“Taz has a passion for creative storytelling, with an emphasis on watchdog and advocacy journalism, on all multimedia platforms. He brings a wealth of experience from his years at the top-rated station in Knoxville,” WZZM president and general manager Janet Mason said in a statement.
WZZM president and general manager Janet Mason told mlive.com that Tang will stay with the station for the next few months. “We’ve agreed on a timeline that gives him time to finalize his plans and the station time to find our next news director,” Mason said.
“When I met with Kirk, what struck me right away was how comfortable he is in all situations,” WWMT news director Steve Koles told mlive.com. “He’s able to handle breaking news like the veteran journalist that he is, but turn around a few minutes later and have fun with his co-anchors or a guest who is on the set for an interview.”
According to MLive.com, Shaw is reducing her workload on to spend more time with her family.
“I’m thrilled to be making this schedule change and, more importantly, my family is too,” Shaw told MLive. “I’ll have the opportunity to report more through the day in addition to all my anchoring duties and still be home with my family at night.”
Shaw, who started at the Grand Rapids, MI, NBC affiliate in 1994, will stay on as the anchor for 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00 pm. and will also begin anchoring the Noon news starting today.
“We are pleased that Kirk has decided to join our station. He is an award winning journalist who will fit right in here at Newschannel 3,” WWMT vice president and general manager Jim Lutton said in a statement.
McAboy started at the Grand Rapids, MI, NBC affiliate as an associate producer in February and began reporting for the station on weekends and contributing to woodtv.com. She was officially made reporter on August 1.
“The station is known for excellence and great investigative work, and I can’t express how thrilled I am to join the WOOD TV8 team,” said McAboy in a statement. “I hope to use my Spanish language skills to cover stories about the Latino community, and look forward to working in West Michigan.”
“We are going to miss Josh terribly,” Steve Koles, WWMT news director, told Mlive. “He is a great member of our new team and morning team, but we are happy for him personally because it’s a great opportunity for him and his family.”
Van Ameyde, who has worked at the Grand Rapids ABC affiliate for 36 years, is transitioning to a new role as the head of the station’s investigative team. He will continue to anchor the 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts but will no longer anchor at 11 p.m.
“You won’t see Lee on the WZZM 13 News at 11 p.m., but you will see Lee and his Watchdog team out in the community – demanding answers from our politicians, watching out for your best interests and making sure that your voice is heard,” news director Stanton Tang told Mlive.com.
Juliet Dragos will continue to anchor the 11 p.m. newscast. No co-anchor has been named.
Hernandez joined the station in 2008 from WJBF in Augusta. Her last day at WXMI is Wednesday, and she begins next week as communications and marketing manager at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.
“In this position, I’ve met so many incredible people and covered so many great things,” she told Mlive.com. “But some of my favorite things are the daily, local stories. Telling stories about people you wouldn’t know unless you watched FOX17.”
A WXMI photographer suffered fractured leg after he was involved in a crash while driving the station’s live truck Friday morning.
The photographer was traveling on U.S. 131 Friday morning when he “hit an arrow board traffic sign where a work crew was making an emergency repair to a pothole,” according to WXMI. The live truck spun out and crashed, and he was pinned inside the vehicle. He was alert and talking as he was extricated from the truck and taken to a Grand Rapids hospital for treatment.
The crash resulted in lane closures on U.S. 131 as emergency crews removed the photographer from the live truck and cleared the accident scene.
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