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Merrill Knox

Merrill Knox is Senior Editor of TVNewser and TVSpy. She joined Mediabistro in 2011 after four years working for "Your World with Neil Cavuto" at Fox News Channel. When she's not reading or writing, Merrill is most often found trying to anticipate the next plot twist on "Homeland." Follow her on Twitter @merrillknox or email her at merrill@mediabistro.com.

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

bubble lounge 620

Boston’s WBZ Shuffles Morning Anchors

wbz morning newscastWBZ, the CBS-owned station in Boston, has shuffled its anchor lineup, a station spokesperson confirms to TVSpy.

After more than a year anchoring the weekday morning newscast, Kerry Connolly is moving back to the weekend morning newscasts. She will be replaced by Kate Merrill, who moves to weekdays after the same amount of time anchoring the weekend morning newscast.

Merrill will anchor the weekday morning newscast alongside David Wade and Connolly will anchor the weekend morning newscast alongside Danielle Niles. The changes went into effect today.

Chuck Carter Named Managing Editor at WPIX

wpix logoChuck Carter is joining WPIX, Tribune’s CW affiliate in New York City, as managing editor. He begins April 28 and will report to news director Mark Effron.

“Chuck is a seasoned broadcast news executive with a proven record of delivering ratings growth. I’m thrilled he is joining our team as we continue to develop PIX11 News,” Effron said in a statement.

Carter joins WPIX from WTIC, Tribune’s Fox affiliate in Hartford. The move reunites him with general manager Rich Graziano, who joined WPIX from WTIC last year.

With the announcement of Carter’s hire, Amy Waldman and Sharon Van Zwieten are taking on new roles at WPIX. Waldman, who was named managing editor last year, will be the new senior executive producer for all newscasts. Van Zwieten, formerly the senior executive producer, will move into a news talent project management role, WPIX says.

More from WPIX after the jump. Read more

WSB Traffic Reporter Herb Emory Dies

herb emoryHerb Emory, a longtime traffic reporter at Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB, died Saturday. Emory stopped to help at a car accident when he had a sudden heart attack, WSB reports.

“He taught me about the streets, how to do traffic, how to do radio, how do television. He taught me most importantly how to give back to the community and how to be a good citizen,” WSB traffic reporter Mark Arum said. “We work with a lot of great people in this building. For years, we’ve worked with amazing people and giving people. And no one could even hold a candle to what Captain Herb did.”

Emory had worked at WSB and WSB Radio since 1991. Watch Arum’s tribute after the jump. Read more

Valari Staab on Strengthening the NBC Owned Stations

valari staabIn an interview with TVNewsCheck, NBC Owned Television Stations president Valari Staab talks about the investment in local news that has gone on under her watch. Staab says stations like WTVJ in Miami, WMAQ in Chicago and WCAU in Philadelphia have seen success because “we have added people, we have upgraded facilities, we have added resources”:

There are two things that strengthened our newsrooms quickly. One was adding a midday newscast. It’s easy to look at a midday newscast and do the math and say that it loses money or that it breaks even so I don’t want to do it. What a midday newscast does is keep the newsroom going all day long. It keeps everybody gathering news all day long. To have a big gap between your morning news and your 5 o’clock news weakens your 5 o’clock news.

The second thing is investigative units. We have put really decent size investigative units into these stations and, aside from giving you original content that your competitors don’t have and that you absolutely need in today’s world, it also gets everybody in the newsroom focused again on enterprise journalism. So, having journalists in your newsroom that are constantly breaking stories gets the other reporters breaking stories and working beats. It helps create a culture of enterprise reporting.

Come to the TVSpy Party and Get 20% Off Tickets to the TVNewser Show

The TVNewser, TVSpy and Lost Remote Party is just four days away! Come join the sites’ editors and your fellow media professionals for a few drinks at Bubble Lounge in Tribeca on Tuesday, April 15. 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 Tuesday.

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

Bubble Lounge • 228 West Broadway

bubble lounge 620

Don Scott Set to Retire From WJZ

Don Scott has announced he will retire from WJZ, the CBS-owned station in Baltimore, after four decades with the station:

Scott anchors the morning newscast alongside Marty Bass. He joined WJZ when he was 24 after working at station in Dayton and Lima, Ohio.

WTIC Marks 25th Anniversary of First Newscast

Hartford Fox affiliate WTIC aired its first newscast 25 years ago today. The station marked the occasion with a #throwbackthursday post on Facebook:

Yesterday, Chris Geiger was announced as the new vice president and general manager of WTIC, which is owned by Tribune.

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