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Cleveland-Akron

Kidnapping Hero to WEWS: ‘You Got to Have Some Pretty Big Testicles to Pull This Off, Bro’

America, meet Charles Ramsey.

Ramsey was interviewed live at around 7:20 p.m. by John Kosich, a reporter for the Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS, after he and another man freed Amanda Berry. Berry went missing ten years ago and her discovery turned up two more missing women — Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus — along with a small child. While Ramsey is being hailed as a hero for his actions, it’s his use of words that’s gaining an equal amount of attention.

Kosich told TVspy, “My main concern is he had just dropped a s*^t bomb on me during the taped part so I was admittedly ready to quickly pull the mic when we were live.” Kosich added, “I’ve learned over the years when you find someone like [him] just let them go and try to stay out of the way.” You can read the transcript of the interview posted on the WEWS site after the jump. Read more

Cleveland Stations Report on Rescue of Missing Ohio Women

Three Ohio women who went missing between 2000 and 2004 were found at a house in Cleveland Monday evening, prompting local stations to devote primetime programming to the breaking news.

WOIO‘s Ed Gallek was the first to report the news during the 6 p.m. newscast, at 6:23 p.m. Ramona Robinson and Denise Dufala anchored coverage for the CBS affiliate, which partially preempted “Evening News with Scott Pelley” for local coverage. Tiffany Tucker reported from the scene for WOIO.

NBC affiliate WKYC and Fox affiliate WJW both reported the news during their respective 7 p.m. newscasts. Robin Swoboda and Jim Donovan anchored on WKYC, which was first at 7 p.m. sharp, and Bill Martin anchored for WJW, which was next at 7:07 p.m.

ABC affiliate WEWS broke into “Let’s Ask America” with the news at 7:18 p.m. Chris Flanagan anchored, with Stephanie Ramirez and John Kosich, who nabbed one of the notable interviews of the night, reporting from the scene.

Arbitron Settles Copyright Suit with WKYC

Arbitron has settled its lawsuit with Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC.

The radio ratings service sued WKYC in January for using Arbitron data in an ad campaign with the internet music service Pandora without authorization. The suit was for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act.

According to Arbitron, WKYC agreed to settle for an undisclosed sum. The Gannett NBC affiliate also agreed,

“not to engage in any activities that would infringe Arbitron’s intellectual property rights in its data, information, and audience estimates. Arbitron agreed not to pursue legal action against WKYC-TV as long as it complies with the terms of the settlement agreement.”

Dustin Wadsworth Named Assistant News Director at WKYC

Dustin Wadsworth is joining Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC as assistant news director, according to the station’s Director’s Cut blog.

Wadsworth comes to Cleveland from WMAR, the ABC affiliate in Baltimore. Wadsworth has worked at WMAR for 12 years in a variety of roles, including executive news producer and most recently director of new media.

“We were determined to find a leader in digital news, someone who can help guide our overall editorial direction while making our social media, mobile and online channels top priorities, ” news director Brennan Donnellan said in a statement.

Mark Zinni, Matt Lauer and the Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

As our sister site TVNewser has been reporting, there has been a media pile-on about the future of NBC’s “Today” — and specifically co-host Matt Lauer — this week. On Tuesday, an executive producer at Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW asked weekend anchor Mark Zinni, who interned at “Today” in 1997, for his take on the situation.

Zinni responded that Lauer was “not so nice” to him while he was there. The producer, Darren Sweeney, tweeted the quote, using Lauer’s twitter handle. And that’s where the snowball effect began. On Wednesday, Lauer responded:

Thursday, Zinni appeared on WJW to address the situation (video here). Zinni also set the record straight on WJW’s website, saying he’s not disgruntled:

If you know me, you probably know that I don’t take myself too seriously. So, my answer was more of a joke about being young and naive during my time at Today, but I added that he wasn’t nice to me.

I didn’t slam the guy, I just made an honest comment.

[...] Bottom line, I was shocked Matt Lauer even bothered with me and, really, he remembers me? I’m flattered.

I’m not disgruntled (thanks, BuzzFeed!) but I am someone who’s happy to be working at the best station in my hometown with wonderful people. By the way, Katie [Couric] and Ann [Curry] were great, but now I start my day with FOX 8 News in the Morning.

Meteorologist Melissa Mack to Join WJW

Melissa Mack, who signed off from WBZ in Boston last week, is joining WJW in Cleveland, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Mack will be the meteorologist for WJW’s 4 p.m. newscast, which will debut on the Fox affiliate this fall. It is a return to the station for Mack, who worked at WJW from 2006-09 before joining WBZ.

Mack has also worked at WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio and WTAP in Parkersburg, W.V.

A.J. Ross Joins WKYC in Cleveland

A.J. Ross is joining Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC on April 15, according to the station’s Director’s Cut blog.

Ross will be a multimedia journalist at WKYC. She comes from Pittsburgh, where she was most recently a freelance reporter for ABC affiliate WTAE and the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Ross has also worked at WSYX in Columbus as a reporter for the evening newscasts and at WMBF in Myrtle Beach, S.C. as a reporter and anchor.

Cleveland Anchor Wilma Smith Leaving WJW

WJW anchor Wilma Smith is leaving the Cleveland Fox affiliate, she announced on Monday evening’s newscasts.

“I’ve loved every second I’ve worked here at Fox 8, and I’ve been in your homes for more than 20 years now, but I have decided that I want to spend more time with my gift from God, my husband Tom,” Smith said. “So I have decided to retire from the station at the end of May.”

Smith’s departure will cap off a 35-year career, all of it spent anchoring in Cleveland. She worked at ABC affiliate WEWS for 17 years before joining WJW in 1995.

“There are strong mixed emotions here, as you might imagine,” WJW general manager Greg Easterly told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Wilma is a big part of this station, but while we’re sorry to see her go, we’re happy she’s going out on a high note and for reasons we certainly all understand.” Read more

WKYC Airs ‘Matlock’ Movie Instead of NBC Prime-Time Shows

Last Thursday night, WKYC, the Gannett owned NBC affiliate for Cleveland, let everyone’s favorite gentleman lawyer from the 1980s live again.

The station pre-empted re-runs of “The Office,” “Law and Order: SVU,” and an original episode of “1600 Penn” with a two-hour “Matlock: The Legacy” starring Andy Griffith.

WKYC president and general manager Brooke Spectorsky told The Hollywood Reporter the move was made for two reasons: He said viewers still like “Matlock” and he felt the need to right what he saw as a wrong committed during the most recent Oscar show.

Read more

Cleveland Man Sues WOIO for Defamation

Courthouse News Service is reporting a high school teacher in Cleveland, OH, is suing CBS affiliate WOIO for defamation after the station reported he had child pornography on his school computer despite warnings from the man’s lawyer the information was false.

In a complaint filed by Georgio Sabino III naming WOIO, LLC and reporter Ed Gallek, “Sabino says, his ‘former legal counsel contacted defendant Gallek and informed him that child pornography was not found on any of plaintiff’s computers and that any statements to the contrary were and would be false and asked defendant Gallek not to air the broadcast.’”

The station posted a story on its website saying child pornography was found on a computer Sabino used at the high school while teaching. In the complaint, Sabino said the station removed it after a second conversation with his lawyers. Read more

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