have been in the television industry for many years,” the station said in a statement.

Political Ad Spending Up In Roanoke-Lynchburg

The Roanoke Times looks at political ad spending in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market, where political advertisers have allocated or spent $6.5 million on the four local stations there:

For proper context, consider this: In 2008, which was a record year for campaign spending in this market according to information provided by the stations, political advertising totaled nearly $5.6 million.

Welcome to the swing-state spending spree. “Virginia is white-hot,” said Leesa Wilcher, general manager of WSLS.

And few places have sizzled like the Roanoke-Lynchburg market, which has been ranked in MSNBC’s top 10 “hottest advertising markets” for three months.  Read more

Media General Reorganizes TV Stations Into Two Regional Units

After selling its newspaper assets, Media General has announced a corporate restructuring that elevates James Conschafter and John Cottingham to key leadership roles for the company’s television stations.

The company’s current structure of five geographic regions will be replaced by two geographic regions for its 18 television stations. Conschafter and Cottingham, who have both been named corporate vice presidents, will each oversee one region.

“With our June 25 sale of newspapers, Media General is focusing all of its resources on its broadcast television group,” Media General president and CEO Marshall Morton said in a statement. “We are delighted that our two most experienced broadcast executives will lead our television operations.” Read more

Samara Sodos Leaving WFLA: ‘I Was Looking for a Career That Felt a Little More Stable’

Reporter Samara Sodos is leaving WFLA after 12 years at the Tampa NBC-affiliate to join the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office as a public information officer.

“I was looking for a career that felt a little more stable,” Sodos told Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times. “I feel like all the skills I learned in this job will help me there.”

Sodos joined the station in 2000 from WSLS in Roanoke, where she was a reporter, anchor and producer. She began her career as an associate producer for WTMJ in Milawaukee. Her last day at WFLA will be September 7. Read more

Bob Grebe Leaves WDBJ to Anchor at Rival WFXR

Bob Grebe, a morning reporter for WDBJ in Roanoke, is leaving the station to join crosstown rival WFXR.

Grebe will anchor the morning newscast on Fox-affiliate WFXR , the Roanoke Times reports. The new show, which will be produced in conjunction with the news department at NBC-affiliate WSLS, will launch March 12.

“A few years ago I set goals of anchoring a morning newscast and staying in Roanoke,” Grebe wrote on Facebook. “With this new opportunity I was able to achieve both.”

Roanoke Stations Go Live with Breaking Coverage of Virginia Tech Shooting

Following a deadly shooting on the Virginia Tech campus that sparked memories of the massacre there in 2007, all of the news stations in Roanoke went live on Thursday afternoon.

As police continue to hunt down a gunman who killed two people, WDBJ, WSET, and WSLS have preempted their regularly scheduled programming to provide ongoing breaking news coverage.  Fox-affiliate WFXR has been carrying coverage from its sister station, WSLS. Read more

WSLS Will Replace Social-Media Driven Newscast with More Traditional Format

WSLS, the NBC affiliate in Roanoke, will replace their 7 p.m. social-media driven newscast with a more traditional broadcast this fall. Meagan Farley (pictured), who joined the station to anchor the broadcast when it was launched in 2009, will be replaced as the anchor and has left the station, according to The Roanoke Times.

“We listened to what the viewers really want,” news director Melissa Preas told The Roanoke Times. “And traditional news is what they want.”

The 7 p.m. newscast was launched two years ago as a way to engage viewers with the WSLS news via Twitter, Facebook and live-chat discussions. WSLS described the broadcast as “a new way to see news.”

Local stations are still figuring out how and where to fit social media into their reporting and broadcasting techniques. Phoenix’s KTVK recently launched a similar social-media driven newscast, while other stations — like WESH in Orlando and WDSU in New Orleans — have developed apps for viewers to use on their smartphones.

Roanoke Stations Cover Virginia Tech Incident

At just 40 miles away from Blacksburg, VA, Roanoke is the closest market to Virginia Tech University, the site of a 2007 massacre that left 33 dead. This morning, Roanoke stations were called to action again as Virginia Tech was put on lockdown after a group of children reported seeing a possible gunman on campus.

CBS affiliate WDBJ was the first station to report the news, breaking in at 9:56 a.m. with a special report anchored by Kimberly McBroom. ABC affiliate WSET was next at 9:57 a.m. with a report anchored by reporter Shelly Basinger (Noreen Turyn took over for subsequent updates.) Fox affiliate WFXR and NBC affiliate WSLS, who have a content-sharing agreement in Roanoke, reported the news on a simultaneous newscast anchored by WSLS reporter Erin Barnett at 10:56 a.m.

Of the four stations, WDBJ was the only station to take Virginia Tech’s 11 a.m. press conference live. Reporter Holly Pietrzak contribued reporting from Virginia Tech’s campus after the press conference concluded. WSET, which airs “The View” at 11 a.m., updated viewers on the content of the press conference in commercial breaks.

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