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Tucson’s KWBA Launches Morning Newscast

kwba logoKWBA, the CW affiliate in Tucson, is launching a morning newscast on April 21. It will air from 7 to 8 a.m. as an extension of “Good Morning Tucson,” the morning newscast on sister station KGUN.

“I am excited that we will be able to provide our viewers with additional local news in the 7 a.m. hour,” KWBA vice president and general manager Jim Arnold said in a statement. “This is another opportunity for new viewers who already enjoy CW programs to get local news and weather they may not have seen before.”

The newscast will be anchored by Liz Kotalik with meteorologist April Madison and traffic reporter Allen Kath.

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Marisa Mendelson to Join KVOA

mendelsonMarisa Mendelson has announced she is joining Tucson, AZ, NBC affiliate KVOA as an investigative reporter.

KVOA news director Cathie Batbie-Loucks confirmed with TVSpy Mendelson will start April 15.

“I’m heading to Tucson, Arizona!” Mendelson wrote on her facebook page. “I’m looking forward to joining their great team.”

Mendelson last worked as a reporter for WFTV in Orlando, FL. She came to WFTV from KOKH in Oklahoma City, OK, and has also worked at WFTX in Fort Myers, FL, WOI in Des Moines, IA, and WHBF in Rock Island, IL.

Kevin Jeanes Named Chief Meteorologist at KOLD-KMSB

KEVIN JEANESKevin Jeanes is joining KOLD-KMSB in Tucson as chief meteorologist on January 6. Jeanes comes from WWBT in Richmond, where he has been a meteorologist since 2010.

Jeanes replaces Chuck George, who left the station earlier this year. During his time at KOLD, George took several leaves of absence related to his severe depression. He is currently pursuing an academic career, according to the station.

“I am very excited to join such a respected team of meteorologists at KOLD/KMSB,” Jeanes said in a statement. “Tucson is in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and I can’t wait to make the move.”

Stella Inger Heading South to KGUN

Inger_croppedStella Inger, former anchor and reporter for Phoenix, AZ, Independent station KTVK is heading to Tucson ABC affiliate KGUN.

Inger left KTVK this week, telling facebook fans on Monday, “Enjoying my last 2 days at #3TV. It’s been a blast & I thank you all for welcoming me into your homes! Excited about what’s next. Will keep you posted!”

KGUN news director Tom Burke confirmed with TVSpy, Inger will join Guy Atchley on the weekday 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts beginning October 29.

Meteorologist Aaron Brackett Joins KFOR

aaron brackett kforMeteorologist Aaron Brackett has joined KFOR, the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City. He comes from Tucson ABC affiliate KGUN.

“In Tucson this past May, I watched what was happening here and afterwards I knew I wanted to come and work here. I want to use my skills, everything I’ve learned to help save lives,” Brackett said in a statement. “Between college and now I have covered approximately 26,000 miles storm chasing and am ready to help 4Warn Oklahomans when the weather turns severe.”

Brackett has previously worked as a meteorologist at WREX, the NBC affiliate in his hometown of Rockford, Ill.

Tucson’s KVOA Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Tucson NBC affiliate KVOA is marks 60 years on the air this week.

In an interview with KVOA, Frank Barreca, the station’s first news director and anchor, recalled the bare bones station when it first went on the air in 1953.

“We made a crash course in studying the film industry, learning about lights and how the lights should be installed in the studio that was being built,” Barecca said (video after the jump). “…I remember the typewriters were on crates and I think we had a couple of folding chairs.”

Watch Tom McNamara‘s KVOA after the jump. Read more

Jennifer Waddell Says Goodbye to KGUN

After eight years at KGUN, Jennifer Waddell has signed off from the Tucson ABC affiliate. She is moving to Nashville, where she will be the morning anchor at WZTV.

Waddell said an emotional goodbye to the station on the 10 p.m. newscast Friday, with many station staffers wishing her well on a video tribute to her time at KGUN (watch it after the jump).

“Tucson has been great to us,” Waddell told the Arizona Daily Star. “We’ve had our children here and come to really care a whole lot about this community and felt really connected. Leaving is bittersweet, having to say goodbye to a lot of our very dear friends, but we’re excited for the new chapter.

Waddell will begin at Fox affiliate WZTV on September 23. [h/t NewsBlues] Read more

KGUN Names Tom Burke News Director

Tom Burke starts his first day today as news director for Tucson, AZ, ABC affiliate KGUN, TVSpy has confirmed.

Burke replaces Forrest Carr who resigned in March.

Before coming to KGUN, Burke was the news director at WTVM in Columbus, GA, until December 2012. He’s also worked in Sacramento, Fresno, Pittsburgh, Columbus, OH, Detroit, and Greenville, NC.

[Rick Gevers Blog]

KVOA, KGUN Walk Back False Suicide Reports

Two stations in Tucson are walking back reports about a young child whose mother said he killed himself after witnessing a deathly accident, Tucson Weekly reports.

ABC affiliate KGUN interviewed Genesee Pineda, who said that her son took his own life after he saw his best friend run over by a Pima County police cruiser. NBC affiliate KVOA also reported the death, saying on multiple newscasts “we’re told [he] committed suicide days after” his friend died.

“He was asking about heaven, he had repeated that he didn’t want his friend to go to heaven by himself,” Pineda told KGUN. “They took him to UMC, where he died there.”

After running the story, KGUN investigative reporter Craig Smith — who Tucson Weekly notes did not file the original story — did a follow-up report revealing neither the police or the hospital had any record of a the death. Smith also noted that the photo Pineda provided of her son was identical to one on HBO’s website.

Both stations have done follow-up reports on the story’s inaccuracies, although neither station has addressed why Pineda’s claims were not investigated before the original reports went to air.

KVOA’s report can be seen here; KGUN’s report has been stripped from the website, but a cached version remains online here.

TVSpy has reached out to KVOA and KGUN for comment.

Paul Cicala Leaving KVIA, Station Names Successor

KVIA has announced sports director Paul Cicala (pictured left) is leaving the El Paso ABC affiliate and will join Tucson NBC affiliate KVOA.

“We are sad to lose such a talented, genuine person like Paul,” said KVIA news director Brenda De Anda-Swann in a statement. “He is a truly unique, authentic talent and his enthusiasm is always contagious. He has a special bond with the audience and I know he’ll be missed.”

Cicala is moving to Tucson to tend to family matters, the station said.

The station also announced Asher Wildman (pictured right) will step into Cicala’s sports director role as soon as Cicala leaves in one month.

Wildman has worked at KVIA for more than a year. Prior to working at KVIA, he was host of Golfweek TV in Orlando, FL.

[El Paso Times]

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