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VIDEO: KCWI Celebrates Valentine’s Day With Live On-Air Wedding

Here’s one Valentine’s Day celebration that went above and beyond: KCWI, the CW affiliate in Des Moines, hosted a live wedding on the morning newscast Thursday.

Kellee Baxter and Shane Rolling from Fort Dodge, Iowa, tied the knot this morning on live television. Thanks to the magic of the green screen, Baxter and Rolling — who were engaged for six years — were able to choose their ideal wedding location (a beach in Hawaii) and musical accompaniment (an Elvis impersonator).

Hosts Jackie Schmillen and Lou Sipolt and meteorologist Jason Parkin were on hand for the ceremony. “This is awesome. This is what Valentine’s Day is all about!” Sipolt said at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Video (beginning at the 1:34:15 mark) and more picutres are after the jump. Read more

Chris Hassel Leaving WHO to Join ESPN

After five years at WHO, Chris Hassel is leaving the Des Moines NBC affiliate for ESPN, the Des Moines Register reports.

Hassel, a sports anchor, signed off from WHO Tuesday. At ESPN, he will appear on “Highlight Express” beginning in February.

“It’s just too big an opportunity,” Hassel told the Des Moines Register. “… I’ve never sent out a resume tape before. I wasn’t going to leave for another job in local sports. I was only going to leave for a huge opportunity in regional or national network. Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and see what’s out there.”

Christina Palladino Joins WISN From WOI

Christina Palladino is the newest addition to WISN, the ABC-affiliate in Milwaukee.

“She’s an aggressive reporter who likes to dig for good stories,” WISN news director Lori Waldon said in a statement. “And she loves politics. Christina is a great addition to our very strong group of reporters.”

Palladino begins today as a weekday general assignment reporter for the evening newscasts. She was previously an anchor and reporter at WOI, the ABC-affiliate in Des Moines. Read more

John Walters Leaving WOI, Dave Zawilinski to Take Over as Sports Director

John Walters, the sports director at WOI in Des Moines, is leaving in June to take a job at the Iowa State University athletics department.

Walters has worked at WOI since 1996. He will be replaced as sports director by Dave Zawilinski, who is currently the station’s weekend sports anchor.

“John Walters will be missed,” news director Scott Frederick said in a statement. “To be sure, it will be difficult to replace someone of John’s caliber, but Dave Zawilinski is just the guy to do it.” Read more

How Much Money Did Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC Give to Iowa Stations?

Stephen Colbert‘s Super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, recently filed a document with the the Federal Election Commission, reporting its donations and expenditures as of January 30th.

In addition to reporting over a million dollars in donations, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow also listed how much money it spent on running ads in Iowa before the state’s Republican caucus. Read more

Anchor John Bachman Retiring From WHO

WHO anchor John Bachman, who has been with the Des Moines NBC-affiliate since 1987, will retire at the end of November.

“I’ve been so fortunate to anchor at WHO-HD for a quarter of a century,” Bachman said, announcing his retirement.  “Now it’s time for my wife Barb and me to visit the grandchildren during the Iowa winters, while viewers will get the opportunity to enjoy Winters–Dan, that is.”

Dan Winters, an anchor and reporter for WHO for the past eight years, will succeed Bachman at the anchor desk.

“John Bachman will forever be a part of the heritage and tradition of WHO,” president and general manager Dale Woods said.  Read more

WHO’s Jannay Towne Tapped for Weekend Mornings

Jannay Towne has been promoted to weekend morning anchor at WHO, the NBC-affiliate in Des Moines.

In her new role, Towne will continue reporting for the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. She will debut alongside co-anchor Dan Winters this weekend.

“She’s one of those people that gets the job done every day with a smile and we’re pleased to see her role expand,” WHO news director Rod Peterson said in a statement.

Towne, who has been at WHO for seven years, replaces Elizabeth Klinge as the weekend morning anchor. Klinge left the station earlier this month to pursue a business venture with her husband.

KCCI Reporter Emily Price Follows GOP Race from Iowa to New Hampshire

As the focus of the Republican presidential race moved from Iowa to New Hampshire this past week so too did KCCI reporter Emily Price.

After providing in-depth coverage of the Iowa caucus last week for the Des Moines CBS-affiliate, Price, along with photojournalist Spencer Vaughn, traveled to New Hampshire over the weekend to cover the state’s upcoming primary election.

“Greetings from Bow, New Hampshire!” Price wrote in a blog post on KCCI’s website on Sunday. “Iowans intently watched the caucus process and so our news director thought it would be a good idea to follow through to New Hampshire. We are working on a whole host of interesting stories for the next few days.” Read more

Colbert Checks in with WOI News Team Following Iowa Caucus

Stephen Colbert checked in with his favorite Des Moines local news team, WOI, this week following the Iowa caucus (video above).

Showing that his local news allegiances can change as quickly as the fortunes of a GOP candidate, Colbert flipped the channel over to New Hampshire’s WMUR after talking to the WOI team.

Des Moines Stations Get Delayed Boost From Political Ad Spending

By all accounts, 2012 may be a record-setting year for political ad spending. As the candidates’ first major stop, Iowa stations expected major profits, but saw very little action until after the last pre-caucus debate — causing some nervousness on the part of sales managers, the Washington Post reports:

Then, after the Jan. 3 date was resolved, debates drew record audiences and candidates exploited a cost-free stage to get out their message. And after the final pre-caucus debate, in mid-December, the deluge.

“It really started coming in,” said Dale Woods, general manager of WHO, the NBC affiliate.

Anne Marie Caudron, national sales manager of KCCI, the CBS affiliate, said: “This year we saw a little before the straw poll and then nothing till late November. We were” — long pause — “concerned.” Read more

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