WVUE parent company Louisiana Media Company recently announced a shared services agreement with Raycom, which will provide operational services to WVUE beginning December 16. Cook will become president of Louisiana Media Company and plans to spend more time on his other interests, songwriting and real estate.
According to the station the SSA, “will allow Louisiana Media Company to “join hands” with the strongest regional television group in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Raycom Media. The shared services agreement between WVUE Fox 8 and Raycom Media will permit Raycom Media to provide operational services for the station, under the ultimate control of Louisiana Media.”
The New Orleans FOX affiliate was rumored to have been sold in October when Raycom investor Retirement Systems of Alabama told its members in a newsletter Raycom was close to closing on the sale of WVUE for $55.6 million. At the time, WVUE told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “There is no sale pending. The station is not for sale.” Read more
Kevra, who joined WWL in 2009, is the noon and 5 p.m. meteorologist at the station. With his move to Detroit, he returns to the station where he began his television career as an intern. He has also worked at KDRV, the ABC affiliate in Medford, Ore.
WWL executive news director Bill Siegel told TVSpy Harris starts next week as a general assignment reporter.
The Retirement Systems of Alabama, a group that lists Raycom Media as one of its biggest investments, told members in its latest newsletter the station group is ready to close on the purchase of New Orleans FOX affiliate WVUE for $55.6 million.
The good news for RSA members is spelled out in the newsletter, “Pending year-end approval by the FCC, the station would immediately increase in value by more than $12 million due to the re-transmission fees paid to Raycom compared to a single station owner.”
“Sharief has spent his entire life in Louisiana, following the teams that inspire some of the most passionate fans in the world,” WDSU news director Jonathan Shelley said in a statement. “His knowledge of the New Orleans Saints, the New Orleans Pelicans, the LSU Tigers and other area teams shines through in his coverage.”
More from WDSU after the jump. Read more
“Thanh is an excellent journalist and a gifted storyteller,” WWL news director Bill Siegel said in a statement. “He has a special connection with Southeast Louisiana and we are lucky to have him back at WWL-TV.”
Truong left NBC news last month after his contract wasn’t renewed. Based in Atlanta, he contributed to “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today,” and MSNBC. Before working at NBC, he worked at KUSA in Denver. He has also worked at WMAZ in Macon, GA, and WWNY in Watertown, NY.
Truong last worked at WWL from 2004 until 2006. He will anchor the Saturday evening news and will also report. His first day will be Wednesday, September 18.
WWL anchor Melanie Hebert is leaving New Orleans to join her husband in Baton Rouge. The announcement, which she made on Facebook, comes a year to the day after she made her debut on the New Orleans CBS affiliate.
Hebert said she is looking forward to trying “something new, and a more family-friendly job”:
I have spent virtually all of my twenties and my early thirties in news during a significant decade for this industry and the way it operates. I’ve seen a dramatic shift in the way we communicate… and I embrace it and feel blessed to have had the experience I did in TV news for the past 11 years. I am so thankful for everyone who has been so supportive, and I know I will be able to use my broadcast journalism experience to continue to grow professionally and personally in the next phase of my life.
Hebert, who co-anchors WWL’s morning newscast, will officially sign off July 23.
Both agreements will add to the investigative and weather reporting and analysis for both stations and newspapers. WWL will also contribute sports reporting to The Advocate. While WVUE’s latest partnership with NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune includes breaking news coverage and entertainment reporting. Read more