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Indianapolis

Evening Anchor Jenna Kooi Leaving WRTV

jenna kooiWRTV anchor Jenna Kooi has decided not to return to the station after her maternity leave, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports.

Kooi, who joined the Indianapolis ABC affiliate last year, co-anchored the 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside Todd Connor. News director Terri Cope-Walton told the Indianapolis Business Journal that a replacement for Kooi has yet to be announced.

Before joining WRTV, Kooi worked at another Indianapolis station, Fox affiliate WXIN, as well as at stations in Baltimore, Phoenix and Columbus, Ga.

Indianapolis Station Makes Two Anchor Moves

martin_wilsonWISH has announced starting tomorrow, Lori Wilson (pictured right) will co-anchor the Indianapolis CBS affiliate’s 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. news and Brooke Martin (pictured left) will co-anchor the 5:30 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts.

Wilson replaces the retiring Debby Knox. She currently anchors the stations 5:00 p.m. news and reports live for the 10:00 and 11:00 pm. shows. Martin currently anchors the weekend news and also reports for the weekday 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. news.

“I’m thrilled and humbled to receive this incredible opportunity,” Wilson said in a statement. “WISH-TV has a long history of excellence in news reporting and weather coverage.  I am honored and look forward to continuing that tradition Central Indiana viewers have come to expect from 24 Hour News 8.” Read more

Weekend Anchor and Morning Producer Reportedly Out at WTHR

wthr_croppedThe Indianapolis Business Journal reports WTHR weekend morning anchor Nicole Pence and morning producer Brian Fetting are no longer with the Indianapolis NBC station.

According to the IBJ, Pence, the Indiana Governor’s niece, “abruptly departed from the station this week.” Her bio has been taken down from the station website.

>UPDATE: Matthew Kingsley, Pence’s agent told TVSPY, “Nicole Pence has turned this over to her legal counsel, John Taylor at Faegre Baker Daniels. Mr. Taylor is handling it and is also working alongside Pence’s media agent, Matthew Kingsley, with 3 Kings Entertainment.”

Kingsley would only refer to the statement when TVSpy asked for clarification.

Separately, a TVSpy tipster told us Fetting left the station earlier this week following a story about Donald Trump‘s wife Melania. She had testified in an Indianapolis courtroom about a lawsuit involving her skincare company. Trump reportedly was critical of a story on WTHR’s morning show.

Pence had been with WTHR for about a year and half. She came to the station from WLEX in Lexington, KY.

TVSpy has asked a station spokesperson for comment but has yet to hear back.

Indianapolis TV Station Trolled with Doctored Photo of Tornado, a UFO and Bigfoot

WTHR appears to have been trolled during its coverage of the storms that rumbled across the state when an image of a fake tornado that included a UFO and bigfoot was uploaded to its viewer photo iwitness site.

Jim Romenesko reported that Indianapolis Star reporter Eric Weddle found the mistake and tweeted about it,

You can see the original and doctored image in the tweet above. Weddle told TVSpy the photo has been making the social media rounds with students of nearby Purdue University and residents of Lafayette, IN.

>UPDATE: WTHR news director Kathy Hostetter told TVSpy, “The photo was published to the wthr.com photo gallery by someone outside our building.  At the height of the storm and in the aftermath of it, we received a lot of viewer photographs & video, and this one slipped through our verification protocols.  We have since removed the photo from our gallery, and we’re reviewing our internal processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

The UFO is in the photo’s top right. If you look down at the sidewalk right of center you’ll also see bigfoot walking towards the street.

Retiring Indianapolis Anchor Says Consultants Make All TV Stations Look the Same

WISH_knox_WISH anchor Debby Knox told the Indianapolis Business Journal she thinks consultants aren’t helping the local TV industry.

“I’ll tell you what would encourage me more is less reliance on consultants that come in and give you advice,” said Knox, who is set to retire from the Indianapolis CBS affiliate on November 26. “What I think they’ve done, and we’ve understood now, is they can homogenize news. They can make us all look the same. If you do research and you find out what viewers think, they’ll sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between news channels. I really kind of blame these companies that come in and give the same advice.”

In the piece, the IBJ asks her to look back on her career and give advice for those thinking about a career in TV news, “If you’re not curious about the world,” Knox told the IBJ. “And if you’re not curious about politics and if you’re not curious about science and the world around you, then you probably ought not be in journalism.”

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

WXIN Adds Kristin Kane as Morning Anchor

kane_croppedWXIN has named Kristin Kane as anchor for the Indianapolis FOX affiliate’s morning news.

On December 9, Kane joins Scott Jones, Angela Ganote, Ray Cortopassi and meteorologists Jim O’Brien and Ron Smiley weekdays beginning at 4:00 a.m.

“Kristin’s Midwest roots and passion for news will be a real asset to FOX59 Morning News,” WXIN News Director Kerri Cavanaugh said in a statement. “She will be an excellent addition to the team.”

Kane comes to WXIN from News 13 in Orlando, FL. She started her broadcasting career at WCBS in New York and at News 12 Westchester in Yonkers, NY. She has also worked at WICU-WSEE in Erie, PA, WSFL in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and KRIV in Houston, TX.

WISH Announces Addition of Two Reporters

kylie-jeffWISH announced the hiring of reporters Kylie Conway and Jeff Wagner, who started at the Indianapolis CBS affiliate Friday.

“Kylie brings a wealth of experience, drive, compassion and talent as a reporter,” said WISH news director Steve Bray. “Likewise, we are thrilled to add someone with the skill set that Jeff brings to the table.”

“I’m excited to call Central Indiana home once again and looking forward to covering stories about my fellow Hoosiers and news that impacts their daily lives,” Conway said in a statement.

Conway, who once interned at WISH, started her career at WKAG in Hopkinsville, KY. She has also worked at WNWO in Toledo, OH, WKEF-WRGT in Dayton, OH, and KTVX in Salt Lake City where she was an evening anchor.

“The Midwest has been a great place to both grow up and grow my career,” said Wagner. “I look forward to starting this new chapter in my life here in Central Indiana.”

Wagner comes to WISH from WCIA in Champaign, IL, where he was the weekend anchor and reporter.

After 36 Years, Norman Cox to Retire from WRTV

cox_wrtvWRTV has announced the retirement of reporter Norman Cox after 36 years at the Indianapolis ABC affiliate.

“Norman has been a great journalist for central Indiana for decades,” said WRTV news director Terri Cope-Walton in a statement. “His work is second to none, and we are proud to have had him on our staff. Not only will we miss his journalism, but we will also miss his humor, and the special brand of friendship he brought to the newsroom every day.”

“The people of Indiana have benefitted from Norman’s coverage, his thoroughness, his professionalism and his integrity,” said Indana Governor Mike Pence, the seventh Governor Cox has covered. “I respect the way he has done his job, always prepared, tough but fair, a truly objective journalist.”

Cox started at WRTV in 1976 as the Statehouse reporter. His last day will be Friday, November 1.

Ratings Climb For WTHR After Angela Buchman’s Debut

buchman_wthrWTHR‘s hiring of meteorologist Angela Buchman looks like it’s paying off.

The Indianapolis Business Journal is reporting WTHR has seen a big ratings increase since Buchman’s debut after she made the switch from cross-town rival WISH.

The NBC affiliate posted double-digit ratings gains in all newscasts during September except at noon, versus the same month in 2012. Buchman first appeared Sept. 3. She reports the weather weekdays at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The IBJ also said CBS affiliate WISH has seen the opposite movement for its 6:00 p.m. news with ratings dropping by 31 percent. Ratings for WTHR in the same time-slot have risen by 14 percent over September of last year. Read more

WXIN Says Goodbye to Sports Anchor Jeremiah Johnson

johnson_wxin_goodbyeIndianapolis FOX affiliate WXIN said goodbye to sports anchor and reporter Jeremiah Johnson.

Johnson, who graduated from Ball State University in 2000, was joined on set by the school’s mascot Charlie Cardinal who said nothing at all.

“This was a dream come true having a job working as a sportscaster in Indianapolis,” said Johnson. “I couldn’t think of a better place.”

Johnson, who had worked at WXIN for nine years, told viewers he was staying in Indianapolis to produce pregame shows for the Indiana Pacers on FOX Sports Indiana.

You can see a video the station put together for Johnson after the jump. Read more

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