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Pittsburgh

Jim Parsons Promoted to Assistant News Director at WTAE

WTAE investigative reporter Jim Parsons has been promoted to assistant news director at the Pittsburgh ABC affiliate.

“We believe that in his new role as assistant news director, Jim will continue to build on our legacy of high quality reporting and investigations that Pittsburgh viewers expect from WTAE Channel 4 Action News,” WTAE general manager Michael J. Hayes said in a statement announcing the promotion.

Parsons, who joined WTAE in 1998, said he was “honored and humbled” by the opportunity. His appointment as assistant news director is effective immediately, and WTAE has announced a search for a new investigative reporter.

A.J. Ross Joins WKYC in Cleveland

A.J. Ross is joining Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC on April 15, according to the station’s Director’s Cut blog.

Ross will be a multimedia journalist at WKYC. She comes from Pittsburgh, where she was most recently a freelance reporter for ABC affiliate WTAE and the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Ross has also worked at WSYX in Columbus as a reporter for the evening newscasts and at WMBF in Myrtle Beach, S.C. as a reporter and anchor.

Jennifer Tomazic Says Goodbye to WDJT

Morning anchor Jennifer Tomazic signed off Friday from WDJT, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee (video above).

“Thank you so much everyone for watching us,” Tomazic said. “This is a great team. Don’t change the channel, because coming up on Monday you have a wonderful woman named Jessica and she’s going to pick up right where I left off.”

On Monday, Jessica Tighe will take over as morning and noon co-anchor. Tighe joins the station from KWQC, the NBC affiliate in Davenport, Iowa. Read more

Meteorologist Mike LaPoint Out at WPXI

Mike LaPoint, who joined WPXI in 2007 as chief meteorologist, is out at the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate. The Pittburgh Post-Gazette reports that LaPoint’s contract was not renewed.

“We met with Mike [in] late summer and told him we wouldn’t likely be renewing his contract at the end of the year,” WPXI GM Ray Carter told the Post-Gazette in an email. “He began a quiet search at that point and as I understand it, is in the running for a couple of different weather jobs. He was a terrific employee in terms of work ethic and how he carried himself. We will miss his energetic attitude and real love of weather forecasting.”

A search for LaPoint’s replacement is underway.

WTAE Defamation Lawsuit Settled

WTAE, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, has settled a defamation lawsuit with a woman who accused the station of wrongly showing her photo during a report on a kidnapping case, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kathy Bass claims the station used her photograph during a report on her daughter, kidnapping suspect Kathy Ann Bass. Kidnapping charges against the younger Bass were later dropped, according to the Post-Gazette; she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to between one and two years in prison.

The lawsuit claimed defamation and invasion of privacy. WTAE filed a motion to dismiss the case in December. Terms of the settlement were not public.

Jim Lapiana Named GM of Pittsburgh’s WPGH

Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Jim Lapiana general manager of Pittsburgh FOX affiliate WPGH and MyNetworkTV affiliate WPMY.

“I am thrilled and excited to lead the stations and serve in a higher capacity,Lapiana said in a statement. “The stations are an integral part of the Pittsburgh community, and I look forward to continuing our focus of meeting viewers’ needs and helping our local businesses spread their messages.”

Lapiana, who succeeds group manager Alan Frank, was the director of sales for the two Pittsburgh stations.  Before coming to WPGH in 2001, he served as general manager of WPXT in Portland, ME. From 1994 to 1998 , he was general manager of WRDC and WLFL in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Read more

Mike Oliveira Promoted to News Director at WPXI

Mike Oliveira has been promoted to news director at Pittsburgh NBC affiliate WPXI, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Oliveira, the station’s managing editor, joined WPXI seven years ago as an executive producer. He has previously worked at WHDH in Boston and WTVH in Syracuse.

“Mike has been with us since 2005 and has had a dramatic impact on our product and people,” WPXI vice president and general manager Ray Cater said in a statement.

Oliveira replaces Michael Goldrick, who was recently named news director at WRC in Washington, DC.

WTAE Wants Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

WTAE is seeking to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against the Pittsburgh ABC affiliate that was transferred to federal court last week. Kathy Bass is suing the station over an August 2010 report, claiming WTAE used her photograph while reporting on a woman named Kathy Ann Bass who was accused of kidnapping.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has details on the station’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit:

Attorneys for Hearst wrote that the one-year statute of limitations on defamation claims expired. The delay, Hearst’s lawyers wrote in a brief, may stem from “misgivings about pursuing a claim alleging misidentification as an arrestee when she in fact has an arrest history of her own, the offending mug shot of plaintiff was provided to the press by authorities, and the arrestee alleged to be mistaken for plaintiff is … plaintiff’s daughter.”

A lawyer for Bass confirmed that his client was the mother of the accused kidnapper, but said it had no bearing over the case, according to the Post-Gazette.

WTAE Sued for Defamation, Invasion of Privacy

A defamation lawsuit against Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE was transferred into federal court last week, according to the Herald-Standard.

The station is being sued over the use of a photograph. Kathy Bass, 49, claims WTAE used a picture of her while reporting on a 21-year-old woman named Kathy Ann Bass who was arrested for kidnapping in 2010.

Bass claims she received several phone calls asking about her role in the kidnapping after the report was broadcast, the Herald-Standard reports. The suit claims defamation and invasion of privacy.

Kelly Brennan Joins WTAE as Reporter

Kelly Brennan will join Pittsburgh’s ABC affiliate WTAE as a reporter.

Brennan, who is the sister of WPXI reporter Courtney Brennan, will begin reporting for the station Monday.

Kelly Brennan comes from WOWK in Charleston, WV.

Viewers may remember her sister Courtney for a near miss with Jerry Sandusky’s wife’s car while reporting on the Sandusky molestation trial.  Click here to see the video.

[Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette]

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