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Chris Ariens

Chris joined Mediabistro in July 2007 as editor of 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 and follow @ChrisAriens on Twitter.

Rob Morrison Expects to Keep Job at WCBS

WCBS anchor Rob Morrison has been ordered to stay 100 yards from his wife, CBS MoneyWatch anchor Ashley Morrison, except when they’re both at work. Both Morrisons work in the same building, CBS’s West 57th St. facility on Manhattan’s West Side.

As for his status at WCBS, Morrison tells FishbowlNY’s Jerry Barmash, “When everything comes out in the wash, there will be no reason for me not to be there.”

Morrison was in a Connecticut court yesterday facing charges he choked his wife during a fight Saturday night, which resulted in him getting a fat lip.

The Daily News reports Ashley Morrison had hired a private investigator several years ago after discovering a mistress spent time in their Long Island home. Morrison faces five years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge: strangulation.

(Photo: David Handschuh/AP)

Orlando Police Demand Apology, Correction from WFTV

The Orlando Police department is demanding an apology and a correction for some reporting related to a double shooting Monday night.

During his 5pm liveshot, WFTV reporter Christopher Heath held up a police document and reported that two of the victims, a teenager named Jonathan Cook and a woman named Khoy Williams had criminal records. “Mr. Cook had one incident. Khoy Williams had an extensive criminal history including drug charges and prostitution charges,” reported Heath.

But Orlando PD says that’s not right, and says the station showed the wrong picture of Williams. Writes Orlando PD public information officer Sergeant Jim Young:

This story has caused not only distraught for the victims families, but has also potentially jeopardized the investigation. The family is extremely upset that WFTV has stated their daughter had a criminal history and stated what that history was, which is not true of the victim.

Young is requesting an apology as well as on air and online corrections. “It is irresponsible reporting to mislead the public and provide them wrong information,” he writes.

WFTV did add this note to the end of the online version of the story: “WFTV incorrectly identified that Williams had a criminal history, but she did not. WFTV apologizes for the error.”

> More: An on-air correction came during today’s Noon newscast: “We reported that Williams had a criminal history. She did not have a criminal history. Channel 9 regrets the error.”

“If we make a mistake we correct it as quickly as possible,” news director Matt Parcell tells TVSpy.

Young’s letter, after the jump…

Read more

WCBS Anchor Rob Morrison Accused of Choking His Wife, CBS MoneyWatch Anchor Ashley Morrison

WCBS anchor Rob Morrison will be in a Connecticut courtroom tomorrow facing domestic abuse charges. NBCConnecticut, where Morrison once worked, reports Darien, CT authorities responded to the couple’s home at 1:30 a.m. Sunday after Morrison’s mother-in-law called police.

Morrison is accused of choking his wife, Ashley Morrison, a CBS MoneyWatch anchor. Police said he became “increasingly belligerent” over the evening and used both hands to choke her. He is charged with second-degree strangulation, second-degree threatening and disorderly conduct. He posted the $100,000 bail.

WCBS reported the news in the first block of Monday’s 5pm newscast. Anchor Maurice DuBois said the Morrisons released a statement saying they are cooperating with the police and “are confident a physical investigation will show the allegations have been greatly exaggerated.”

Morrison, 44, joined WCBS in 2009 and began anchoring the morning show in 2010. Before that, he’d spent nearly 10 years at WNBC including reporting for NBC News during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Morrison is a Marine Corps veteran.

>Update: a WCBS spokesperson said the issue is a “personal matter” and declined to comment.

KARE Reporter Tackled In the Middle of a Live Shot

KARE reporter Lee Valsvik was reporting from a downtown Minneapolis bar Saturday before the Vikings-Packers playoff game, so naturally, her photographer tackled her in the middle of a live shot as a horrified bartender looked on. Valsvik wasn’t hurt, but KARE will be picking up the tab for a few broken dishes. Adding insult to injury, the Vikings lost.

Here’s the video

KFDM Anchor Bill Leger Killed in Car Crash

Bill Leger, an anchor with CBS affiliate KFDM in Port Arthur/Beaumont, TX was killed early this morning in a car accident in Louisiana.

According to Louisiana State Police, Leger was driving southbound on a highway near Scott, Louisiana, around 1 am when he failed to negotiate a curve, over-corrected, then rolled his vehicle until it came to a stop in the northbound lane. A driver heading north then hit Leger’s car. That driver has been arrested and booked for DWI.

Leger had been a reporter and anchor at KFDM for nearly 20 years. A Louisiana native and LSU grad, Leger leaves behind his wife Patricia and daughters Tatum and Tori.

The story on KFDM’s website is filling with condolences from viewers.

KATU Reporter (in 1970): ‘Everyone on site was covered in small particles of dead whale’

News crews in Southern California are in Malibu this afternoon as experts try to figure out how to get rid of a dead 41-foot, 20-ton Fin whale that washed ashore earlier this week. Here’s KCBS’s story on it. The next possible window for removing the whale is later this afternoon at high tide.

There’s a good chance crews will not employ the tactic used on an Oregon beach in 1970 when a half ton of dynamite was used to blow up a Pacific Gray whale.

Here’s how the story was reported by KATU reporter Paul Linnman, then a 23-year-old TV reporter, now a radio personality on KEX 1190 AM in Portland: “The blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.” The man likes his alliteration.


Mail Truck Blocks Christmas Tree Lighting in Boise

The newsroom at Idaho Falls ABC affiliate KIFI had just gotten in some videotape of the Christmas tree lighting at the State Capitol in Boise just before the end of the 6pm news last night. As the anchors played the tape, with the countdown of “3, 2, 1…” a USPS truck drove right in front of the tree.

Here’s the video

WTIC’s Geoff Fox, Fired for ‘Inappropriate Conduct,’ Responds: ‘What I did was still wrong.’

Late Friday, Tribune-owned WTIC fired meteorologist Geoff Fox, releasing this terse statement:

FOX CT has terminated the employment of Geoff Fox effective November 16, 2012 for inappropriate conduct which was brought to the attention of station executives late last night. As this is a personnel matter, FOX CT will offer no further comment or details surrounding Mr. Fox’s dismissal.

On his personal website Sunday night, Fox did comment, without getting into detail about the conduct that was so “inappropriate” it got him fired. He writes:

I had no idea this private conversation would be made public, but what I did was still wrong even if it had remained private.

This is a very difficult time for my family. I betrayed a trust with my wife and daughter which won’t be mended quickly. I have made promises to them I intend to keep.

Fox met his wife Helaine 32 years ago when both worked at a radio station in Philadelphia. They have an adult daughter who lives in California. “Losing my job at FoxCT/Courant is also very difficult,” Fox writes. “I was proud to work there and proud of what we offered the public. It was the best job I ever held. I worked my butt off in gratitude.”

Fox had been with FOX/CT for the last year and a half after spending the previous 26 years at WTNH.

WABC Will Have to Wait Another Year to Run the NYC Marathon

WABC had been promoting a return of the ING New York City Marathon to the station — the first time since 1993. This was to be the first year of a 5-year deal that WABC and sister network ESPN struck with the New York RoadRunners club. ESPN2 was planning to run 3 1/2 hours of the race, the first time in 19 years the marathon would have a national audience. But late today Mayor Michael Bloomberg called off the race, just hours after saying it should — and would — be run.

But the voices to cancel the marathon had grown louder in the last day and had been loudest from Staten Island, where the race begins, and which was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

Reporter Marc Santia, who, in June, joined WNBC from WDIV in Detroit, was all set to run his first New York City marathon Sunday. But after days of reporting from hard-hit Staten Island and talking to residents there, he said he just couldn’t do it. This morning, he called his wife to tell her he wasn’t going to run. Mayor Bloomberg’s call to cancel the race late today made the decision a lot easier for anyone else who was conflicted about running.

As for the athletes from around the world who have been training for months and have spent thousands of dollars — the entrance fee alone for non-U.S. runners is $347 — the decision is not as easy to take.

For the last 12 years the New York City marathon, the world’s largest, has aired on WNBC, hosted by WNBC’s Bruce Beck and called by sports announcer Al Trautwig. Tonight on WNBC’s 7pm news, Beck agreed that it was the right thing to do to call off the race.

When the Sports Guy Covers a Hurricane

Drew Brill is the main sports anchor at WTEN (ABC) in Albany. But as Hurricane Sandy approached, Brill, who splits time between New York City and Albany, put on his news reporter hat and headed to lower Manhattan. On his Facebook page he writes, “Our day started at 3am and this (image right) was the scene at 7pm.”

After that 7pm report, Brill and his photographer began to head out of what was then waist-high water, but their car began to take on water while they were in it. “After climbing out the windows and grabbing as much gear as we could we headed uptown. With no way out we were escorted through the World Trade Center Construction site and finally made it out safely,” Brill says, adding “Now I know why I do sports!”