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Anchorage

Todd Walker Leaving Anchorage for Denver

KTUU morning anchor Todd Walker is leaving Anchorage for a reporter/MMJ job at KUSA in Denver. His first day is set for August 6th.

“I’ve watched KUSA from afar for years, I’m incredibly excited to join the team,” Walker said.

A graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage, Walker got his start at Anchorage NBC-affiliate KTUU before moving on to KTVA, the market’s CBS-affiliate. Walker returned to KTUU in 2010 and, since then, he has been anchoring the station’s top-rated morning newscast.

KTUU’s Maria Downey Shares Cautionary Tale of Recent Heart Procedure

Longtime KTUU anchor Maria Downey is speaking out her recent medical procedure.

Downey’s family convinced her to see a doctor last month after she experienced severe chest pains, the result of a clogged artery. She had a stent procedure and was back on the air at KTUU within a week, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Downey, who joined the Anchorage NBC-affiliate in 1985, said that hers is a cautionary tale.

“I prefer to do the interviewing,” she said. “I feel real nervous being interviewed. But as moms and women, we look out for everybody else … It’s more important that we respond to these signals so we have more time to spend together.”

Layoffs at KTVA as Morning and Weekend Newscasts are Canceled

KTVA, the CBS-affiliate in Anchorage, is canceling the weekday morning and weekend newscasts, resulting in the layoffs of staffers “across several departments,” according to a station statement. The changes are effective immediately.

“These changes will allow us to address the market’s programming requirements as we continue to invest and expand into a local high definition station that truly reflects the needs of our viewers and our advertisers,” said KTVA general manager Jerry Bever said.

While the exact number of staffers laid off is unknown, Bever said he did not anticipate future staff reduction. Staffers cut yesterday included weeknight anchor Dave Stroh, who joined KTVA in 1995. Read more

Veteran CNN Producer Named KTUU News Director

Tracy Sabo, a 19-year veteran of CNN, has been named news director at KTUU, the Anchorage NBC-affiliate announced this week.

Most recently based in Dallas, Sabo produced both domestic and international coverage for CNN.  She also worked as a national assignment editor and spent time as a CNN radio anchor at the network’s Atlanta headquarters.

“Channel 2 News has a tremendous reputation, both inside and outside Alaska for its comprehensive news coverage,” Sabo said. “KTUU’s newsgathering style parallels my work at CNN in many ways, and I look forward to advancing and enhancing the great tradition of news excellence at [KTUU].” Read more

Video: Sarah Palin Covers a Glen Rice Basketball Game for Anchorage’s KTUU

The above video shows a young Sarah Palin (then Sarah Heath) reporting on a college basketball game for KTUU that involved Glen Rice, her alleged former lover.

The much-ballyhooed new Palin biography, “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin,” claims that she hooked up with Rice, then a junior at the University of Michigan, while covering a 1987 college basketball tournament for the Anchorage NBC-affiliate. Read more

Longtime KARE ND Tom Lindner Lands at KTUU

Tom Lindner, who was let go by KARE in April after 15 years as the station’s VP of News, has landed at Anchorage’s KTUU, where he will serve as interim news director.

Schurz Communications executive Kerry Oslund announced the move on Twitter, saying, “One of the USA’s top ND’s, Tom Lindner, joins Schurz Comm. Inc. for interim assignment at KTUU-Alaska’s #1 news org. Welcome to SCI Tom.”

Lindner updated his employment status on his Facebook page last night to read “KTUU Interim News Director.”  The update sparked an outpouring of support from friends and colleagues, including longtime KARE reporter Boyd Huppert, who delivered the station’s on-air farewell to Lindner in April. Read more

Sarah Palin: ‘The mainstream press is becoming less and less relevant’

Newsweek’s Peter Boyer talks with Fox News contributor Sarah Palin. The former Alaska Governor, VP nominee and long ago long local sports anchor (KTUU Anchorage), is not letting up on her criticism of the media.

“The mainstream press is becoming less and less relevant,” she said, adding that she would have no hesitation in shunning media outlets she does not trust. “I would say no to those who have lied about me. There is no need to reward bad behavior. I’ve learned. You know, once bitten, twice shy.”

Fox Inks Affiliate Agreements in Alaska

Fox has firmed up affiliate agreements with two stations in Alaska. The company announced today that it has renewed its deal with KTBY in Anchorage and signed Juneau’s KJUD as a new affiliate.

KTBY, which is owned by Coastal Television Broadcasting Company, has been a Fox-affiliate since 1986. KJUD, which is owned by Vision Alaska II, currently operates as an ABC-affiliate and plans to air Fox programming on a digital subchannel.

“We are delighted to renew our affiliation with KTBY, while also adding KJUD to Fox’s family of more than two hundred affiliates,” said Jon Hookstratten, who serves as executive vice president of Fox’s Network Distribution unit. “The addition of a new Fox station in Juneau is exciting to us and to the city of Juneau.”

Coastal Television currently provides non-network programming for KJUD under a brokerage agreement with Vision Alaska II. The station’s new Fox channel will be governed by this agreement.

Palin’s Former Spokesperson Returns to Anchorage TV

Bill McAllister, who worked as Sarah Palin‘s director of communications during her 2008 run for the White House, has returned to his past job as a TV reporter.

McAllister is set to join Anchorage CBS-affiliate KTVA next week, according to the Anchorage Daily News, where he’ll work in a “multifaceted” role. He previously served as a political reporter for crosstown rival KTUU before heading up Palin’s communications team.

KTVA has made it clear that McAllister will not be reporting on Palin and that much of what he covers will be outside the world of politics.

Which may be welcome news for McAllister Read more

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