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Criminal Charges Against Former WCAX Reporter Dropped After Apology

matt henson_304x200Former WCAX reporter Matt Henson had charges of prohibited acts and lewd and lascivious conduct dropped after he apologized to the alleged victim.

Henson was let go from the Burlington, VT, CBS affiliate after being accused of allegedly groping a woman at a bar in Lyndon.

Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren told the Burlington Free Press she dropped the charges after the apology.

“The complaining witness told us from the beginning that all she wanted from Henson was a sincere apology,” Warren said in the email.

Henson and the woman met April 9 in a conference room at Warren’s office. Henson apologized to the woman and she indicated to Warren she “was satisfied with his apology and wanted to move on with her life.”

Warren also said the woman supported the dismissal of the criminal case against Henson.

Henson issued a statement after the charges were dismissed saying he was “glad this year’s long nightmare is over and I can finally move on with my life.” He also thanked those who had supported him during the last year.

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Broadcasters Developing Contingency Plans in Case of an Aereo Supreme Court Victory

aereoAlthough Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia has said there is no plan B for the streaming television service in the event of a Supreme Court loss, the Wall Street Journal reports the broadcasters are working on backup plans of their own:

The most radical of the contingency plans is the recent suggestion from CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves that the company could offer its own Internet service if Aereo wins. Mr. Moonves hasn’t provided details, but a person familiar with the situation said CBS has the ability to launch a service that would stream its programming over the Web simultaneously with its television broadcasts.

CBS would charge a few dollars a month and show ads, the person said. Such a service would also likely offer on-demand programming. It could include Showtime, the CBS-owned premium cable channel, which would increase the subscription fee, the person said. CBS would use technology company Syncbak, in which it owns a minority stake, to power streaming of local TV stations’ signals over the Web, the person said.

Aereo will be the topic of a panel discussion at the TVNewser Show two weeks from today. BIA/Kelsey SVP Mark Fratrik, Internet attorney Tim Bukher and U.S. Law Week’s Tom Taylor will join us to debate the streaming service and break down the legal arguments for both sides. For tickets and more information, click here.

Lauren Victory Joins Hartford’s WTIC

lauren victory_304x200Lauren Victory is joining WTIC, Tribune’s Fox affiliate in Hartford-New Haven, as a general assignment reporter.

Victory moves to Hartford from WPTZ in Burlington, where she has been a video journalist and reporter since 2011. She has also worked at WICU in Chicago, WLNS in Lansing and WNEP in Scranton.

Victory, a Long Island native, has previously worked as a booker for ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She began her career at WABC-AM in New York City. [h/t TVNewsCheck]

Boston Stations Cover First Anniversary of Marathon Bombing

Boston stations had expanded local morning newscasts this morning to cover the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.

WBZ preempted “CBS This Morning” for special coverage of the anniversary, anchored by David Wade and Paula Ebben from a rooftop. “This morning, on this day of remembrance, we stand on a rooftop overlooking Boylston Street here in the city of Boston to reflect that our city was tested one year ago, the day that we proved to the world that we are indeed Boston Strong,” Wade said. The CBS-owned station had Sera Congi, Bill Shields and Beth Germano reporting from various locations around the city.

ABC affiliate WCVB also aired local programming in place of “Good Morning America.” Bianca de la Garza and Randy Price anchored the station’s coverage from Copley Square, just blocks away from the marathon finish line. Jim Lokay and Antoinette Antonio were live from the marathon’s starting line and Erika Tarantal and Cindy Fitzgibbon were live from Boylston Street.

Gene Lavanchy and Shannon Mulaire anchored on Fox-owned WFXT, with Catherine Parrotta reporting live from Copley Square.

NBC affiliate WHDH aired the “Today” show at its normal time, with Christa Delcamp and Kayna Whitworth anchoring cut-ins live from Copley Square.

Homeless Man Says His Uncle May Have Died in KNTV Fire

kntv fire_304A man who was one of several homeless squatters occupying the former KNTV headquarters says his uncle may have died in the fire that gutted the building, the CBS-owned station in San Francisco reports:

One homeless man, who gave his name as Ace, told KCBS he believed that his uncle perished in the blaze. He said over two-dozen people were living in the former television station. “We all had rooms; we build our own rooms. It just kept us all off the streets. It kept us all in there as family,” he said.

The man said he thinks his uncle died in the fire because his apartment was barricaded. Firefighters are continuing their investigation and searching for possible victims but at around 7 a.m., they were still dousing the occasional hotspots.

Brian Williams Accepts Invite to Speak at Hillwood High School on WSMV

In a live interview with Nashville NBC affiliate WSMV Monday, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams accepted an invitation from students at Hillwood High School to speak at their graduation next month.

Inspired by Williams’ commencement address at Elon University last year, the Hillwood High School students created a video inviting the NBC anchor to speak at their graduation. The station hosted a viewing party for students at its Nashville headquarters during Williams’ interview with Jeremy Finley and Jennifer Johnson.

“I wanted to come on and talk to you because their invitation deserved a proper answer, and I wanted to do the right thing,” Williams said. “I feel so apologetic, especially with the students sitting there, apologetic mostly because it’s taken me so long to say: we’re doing this. I’ll be there. It’s on.” Watch:

Pete Marquardt Named GM of WGBA-WACY

wgba logoPete Marquardt has been named general manager of WGBA and WACY, Journal Broadcast Group’s NBC and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Green Bay, TVNewsCheck reports. He begins April 28 and will report to Debbie Turner, Journal’s EVP of television.

Marquardt comes from WJFW in Wasau, Wis., where he has been general manager for the last three years. Before that, he worked as the station’s general sales manager.

He replaces Joe Poss, who was recently named vice president and general manager of WTMJ, Journal Broadcast Group’s NBC affiliate in Milwaukee.

Friendly Reminder: TVSpy Party Tonight

Last chance: the TVNewser, TVSpy and Lost Remote Party is tonight! Come join the sites’ editors and your fellow media professionals for a few drinks at Bubble Lounge in Tribeca at 6:30 p.m. Our parties are a great way to talk shop with colleagues across the industry and network with your fellow television news employees.

If you come to the party, you’ll also get a 20% discount on tickets to the TVNewser Show, which will be held April 29 at the New Yorker Hotel. So RSVP here, and we’ll see you in a few hours.

TVNewser, TVSpy and Lost Remote Party • Tuesday, April 15, • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Bubble Lounge • 228 West Broadway

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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

WJCL Adds News at 5:00 and 5:30 PM

WJCL_LES ON SETSavannah ABC affiliate WJCL is expanding its evening news with a 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. newscast.

“After relaunching and rebranding ourselves last fall, we thought that this spring was a critical moment to expand our commitment to this community and provide our viewers another option for local news,” WJCL-WTGS president and GM Les Vann said in a statement.

The new show will be anchored by Kevin HolmesJenifer Andrews, chief meteorologist Jeff Kirk and sports anchor Frank Sulkowski.

This is the fourth news expansion for WJCL-WTGS this year. The station has already expanded its weekday morning show, added both a 6:00 p.m. news and a morning show on FOX affiliate WTGS during the weekend.

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