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Posts Tagged ‘WZZM’

WZZM Loses One, Adds Two to Sports Department

ash_spence_mendGrand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM has announced the addition of a sports director and a sport reporter.

MLive also reports, anchor Brent Ashcroft (picture center) is stepping away from the sports desk.

The station said Jamal Spencer (pictured right) will start one week from Monday as sports director. Spencer comes to WZZM from KVLY in Fargo, N.D. He has also worked at FOX Sports Detroit.

Adriana Mendez (pictured left) will come on board November 24 as a sports reporter/multimedia journalist. She comes to the station from KWKT in Waco, Texas.

“Our viewers will quickly see the passion and enthusiasm Jamal and Adriana have for local sports,” Taz Painter, WZZM news director, said in a statement. “They both want to focus on finding and telling the uniquely West Michigan stories of the athletes, coaches, fans, and sports programs in our area.”

The station said Ashcroft will stay at WZZM and report “in-depth, powerful” stories. Read more

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Grand Rapids Station Tops in Nation for Airing Political Ads

wzzm_304Viewers of Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM had a hard time escaping those pesky political ads this election season.

According to MLive, in the week before the election, WZZM aired 1,820 ads, the most of any station in the country. The report says the high number may not be a fluke, the station may make itself attractive to political ad buyers.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network observed the state’s top 150 political action committees raised $60.1 million since Jan. 1, 2013, through the end of October 2014 — a 73 percent increase compared to the previous election cycle.

Founder Rich Robinson and his organization now are busy crunching final ad spending numbers from across the state, but he said it’s likely WZZM had relatively inexpensive ad rates to attract a greater number of advertisers.

“There was a lot of money chasing a finite inventory of ad time,” Robinson wrote in an email. “Maybe its programming lineup had particular appeal.

“Also, it has chosen not to place ad contracts of ‘issue’ ads about state candidates in its public file. That probably makes it somewhat more attractive to entities that don’t want to leave a trail of their activity.”

Former Producer Returns to WZZM as Weekend AM Anchor

terhaar wzzmMeredith TerHaar has returned to WZZM as weekend morning anchor and MMJ.

TerHaar started at the Grand Rapids, Mich. ABC affiliate as an intern in 2003 and worked her way up to producer of the noon show. In 2009, she left for WJHG in Panama City, Fla. to work as a multimedia journalist and anchor. She was recently named assistant news director there.

“Meredith’s love for West Michigan is contagious and her excitement about anchoring and telling stories at her home station is clear,” WZZM news director, Taz Painter said in a statement. “I know our viewers will enjoy welcoming her into their homes as much as the WZZM 13 team will enjoy welcoming her back.”

The station said TerHaar replaces longtime anchor Jennifer Pascua, who moved to the 5:00 p.m. show.

WZZM to Launch 5:00 p.m. Newscast

WZZM_2009_Logo (1)Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM has announced it is launching a 5:00 p.m newscast on September 8.

Nick LaFave and Juliet Dragos will anchor the 30-minute show.

In a statement, Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said, “We’re very excited to be able to offer this important local newscast at 5 p.m. to West Michigan news consumers.” Read more

WZZM Moves Van Ameyde Off Anchor Desk, Names Replacement

two wzzm anchorsGannett owned ABC affiliate WZZM has announced it’s moving Lee Van Ameyde (pictured right) off the anchor desk and into the role of managing editor of its Watchdog Investigative Team.

“No one knows West Michigan like Lee does,” WZZM news director Taz Painter said in a statement. “Our Watchdog team couldn’t be in better hands.”

The station also named Nick LaFave (left) as Van Ameyde’s replacement on the weekday evening newscasts. He will join Juliet Dragos starting in early September. Read more

WZZM’s Dan Harland Moving from Sports to News

harland wzzmGrand Rapids, MI, ABC affiliate WZZM has announced sports anchor Dan Harland will be the new morning anchor.

Harland will join Lauren Stanton and meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer on August 7.

“We expect Dan will go after the news of the day with the same passion he has for sports stories,” Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said in a statement.

Harland started his carer at WZZM in 2003 as a sports anchor after graduating from Southern Illinois University.

WZZM Expands Noon News

WZZM_2009_LogoGrand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM is adding thirty minutes to its weekday Noon show.

“We are thrilled about expanding this extremely popular newscast,” Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said in a statement. “Our viewers will now have the opportunity to enjoy more of their favorite local news and weather during their lunch hour.”

Lauren Stanton and meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer will anchor the news which will run until 1:00 p.m. beginning Tuesday, May 27.

WBIR Gave Taz Painter a Goodbye to Remember Before He Left for WZZM

Painter goodbye WBIRTaz Painter started work at his new job as news director of Gannett owned Grand Rapids, MI, ABC affiliate WZZM today.

Last week, his old station, Gannett owned WBIR in Knoxville, said goodbye with a list of what Painter would find in Grand Rapids, videotaped tributes from colleagues, and an appearance by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who brought a bag of Chuy’s Mexican Food and a proclamation declaring April 9 “Taz Painter Appreciation Day.”

“And I understand what this qualifies you for, if you pull out of town and you’re speeding,” said Burchett while handing Painter the proclamation. “If you show that to the sheriff’s deputies that they just put the taser on stun.”

Watch the video after the jump. Read more

WZZM Names Taz Painter News Director

taz painter smallTaz Painter has been named news director at WZZM, the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich. Painter begins in his new role on April 14.

It is a move within Gannett for Painter, who has been managing editor at WBIR, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville, since 2007. He previously worked at KOAT in Albuquerque and WYFF in Greenville, S.C.

“Taz has a passion for creative storytelling, with an emphasis on watchdog and advocacy journalism, on all multimedia platforms. He brings a wealth of experience from his years at the top-rated station in Knoxville,” WZZM president and general manager Janet Mason said in a statement.

Painter replaces Stanton Tang, who is leaving WZZM to be closer to his family.

News Director Stanton Tang Leaving WZZM

wzzm logoStanton Tang is stepping down from his post as news director of WZZM in Grand Rapids, Mich., to be closer to his family out West, reports.

WZZM president and general manager Janet Mason told that Tang will stay with the station for the next few months. “We’ve agreed on a timeline that gives him time to finalize his plans and the station time to find our next news director,” Mason said.

Tang has been the ABC affiliate’s news director since 2009. He joined WZZM as an executive producer in 2005. Prior to that, he worked at KLAS in Las Vegas, KCRA in Sacramento and KPNX in Phoenix.