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Phoenix

Phoenix News Director Gets Promoted

casey_kpnxMark Casey, VP and news director for Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX, has been promoted to the newly created position of vice president and station manager.

Casey, who joined KPNX in 1999 said “he looks forward to developing and improving the combined newsrooms’ digital reach and social-media functions.”

John Misner, COO & GM of KPNX, told TVSpy Casey will “retain many of his news director duties as we determine the best next steps for newsroom leadership.”

Casey started his career as a reporter and photographer and has worked as a news director since 1991.

Phoenix Producer Tweets She’s ‘Thankful’ For ‘Drunk Dude’ Driving Into a House

KSAZ morning news producer Juliana Vasquez let everyone know she was having a slow news morning at the Phoenix FOX owned station when she tweeted on her personal account she was “thankful that some drunk dude drivers (sic) into a house” because she needed the news.

Arizona blog Down and Drought first reported about the tweet and captured a screengrab.

Mark Rodman vice president and GM of KSAZ said in a statement, “This is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.”

It appears her twitter page has been deleted. Sources tell TVSpy Vasquez has been reprimanded but what that means exactly is still unclear. We’ll keep you posted.

[Down and Drought]

Brandon Lee Joins KTVK in Phoenix

lee_ktvk_croppedBrandon Lee has joined Phoenix, AZ, independent station KTVK as 4:30 p.m. anchor.

Lee was known as Brandon Rudat when he worked at WGCL in Atlanta. According to KTVK’s press release, “to honor his adopted family and keep a promise made to his adopted father, David Lee, Brandon will go by his middle name ‘Lee’ on air.” He left WGCL in July.

“Brandon will be a great addition to the 3TV news team,” Cameryn Beck, executive news director said in a statement. “His dedication to news excellence and warm personality are a perfect fit for our newsroom and product.”

Lee will also contribute to the station’s other evening shows. He starts anchoring with Jaime Cerreta next Wednesday.

Sheriff’s Department Resorts to Publicly Shaming Phoenix Station for Inaccurate Reports

knxv logo_304x200A Sheriff’s Department in the Phoenix market has resorted to publicly shaming ABC affiliate KNXV for what it says is a string of inaccurate reports.

The most recent incident happened Wednesday when KNXV reported on Twitter three people had been taken to the hospital after two helicopters had collided near Phoenix. It was actually a single vehicle rollover involving three different air ambulances taking the injured to local hospitals.

Following the gaffe, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu issued a statement on the department’s website, “If there isn’t enough drama for the evening news, don’t worry ABC15 will make up more.”

Last month, KNXV ran a report about a man who they said had been banned from Walmart for ad matching, a practice where Walmart matches the lowest price found in advertised products. But, according to the Sheriff’s Department “A simply [sic] check with the Sheriff’s Office would have shown that the “ad match victim” portrayed by ABC15 News was in fact cited and released for one count of Disorderly Conduct and one count of Threatening and Intimidating.”

Tim Gaffney, public information officer for the Sheriff’s department told TVSpy his department has tried multiple times to address the issue with KNXV management and parent company Scripps. He said all attempts have been ignored.

Gaffney said the inaccurate reporting and lack of response from the station and its parent company have forced the department to attempt public shaming in order to bring about a change. Read more

Meredith Acquires KMOV, KTVK and KASW From Gannett

meredith_1Meredith Corporation will buy three stations in two markets — KMOV in St. Louis and KTVK-KASW in Phoenix — from Gannett Co. for $407.5 million in cash.

News of the sale comes just a week after the Department of Justice said Gannett had to sell KMOV in order to proceed with its acquisition of Belo Corp. Gannett says the sale satisfies the obligations, and that the close of the Gannett-Belo merger is “expected promptly.”

KSAW, the CW affiliate in Phoenix, will subsequently be purchased from Meredith by SagamoreHill. Meredith, which owns KPHO in Phoenix, will provide “certain services” for the station, according to a press release.

“Meredith is a highly respected multi-media company which shares our commitment to outstanding local journalism, and we are confident that these stations will be in good hands,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement.

More from Gannett after the jump. Read more

Phoenix Station Promotes Assistant News Director

wood_kphoMeredith owned CBS affiliate KPHO has promoted assistant news director Leona Wood to news director.

Wood has worked at the Phoenix, AZ, station for seven years. She started at KPHO as senior executive producer and was once news director at KXLY in Spokane, WA. She also worked at KTVK in Phoenix as executive producer.

She replaces Michelle Donaldson who left KPHO in August for KOB in Albuquerque, NM.

In Phoenix, KSAZ Debuts Upgraded News Set

KSAZ, the Fox O&O in Phoenix, recently debuted a new high-definition set designed by Devlin Design Group (photos below). The set was designed to give anchors the ability to move freely around the set to several “story telling venues.”

“It makes for a great deal of satisfaction and pride when a client takes one of our sets to the edge of the envelope, KSAZ has redefined that edge!” Devlin Design creative director Dan Devlin said in a statement.

Anchor and Reporter Injured After SUV Hits Phoenix News Van

Phoenix police are investigating a crash that injured KPNX anchor and reporter Kim Covington and photojournalist Mike Falvo yesterday.

According to the NBC affiliate, investigators say an SUV failed to yield at a stop sign and hit the news van the two were traveling in. Their van then rolled into oncoming traffic where it was hit by another vehicle.

Covington and the driver of the third vehicle were taken to a local hospital while Falvo was treated and released at the scene. The station told viewers on its facebook page, “We are relieved to report that they are both OK.” Read more

WATCH: Phoenix Anchor Conjugates ‘C’ Word

Chalk this one up to an honest mistake that gets picked up on a slow afternoon.

This happened on Phoenix FOX owned station KSAZ during last night’s 9:00 p.m. news. While reporting about police in Tempe, AZ, shooting a man after they say he lunged at them with a box cutter, anchor Kari Lake had trouble with the word cutter and invented a new form of potty mouth, the conjugated “C” word.

[Hypervocal]

Phoenix Reporter Rescues Stranded Motorist

KTVK reporter Steve Ryan helped a stranded motorist to safety after flash floods made some streets around Phoenix, AZ, unsafe to drive on.

The reporter for the Phoenix independent station told viewers he was conducting interviews when he heard screams for help coming from a car stopped in the middle of a flooded street. Ryan said the driver tried to make her way out of her car by herself, but he waded in and carried her to drier land. Ryan assured viewers it was more treacherous than it looked on video and he had cables to help steady him while he walked through the ankle deep water.

“It’s a team effort out here, Carey” Ryan told anchor Carey Peña. “When someone’s panicking we help out.”

After the rescue, the unidentified woman Ryan carried told him, “I just kinda freaked out. I thought I was going to drown.” When Ryan assured her she didn’t drown, she replied, “Right.” You can watch video of the rescue after the jump. Read more

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