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Providence-New Bedford

Shannon Hegy Joins WPRI From WGGB

After six years at WGGB in Springfield, Shannon Hegy is set to join WPRI in Providence.

Hegy begin at the WGGB assignment desk and eventually became the station’s main anchor, helming the evening newscasts alongside Dave Madsen. She anchored her last WGGB newscasts Friday night, saying she has taken an anchor position at the Providence CBS affiliate (video above).

Meteorologist Kelly Love Makes WJAR Debut

Kelly Love made her debut as morning and noon meteorologist for Providence NBC affiliate WJAR.

She told viewers on facebook to look out for her Monday saying, “My debut on WJAR is tonight at 5:30pm! Wish me luck!” Love was welcomed on set by anchor Gene Valicenti before her first weather hit on the 5:30 news.

But during the 7:00 p.m. show, Love was joined at the weather wall by anchors Dan Jaehnig and Alison Bologna who handed her a WJAR hat and a stuffed NBC peacock as a welcome gift. “Just so you know, she’s not replacing anyone,” Jaehnig told viewers. “She’s just adding to the biggest meteorology team in town.”

Love came to WJAR from WTVM in Columbus, GA, where she was known as Kelly Bryant.

WLNE Names Nicole Moye News Director

Nicole Moye has been named news director at WLNE, the ABC affiliate in Providence. Her appointment is effective August 21.

Moye comes from WPMT in Harrisburg, Penn., where she was the assistant news director. She has previously worked at KOLD in Bend, Ore., KCOY-KKFX in Santa Barbara, KRON in San Francisco and KPTV in Portland, Ore.

“Nicole has over 20 years of experience in local broadcast news as a producer and news director.  I am confident that she is the ideal person to continue to build on WLNE’s recent success and bring us to the next level in making this station a competitor in the TV market,” vice president and general manager Chris Tzianabos said in a statement.

Moye replaces Robert Rockstroh, who resigned earlier this summer.

More from WLNE after the jump. Read more

WLNE Takes ‘Appropriate Internal Action’ After Publishing Story With Factual Errors, Improper Attribution

Providence ABC affiliate WLNE has retracted a story about health violations at local restaurants after the station “mistakenly misconstrued some of the facts” and failed to give a local website credit for its reporting, WLNE general manager Chris Tzianabos tells TVSpy.

GoLocalProv.com reported Friday on restaurants in the Providence area with the highest number of health violations. The piece reported on citations at restaurants across the region and included a slideshow of the top 25 restaurants with the highest number of violations.

In WLNE’s story on the health violations, which included no attribution to GoLocalProv, the station reported “25 of the city’s restaurants have health violations.” For the original article, GoLocalProv inspected data from the past three years and found the number of restaurants with violations was more than twice that. WLNE also reported that a restaurant called Il Fornello had 7 violations, which was the fewest in the region. GoLocalProv said “there were numerous restaurants in the city that had less than 7 violations.”

“GoLocalProv invested time, energy and money to develop a public interest investigative story that reported on the health violations in Providence restaurants. We were extremely careful with reporting the data. ABC6 plagiarized the story,” Josh Fenton, CEO and co-founder of GoLocalProv.com’s parent company, said in a statement. “Even worse, in their haste to rewrite the story, it contained statements that are incorrect.”

The story has been removed from the WLNE website.

“ABC6 posted a story on abc6.com late Friday evening on a Department of Health report on health violations of local restaurants which inappropriately included facts from a GoLocalProv.com article. In addition to failing to give GoLocalProv.com proper credit, ABC6 mistakenly misconstrued some of the facts. We regret our mistake and we have taken appropriate internal action,” Tzianabos told TVSpy.

WATCH: Providence Reporter Demonstrates What To Do When You See A Bear

Viewers of last night’s WJAR 11:00pm news can be forgiven for wondering whether they were watching reporter Julie Tremmel demonstrate what to do when you spot a bear or if she was re-enacting what happens after getting some bad meatloaf at the local deli.

After a Scituate, RI, man came face-to-face with a bear and didn’t know what to do, the reporter for the Providence NBC affiliate demonstrated advice given by experts.

“According to experts, you should avoid direct eye contact with the bear. Don’t run away, instead back off slowly. Wave your arms to let the animal know you’re human. Don’t yell. Stay quiet unless the bear attacks then scream and throw things at the bear. If the bear attacks, curl up into a ball on your side or lay flat on your stomach. And above all, stay calm.”

The man in the report was fine. He escaped into his garage to avoid the bear and called police.

WLNE News Director Resigns

TVSpy has confirmed WLNE news director Robert Rockstroh is leaving the Providence, RI, ABC affiliate.

WLNE vice president and general manager Chris Tzianabos told TVSpy Rockstroh has resigned and will stay on at the station “for a period of time.”

Rockstroh came to WLNE in 2011.  Before working at WLNE, Rockstroh was executive producer with Verizon’s FiOS1 News in Rye Brook, NY. He’s also worked at WTIC in Hartford, CT, WKJG in Fort Wayne, IN, KSTP in Minneapolis, MN, KRON and KPIX in San Francisco, CA, and KFMB in San Diego, CA.

‘I Feel Like a Bag of Poop’: Woman Who Sicced Dogs on WLNE Crew Speaks Up

The Providence Phoenix recently went looking for the story behind the now viral video of Melisa Lawrence throwing a rock at WLNE reporter Abbey Niezgoda and photographer Marc Jackson, then grabbing a baseball bat to drive the local ABC affiliate crew away before eventually siccing her dogs on them.

Everybody’s like, “Oh, you’re a star now!” I don’t feel like a star. If this is what they call “being a star” then guess what? Let me be the dirt. I’d rather be . . . just a pile of dirt. Because that’s how I feel. I feel like a bag of poop. I feel like nothing. I feel like the scum of the earth.

The Phoenix spoke to local reporters, community leaders and Lawrence herself to hear what happened before the incident, what might have prevented it from happening and give Lawrence more dimension than the video suggests.

Lawrence, who is now facing two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon, told the Phoenix the story was ruining her life and went on to offer some advice to TV crews, “When you’re dealing with the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or whoever — just dealing with victims of a shooting, period — have some compassion. Put yourself in their shoes. You know? Try to get a better understanding of what they’re going through and, like, approach them a different way. If they say ‘No,’ just understand: ‘No’ means ‘No.’”

You can read the entire article by clicking here. You can watch the video of the incident after the jump. Read more

Woman Arrested After Turning Dogs on WLNE Crew

A Providence, RI, woman has been arrested after an exchange with a reporter and photographer for ABC affiliate WLNE ended with the reporter being bitten by the woman’s dog.

Melissa Lawrence has been charged with two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon after throwing a rock at WLNE photographer Marc Jackson and siccing her dogs on both Jackson and reporter Abbey Niezgoda.

The two had approached Lawrence to tell her a suspect in the weekend shooting of her daughter had turned himself in. As the reporter and photographer backed off after Lawrence began her assault, Lawrence ran inside her house and grabbed a baseball bat. “Why are you attacking us ma’am?” asked Niezgoda. Lawrence replied, “Get away from me.” She then sicced her two dogs on the crew. The dogs chased Niezgoda, biting her on the arm and following her as she tried escaping down the street.

Watch the video of the incident after the jump. Read more

7pm News in Providence Beats ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ for First Time Ever

WJAR, the Media General NBC affiliate in Providence, found a new way to spell SUCCESS in February. For the first time, the station’s 4-year old 7pm newscast beat perennial time period winner “Wheel of Fortune.” The newscast, anchored by Dan Jaehnig and Alison Bologna, is the only local newscast at 7pm and certainly got a boost from an unusually snowy month. “With our continued on-air blizzard coverage and in-depth investigative stories from the I-Team and Money Watchers, we feel we have raised the bar on local news content,” says news director Christopher Lanni.

With a 7.32 rating, the 7pm news was up +24% year-over-year. “Wheel” airs on CBS affiliate WPRI at 7pm.

“It was an incredibly rewarding success in February to finally beat this previous ratings dominator,” Lanni tells GoLocalProv. “Dan and Alison and the entire team really put their heart and soul into this show. We’re also proud of the fact that we’re one of the highest rated 7pm newscasts in the entire country.”

OTA Broadcasting to Purchase WLWC

OTA Broadcasting has agreed to buy WLWC in Providence from Sinclair Broadcast Group, according to TVNewsCheck.

WLWC is the CW affiliate in Providence. It will be sold to OTA Broadcasting, which is owned by Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, for $13.75 million.

Sinclair bought WLWC as part of a seven-station deal from Four Points Media last year. [h/t NewsBlues]

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