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Chris Ariens

Chris joined Mediabistro in July 2007 as editor of TVNewser.com and executive producer of the blog network and was promoted to editorial director in June 2009. Before joining mediabistro, Chris spent seven years at MSNBC, as a producer, coordinating producer for the Olympics, and lastly as executive producer of daytime programs., Chris worked as a producer in local TV news in Green Bay (WLUK) and Tampa (WFTS). Email chris@mediabistro.com and follow @ChrisAriens on Twitter.

CBS Boss: ‘We Are Now at War with Time Warner Cable’

Both their corporate logos include the oculus, but CBS and Time Warner Cable are not seeing eye to eye this morning. In fact, after CBS-owned stations were pulled from TWC systems briefly overnight, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves said, “We are now at war” with the cable giant.

But after about 15 minutes, after lobbying by CBS, the stations were back on. In all, seven stations including WCBS and WLNY in New York, KCBS and KCAL in Los Angeles and KTVT and KTXA in Dallas/Ft. Worth, are affected.

The new deadline for a deal is Friday at 5pmET.

Time Warner Cable is also in a dogfight with Journal Broadcast group. Five Journal stations, including WTMJ in Milwaukee, WGBA and WACY in Green Bay, KMTV in Omaha, and KMIR and KPSE in Palm Springs have been off Time Warner Cable since last Thursday.

The president of the Wisconsin State Senate, Michael Ellis has sent a letter to, calling on Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt demanding the stations be put back.

Time Warner customers “are no longer receiving the product they are paying for through your service,” Ellis wrote to Britt.

Allen Schauffler Leaves KING

Allen Schauffler, a 20-year veteran of KING5 is leaving the NBC affiliate in Seattle and, according to Puget Sound Radio, is joining Al Jazeera America as a regional correspondent. Calls and an email to an Al Jazeera America spokesperson earlier today seeking confirmation have not been returned.

Schauffler, who types his scripts using his two index fingers (really, watch the video after the jump) signed off KING5 last night: “It’s been a blast. It’s been an absolute ball. We’ll just sign this baby off before I get all misty.”

On Friday, AJAM announced it had hired Antonio Mora to anchor a nightly current affairs talk show. Mora had spent the last several years as an anchor at CBS stations in Chicago and Miami.

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Rick Folbaum Leaves Fox News for WFOR

Rick Folbaum, who has been with Fox News nearly from the start, is leaving the network and has been named an anchor at WFOR the CBS-owned station in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.

Folbaum joined Fox News in 1996, left in 2006 to anchor at Fox-owned WNYW in New York, and returned to FNC in 2009 where he has been anchor of “America’s News Headquarters” on Saturdays.

A WFOR spokesperson tells TVSpy Folbaum will join the station in late August on a Monday-Friday schedule, but it’s not known which shows he’ll anchor. The station has seen two main anchors depart in the last six months: Shannon Hori left WFOR in May for WAVE in Louisville, and Antonio Mora departed in December. Last week, Mora was named a primetime anchor for the new Al Jazeera America.

Folbaum, a Syracuse University grad and father of five, will have his last day at Fox News Aug. 9.

Epic KTVU Fail: Anchor Reports Pilot Names Including ‘Sum Ting Wong’ and ‘Wi Tu Lo’

On today’s Noon newscast on KTVU, the station claimed it had “just learned the names of the 4 pilots on board” Asiana flight 214 which crashed last Saturday. But the station was given bad information that made it all the way into the newscast. If you read the names it becomes immediately clear this is a joke, which went unnoticed by the newsroom, producers and the anchor.

You’ll recall earlier this week, KTVU touted its coverage as being not only first, but “100% accurate.”

“Being first on air and on every platform in all aspects of our coverage was a great accomplishment, but being 100% accurate, effectively using our great sources and social media without putting a single piece of erroneous information on our air, is what we are most proud of as a newsroom,” said News Director Lee Rosenthal at the time. Watch:

About 15 minutes later the station corrected its mistake, but claimed an NTSB official had confirmed the names.

Earlier in the newscast we gave some names of pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash. These names were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning. We apologize for this error.

> More: Further apology from KTVU president & GM Tom Raponi: “We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites. Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again.”

>More: The NTSB has released a statement saying a summer intern “acted outside the scope of his authority” and mistakenly confirmed the fake names for KTVU Friday morning:

The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.

The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.

Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.

> More: An apology on the 6pm news: “We made several mistakes. First of all, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out.”

> More: The AAJA responds: “Those names were not only wrong, but so grossly offensive that it’s hard for us at the Asian American Journalists Association to fathom how those names made it on the broadcast.”

Collapsed Miami Deck is a 10-Minute Walk from WSVN

There’s a good reason WSVN was all over the collapse of a outdoor deck over Biscayne Bay last night, the station is a few blocks away from Shuckers Bar & Grill in North Bay Village, between Miami and Miami Beach.

The collapse “in our neck of the woods,” as described by anchor Craig Stevens, happened around 9:30pm as WSVN was putting together the 10pm news. The station first reported the story just after 10pm, returning several times throughout the 90-minute newscast.

Tom Tuckwell, a director for WSVN, was at the restaurant along with about 100 others watching Game 4 of the NBA finals with the hometown Miami Heat taking on the San Antonio Spurs. Tuckwell phoned in reporting that he had his back to the bay when he heard an enormous roar, which was the deck falling into the bay. When he turned around, he saw people disappearing into the water, later describing the injuries he saw.

WFOR (CBS) and WTVJ (NBC) did extensive reporting through their 11pm newscast. WPLG’s (ABC) late newscast didn’t begin until 11:50pm, after the game. The hour-long newscast led with coverage of the collapse.

Gannett Acquires Belo for $1.5B; Entity Will Own 43 Stations

Gannett is acquiring Belo Corp. for approximately $1.5 billion. With Gannett’s assumption of $715 million in existing Belo debt, the deal rounds out to being worth nearly $2.2 billion. The boards of both companies approved the acquisition last night.

Gannett will now become the nation’s fourth-largest owner of major network affiliates reaching nearly a third of all U.S. households and nearly doubling Gannett TV stations from 23 to 43, including stations that are part of shared services agreements. Belo stations include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW, stretching from Seattle to Charlotte including affiliates in the big four markets of Texas. When it’s all said and done, Gannett will become the #1 CBS affiliate group, the #4 ABC affiliate group, and will expand its already #1 NBC affiliate group position.

“We are thrilled to bring together two highly respected media companies with rich histories of award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership,” said Gannett CEO Gracia Martore. “We have been successfully transforming Gannett into a diversified multi-media company with broadcast, digital and publishing components across high-growth markets nationwide, and this is another important step in the process.”

The deal is 28% premium to the closing price of Belo stock yesterday.

Developing…

A.J. Clemente, Right up there with Sue Simmons and Ernie Anastos

David Letterman‘s Top 10 list Monday night was all about A.J. Clemente, the former (once) weekend anchor at Bismark’s NBC affiliate KFYR who was fired yesterday for uttering the words “fucking shit” as the newscast went out live.

They included:

8. Weatherman tells you to expect an 80% chance of unemployment.

6. Referred to Kim Jong Un as “our great and powerful leader.”

And two of them included clips of two big market anchors swearing on air. This one, involving Sue Simmons in 2008. And this clip of Ernie Anastos in 2009.

“Well, he’ll get a job somewhere,” said Letterman.

7pm News in Providence Beats ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ for First Time Ever

WJAR, the Media General NBC affiliate in Providence, found a new way to spell SUCCESS in February. For the first time, the station’s 4-year old 7pm newscast beat perennial time period winner “Wheel of Fortune.” The newscast, anchored by Dan Jaehnig and Alison Bologna, is the only local newscast at 7pm and certainly got a boost from an unusually snowy month. “With our continued on-air blizzard coverage and in-depth investigative stories from the I-Team and Money Watchers, we feel we have raised the bar on local news content,” says news director Christopher Lanni.

With a 7.32 rating, the 7pm news was up +24% year-over-year. “Wheel” airs on CBS affiliate WPRI at 7pm.

“It was an incredibly rewarding success in February to finally beat this previous ratings dominator,” Lanni tells GoLocalProv. “Dan and Alison and the entire team really put their heart and soul into this show. We’re also proud of the fact that we’re one of the highest rated 7pm newscasts in the entire country.”

KEYT Anchor Paula Lopez Missing; UPDATE: Anchor Found Safe

> Update, 9:50pmET: Lopez’s family alerted KEYT that Lopez had returned home around 6:30pmPT and is safe.

> Original story: Paula Lopez an anchor at KEYT the ABC affiliate in Santa Barbara, has gone missing.

A family member alerted the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office of her disappearance around 10 this morning. Lopez was last seen near her home in the hills above Santa Barbara. Lopez’s disappearance made news on all the Santa Barbara stations as well as in Fresno, Palm Springs and on Los Angeles stations. Lopez worked in the LA market in the 1990s. Authorities do not suspect foul play.

Lopez, who is married to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Frank J. Ochoa, began her career at KEYT in 1985, as an intern. She returned to the station in 1996. Currently she anchors the 6:30 and 11pm newscasts.

KEYT General Manager Mark Danielson released the following statement:

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Rob Morrison Out at WCBS

That was fast. A few minutes after we published a story about how Rob Morrison expected to remain employed with WCBS, we’ve learned the morning anchor has resigned. We’re awaiting word from WCBS.

Morrison is facing charges of strangulation stemming from a fight with his wife, CBS MoneyWatch anchor Ashley Morrison in the couple’s Darien, CT home over the weekend.

>Update: WCBS has confirmed that Morrison has resigned, effective immediately.

“My family is my first and only priority right now and I have informed CBS 2 management that I need to put all of my time and energy into making sure that I do what’s best for my wife and my son. I very much appreciate the opportunity that CBS 2 has given me and I thank them for accepting my decision,” he said in a statement.

>More: Our sister site, FishbowlNY, interviews Morrison about the accusations and his departure.

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