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Phoenix

Phoenix Stations Remember Journalists Killed in 2007 Helicopter Accident

Phoenix stations took time this weekend to mark the six year anniversary of a helicopter crash that killed four local journalists.

July 27, 2007, the helicopters for ABC affiliate KNXV and independent station KTVK collided while covering a police chase. KNXV’s Craig Smith and Rick Krolak and KTVK’s Scott Bowerbank and Jim Cox were all killed when the helicopters went down in Steele Indian School Park.

“On July 27th will always be a difficult time for us, but something we are determined not to let die,” Jim Cox’s father Alan Cox told FOX owned station KSAZ. “This memorial in the park is just fantastic and the folks who put this together should be commended. We thank them very, very much.”

The Cox family has created the James Alan Cox foundation for Student Photographers. Click here to learn more. Watch the coverage from the two stations affected after after the jump. Read more

KNXV Called Racist For Where They Got Zimmerman Trial Reaction

Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV is getting called out by viewers and the local media over where it chose to look for reaction to this weekend’s George Zimmerman verdict.

The night the verdict was announced, KNXV reporter Sara Goldenberg went to Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles restaurant in downtown Phoenix to ask patrons for their thoughts on the verdict.

Shortly after the piece aired, Phoenix Business Journal editor Ilana Lowery tweeted, “As a journalist, I’m appalled @abc15phx went to Lolo’s in Phoenix to get reaction to #ZimmermanVerdict. Why a chicken and waffle restaurant?” Read more

Meteorologist Laura Thomas Joins KNXV

Laura Thomas has joined KNXV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, as a meteorologist and multimedia journalist.

Thomas comes from KDAF in Dallas, where she has been the morning meteorologist since 2011. She has previously worked at KLBK and KJTV, both in Lubbock, Texas.

Dallas media blogger Ed Bark reports that Thomas will be the weekend meteorologist at KNXV.

VIDEO: Phoenix Anchor Gets Hit With Water Balloons During Morning Newscast

File this one under “predictable.” During a segment on the KPNX morning newscast that involved kids running around with water balloons, Doug Meehan got soaked by a few elementary school children with impressively good aim (video above).

Meehan, alongside Emma Jade and meteorologist James Quiñones, were outside doing a segment on an upcoming charity race in Phoenix where children from the local community keep runners cool with water guns and water balloons. As the interview finished up, Jade asked them if they were going to use the rest of water balloons. Unsurprisingly, they responded by pelting Meehan, with one hitting him directly on the back of the head.

“Don’t worry. It’s all polyester,” Quiñones said of Meehan’s suit. “Just beat it off him.”

Jaime Cerreta Leaving Oklahoma City for Phoenix

KOKH anchor Jaime Cerreta is leaving the Oklahoma City FOX affiliate for Phoenix independent station KTVK.

She announced the news on facebook, “Hi friends! I always said the only reason I’d leave OKC is to go home… I have accepted a weekend anchor job at KTVK 3TV in my hometown of Phoenix.”

Cerreta told TVSpy, “After almost seven incredible years in OKC, I’m excited to return to my family in Phoenix as weekend evening anchor at KTVK.”

Cerreta came to KOKH from KBMT in Beaumont, TX, she’s also worked in Joplin and Springfield, MO. Cerreta’s last day will be August 2.

KSAZ Gets First Interview With Jodi Arias: ‘I Would Rather Die Sooner Than Later’


KSAZ, the Fox O&O in Phoenix, got the first interview with Jodi Arias after she was found guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday. Arias sat down with Troy Hayden for 45 minutes just minutes after the verdict was read (video above).

In the interview, Arias maintained that she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense, saying she regrets her actions in the immediate aftermath of his death. “I think that I was just freaked out. I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I knew that I couldn’t just carry on as normal, but I tried to act that part until everything came down on me. Just the way everything happened I think that if I had just been honest from the beginning I’d be in a different place … because of what I’ve done, a lot of people will hurt for a long time.”

The interview aired in seven parts across KSAZ’s evening newscasts Wednesday. Watch them here.

Verdict Reached in Jodi Arias Trial

A verdict has been reached in the trial of Jodi Arias, who is accused of murdering her boyfriend Travis Alexander in Arizona.

In Phoenix, ABC affiliate KNXV was the first to report the news at 11:32 a.m. with Connie Colla and Dan Spindle anchoring. “This is one of those cases where we’ve been waiting, monitoring Twitter, we’ve got reporters and crews that have been down there staking out their spot at the courthouse,” Spindle said. “And we do know right now they announced and went through this chain of events to let everybody know.”

Fox O&O KSAZ was next at 11:34 a.m. with Ron Hoon and Rick D’Amico at the anchor desk. CBS affiliate KPHO and independent station KTVK both reported the news at 11:36 a.m. Nicole Crites and Pat McReynolds anchored on KPHO and Kaley O’Kelly and Javier Soto anchored on KTVK.

NBC affiliate KPNX reported the news at 11:38 a.m. with Scott Light and Tram Mai anchoring.

The verdict will be read at 4:30pmET/1:30pmMT.

>Update: The jury has found Arias guilty of first-degree murder.

KPHO News Director on Jodi Arias Trial: ‘We Will Not Add to the Circus Atmosphere’

Michelle Donaldson, news director for Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO, has written an open letter to viewers about the station’s plans for covering the upcoming verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial.

“While we at CBS 5 pledge continuing and professional coverage of the jury’s decision,” wrote Donaldson. “We will not add to the circus atmosphere by putting up tents or stages or hiring actors.  We will not forget that at the heart of this case is a young man whose life was cut short and family members who grieve for him.”

>RELATED: TVNewser: As Jury Decides Jodi Arias’ Fate, HLN Continues to Rack Up the Ratings

Donaldson told TVSpy, “We’re not reinventing ourselves with this post.  It’s just that we rarely speak so frankly and directly with people about our approach to any particular story.” Her letter was posted to both the station website and its facebook page. You can read the entire text of the letter after the jump. Read more

Ty Brennan Joins KSAZ in Phoenix

Ty Brennan made his debut this weekend on KSAZ, the Fox O&O in Phoenix (video above).

Brennan, who will co-anchor the weekend morning newscasts alongside Kristen Keogh, comes from KCNC in Denver. “I left Colorado in a blinding snowstorm to drive here, and then I came here it was the first 100 degree day,” Brennan joked. “I was like, ‘oh man, what have I gotten myself into?’”

KNXV Loses Two Reporters to Los Angeles

KNXV, the Phoenix ABC affiliate, is two reporters short after the departures of both Steve Kuzj and Kimberly Cheng on consecutive days.

“It’s really tough losing two fine reporters at the same time,” KNXV news director Pat Costello told TVSpy. “That said, I’m happy for them and the fact that we’ve been able to provide them growth opportunities that have taken them to the nation’s second market. Our search is on to find their replacements. Tough shoes to fill, clearly.”

Kuzj, who left KNXV on Monday, announced in early April he was leaving for KTLA. There’s no word where Cheng is headed other than what she wrote on her facebook page, “Yes it is true. I am going, going back to Cali. #HollywoodBound.” Her last day is today. Read more

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