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Posts Tagged ‘WTMJ’

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.

WTMJ Expands Morning Newscast

wtmj logoMilwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ is expanding its weekday morning newscast by 30 minutes. Beginning January 20, “Live at Daybreak” will air from 4:30 to 7 a.m.

“People’s morning routines are changing. As more of our viewers are getting up earlier, we want to be right there with them,” WTMJ general manager Steve Wexler said in a statement.

Susan Kim and Vince Vitrano anchor the morning newscast with meteorologist Scott Steele and traffic reporter Caitlin Morrall.

Duane Pohlman Joins WCMH in Columbus

duane pohlmanDuane Pohlman will join WCMH, the NBC affiliate in Columbus, TVNewsCheck reports. Pohlman comes from WLKY in Kentucky, where he has been an investigative reporter since 2011.

At WCMH, Pohlman will be the lead investigative reporter and co-anchor of the 5:30 p.m. newscast. He begins in Columbus on February 3, 2014.

Before joining WLKY, Pohlman worked at WEWS in Cleveland, KING in Seattle, WTMJ in Milwaukee and WRAL in Raleigh-Durham.

Court Rules WTMJ Did Not Violate Bus Driver’s Privacy With On-Camera Confrontation

WTMJ_BusDriver_Koebel

A state appeals court has ruled that WTMJ, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, did not violate a school bus driver’s privacy when investigative reporter Robert Koebel confronted her on-camera about a past prostitution conviction.

The report, which aired in April of last year, was an investigative report about about Milwaukee school bus drivers who had criminal records. The station obtained the information through an open-records request and then used police reports to identify people who had been convicted of a crime. After the report aired, the bus driver, Melissa Dumas, was fired. She sued Koebel and WTMJ’s parent company, Journal Communications, alleging invasion of privacy.

According to the Associated Press, a lower court ruled that the bus driver’s conviction was public record and WTMJ’s report was protected under the first amendment. The appeals court upheld the decision, saying that the information was “undoubtedly embarrassing” but also a “matter of public concern.”

Appeals Court Backs Former Milwaukee Reporter in Defamation Lawsuit

wtmj_304Former WTMJ reporter John Mercure, along with WTMJ and its parent company Journal Broadcasting have been cleared of defamation by a Wisconsin appeals court.

The suit sprung from Mercure’s investigation into a local wedding videographer named Angela Terry who was accused of not fulfilling her promise of delivering completed videos to the couples who paid for her service within the promised 1o-12 weeks.

The investigation from the Milwaukee NBC affiliate reporter included a scuffle between the reporter and the defendant caught on camera, claims by Mercure that the defendant was “facing criminal charges” and Mercure calling Terry a “scammer” and a “cheat.”

The Wisconsin Bar Association has the court’s ruling:

In Terry v. Mercure et al., 2012AP1682 (Oct. 15, 2013), a three-judge panel for the District I Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that that all alleged defamatory statements in question were either opinions are substantially true.

Defamation requires a false statement to be communicated in speech, conduct, or writing to a third-person, and the communication must harm the subject’s reputation. Read more

WTMJ Managing Editor Jim Cullen Dies

jim cullen_304x200Jim Cullen, the managing editor of Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ, died Wednesday of brain cancer.

Cullen was the station’s “colorful, lovable managing editor” for 15 years, according to WTMJ. He was diagnosed two years ago with brain cancer. His first granchild was born last month. “We miss you Jimmy. We know you’re in a better place, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” anchor Mike Jacobs said in an on-air tribute Wednesday.

Watch WTMJ’s report after the jump. Read more

Samara Sodos Returns to WTMJ

sodos_twitter_wtmjSamara Sodos has joined Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ as noon co-anchor and morning show reporter.

Sodos started her career at WTMJ as an associate producer. In June 2012, she left her job as a reporter for Tampa’s WFLA to work as the public information officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports at Sodos’ last press conference before taking the job as as spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told reporters, “Now she’s going to be an obstacle to all of you doing your jobs. She’s going to be on this side of the podium giving you all hell, denying your freedom of information requests and saying she has no comment whatsoever, (and) that David Gee is the greatest sheriff in the history. Sam, we love ya, it’s been a long time.”

WTMJ Apologizes For Report Alleging Police Misconduct

wtmj_surveillance_304Five months after a sensationalized promo for a Sweeps story, Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ has apologized to a police officer featured in the promo.

WTMJ promoted an “explosive I-team investigation months in the making” by showing surveillance video of police officer Matthew Knight at an ATM with a man. The promo copy reads: “A Milwaukee police officer taking a man’s cash out of an ATM. Then walking off with that cash in hand. What’s really going on? The Milwaukee police department has some explaining to do.” (Video of the promo is after the jump.)

The police officer in the surveillance video was cleared of wrongdoing in March, two months before WTMJ aired the story. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Duane Dudek reports that during Tuesday’s 5 pm newscast, anchor Mike Jacobs read the following statement:

We strive for accuracy in our reporting. But despite our best efforts, when we do get a story wrong, we owe it to you to stand corrected. Earlier this year, our reporting and promotion of a story involving Matthew Knight, a Milwaukee police officer, left the wrong impression that Officer Knight was involved in inappropriate or wrongful behavior. He was not. Read more

After Settling Retrans Fight, WTMJ Not Channel Four Anymore

tmj_twcLast week WTMJ and Time Warner Cable settled a nearly two-month long battle over retransmission fees. While Time Warner Cable customers can watch NBC programming again, they can’t watch it on channel 4 anymore.

The Milwaukee station that markets itself as “Today’s TMJ4″ was moved two slots down to channel 2 on the standard definition tier but stayed at channel 1004 on HD. TWC added the “Game Show Network” to SD channel 4.

WTMJ executive vice president Steve Wexler told TVSpy, while the move may have initially confused TWC customers, “it’s clear viewers have made the adjustment, as we’ve seen audience levels bounce back quickly.”

So why the move? Mike Pedelty, spokesperson for Time Warner Cable told the Milwaukee Business Journal his company gets to decide where stations air since they own the space. Read more

Customers Sue Time Warner Over Loss of WTMJ

Last month’s decision by Time Warner Cable to drop WTMJ has prompted three of its customers to seek a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all TWC subscribers who no longer get the Milwaukee NBC affiliate.

Steven Delonge and Paul Scoptur of Wauwatosa, WI, and Stephen Raymonds of Menominee Falls are looking for unspecified damages for breach of contract and a days credit for each customer affected for every day service was interrupted more than four hours. The plaintiffs are represented by Paul Scoptur’s law firm Aiken & Scoptur.

“My contract is with Time Warner, that’s who I pay,” Scoptur told WTMJ. “They promise to give us Channel 4 and they made the decision to remove Channel 4.”

Time Warner pulled WTMJ on July 25 over a dispute with WTMJ’s parent company Journal Broadcast Group over retransmission fees.

According to both WTMJ and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a TWC spokesperson declined to comment. You can watch WTMJ’s report on the story by clicking here.

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