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WGHP Names New Morning Anchor

Julie Grant will join Brad Jones, Cindy Farmer, and Kerry Charles for the morning news on Greensboro, NC, FOX affiliate WGHP.

“Julie has the beauty, brains and genuine charm that could have gotten her into much larger TV markets,” Karen Koutsky, vice president of News for WGHP, said in a statement. “We know viewers are going to love her.”

Grant comes to WGHP from Pittsburgh, where she was an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County. Before that she was a morning anchor and a reporter for WTOV in Steubenville, OH. She replaces Katie Nordeen who moved to evenings in January. Her first day will be Monday, June 10.

Viewers Upset with WFMY For Replacing ‘Andy Griffith Show’ with News

For the first time in thirty years, viewers of WFMY won’t be able to watch “The Andy Griffith Show” at the usual time of 5:30 p.m. and they’re not happy about it.

The Greensboro, NC, CBS affiliate recently replaced the residents of Mayberry with a new investigative news show hosted by anchor Tanya Rivera called “2 Wants to Know” and moved Griffith to an hour block starting at 3:00 p.m. According to the station, the “Andy Griffith Show” has been on WFMY since it premiered on CBS in 1960 and has been at the 5:30 slot for almost three decades.

The station announced the change on its facebook page in March. Over two hundred viewers responded to the announcement.  Many of those comments were from viewers letting the station know they were unhappy with the switch, “We’ve seen how they value Andy Griffith viewers, now let’s show how much we value News2. NIP IT IN THE BUD starting now: watch ANYTHING at 5:30 but 2 Wants To Know, find another local station for your news and unlike this Facebook page (you can still access it regardless of like/unlike).” Read more

Julie Luck Joins WFMY as Evening Anchor

WFMY has announced Julie Luck will join Frank Mickens as co-anchor for the Gannett-owned Greensboro, NC, CBS affiliate’s evening news.

“Julie Luck is beloved here, a wonderful person, a hugely popular personality and focused journalist,” said WFMY president and general manager Larry Audas. “WFMY News 2 went from very good to great when she walked in the door.”

Luck will replace Tanya Rivera who will launch “2 Wants to Know,” a daily show airing at 5:30 p.m. the station says “will solve viewer problems, get answers and genuinely help people in these tough times.”

Luck’s first day of anchoring the 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. news will be Thursday, April 25. Read more

Jim Clayton Named Interim GM at WGHP

Jim Clayton has been named interim president and general manager at WGHP, Local TV’s Fox affiliate in Greensboro, N.C., according to TVNewsCheck.

Clayton stepped down as general manager of KOMO in Seattle last year. Prior to his six years in Seattle, Clayton helmed WNYW, the Fox O&O in New York City.

Clayton temporarily replaces Karen Adams, who was recently named VP-GM of WJZY and WMYT, Fox’s anticipated duopoly in Charlotte.

Lockwood Broadcast Group to Acquire WCWG

Lockwood Broadcast Group is acquiring WCWG, the CW affiliate in Greensboro, N.C., from Titan Broadcasting.

“We are excited to own a station in the Greensboro DMA, and feel WCWG is a perfect fit for Lockwood Broadcasting,” president Dave Hanna said in a statement. “Growth is our mode — we’ve now doubled in size since 2011 — and we will continue to seek out and acquire television properties that complement our business.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is pending FCC approval and is expected to close later this year.

WXII GM Hank Price: ‘We live in a new golden age of over-the-air television’

Last week, former NBC News correspondent Ed Rabel excoriated local news, saying the industry is “populated by bubble-heads and glib, young, sometimes pretty know-nothings.” WXII president and general manager Hank Price disagrees, making the case in TVNewsCheck that “leading stations with strong newscasts find themselves offering more services to more people than ever before”:

With the unfortunate weakening of local newspapers, television news has also taken the lead in “accountability journalism,” the investigative, political and consumer journalism that holds government, institutions and businesses accountable to the public.

Perhaps most important, the people who work at television stations live in and are part of their communities.

That sense of community is the reason … North Carolina’s television and radio stations, working together in our state association, the NCAB, [last year] decided to create the largest Vietnam veterans’ “welcome home” celebration ever held.

More than 70,000 people attended. Every television news station in North Carolina produced stories leading up to the event. Stations donated more than $1.5 million in public service announcements, and they jointly aired the event live, all at no charge and with no advertising. No other medium could have pulled it off.

Former WTHR and WXII Reporter Jane Harrington-Smith Dies

Jane Harrington-Smith, a former reporter for WXII in Greensboro and WTHR in Indianapolis, has died of heart failure, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. She was 62.

Harrington-Smith was the first black female reporter at WXII, where she worked for six years. At WTHR, she was the lead reporter on the Mike Tyson rape trial in 1992.

“She was a great lady and very gracious,” WXII anchor Cameron Kent told the Journal. “Our profession will really miss her. She was a great reporter; one of the best that I have ever been around.”

Katie Nordeen Moves to Evenings at WGHP

Katie Nordeen has been named evening co-anchor at WGHP in Greensboro, N.C., according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Nordeen joined the Fox affiliate in 2010 and was promoted to morning anchor in 2011. Her first night on the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside Neill McNeill is Thursday.

Before joining WGHP, Nordeen worked at WDIO in Duluth, Minn., as an anchor and reporter. She replaces Julie Luck, who left WGHP in September.

Anchor Julie Luck Leaving WGHP

Julie Luck, anchor at WGHP in Greensboro, NC, is leaving the station.  While there’s no word on where she’s headed, the station’s website posted a statement from the FOX affiliate’s president and general manager Karen Adams saying Luck was leaving to “explore other opportunities.”

Adams went on to say, “We appreciate Julie’s contributions to the FOX8 News team over the past 7 years, and wish her all the best in pursuing other options.  She is a professional and classy lady”.

Luck who anchors the 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. newscasts said, “It’s been a privilege bringing you the news nightly.  Although I’ve decided to move on to explore new opportunities, the FOX8 family will always be near and dear to my heart.”

Read more

WFMY Adds MMJ Morgan Hightower

WFMY in Greensboro, NC has added Morgan Hightower to its news team. Hightower will serve as a multimedia journalist for the Gannett-owned CBS-affiliate.

Hightower comes to North Carolina from Montgomery, AL, where she worked as an MMJ for ABC-affiliate WNCF.

“Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate the warm welcome,” Hightower wrote on her Facebook page this week, responding to those welcoming her to Greensboro. “I look forward to working for you all, bringing you stories and news that matter most!”

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