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Archives: October 2011

Reporter Ben Russell Joins KXAS in Dallas

Ben Russell starts today as a general assignment reporter at KXAS, the NBC owned-and-operated station in Dallas-Fort Worth.

“When it comes to dynamic live shots, Ben had one of the best resume tapes I’ve seen in a while,” KXAS news director Susan Tully wrote in an email to staffers obtained by Uncle Barky’s Bytes. “He reports on the late news … and finds a way to make a story, even a ‘non-visual nothing is happening behind me story,’ become good live television.”

Russell joins KXAS from WHP, the CBS-affiliate in Harrisburg, PA. He has been a reporter there for five years.

WLS Expanding Sunday Newscast to Full Hour

WLS is expanding its Sunday 10 p.m. newscast to a full hour.

The ABC O&O announced over the weekend that, beginning November 6th, there will be local news from 10 to 11 p.m. on Sundays.

“On Sunday, this newscast will be expanded to an hour,” anchor Karen Jordan told viewers last night.  “They will be adding more news and weather and sports coverage.”

The expanded newscast will be anchored by the established weekend duo of Jordan and Ravi Baichwal, along with meteorologist Phil Schwarz and sports anchor Rafer Weigel.

Alycia Lane’s Civil Case Against Larry Mendte, CBS to Be Tried in Philadelphia

Despite the best efforts of CBS’s legal team, it appears that the trial of Alycia Lane‘s civil suit against Larry Mendte and CBS will remain in Philadelphia.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the Pennsylvania state supreme court has ruled that the trial will remain in the city where Lane worked alongside Mendte on the KYW anchor desk.  The ruling is a victory for Lane, whose legal team has been fighting to keep the trial in Philly while CBS has attempted to move the proceedings to New York, citing a clause in Lane’s contract that stipulates such a move. Read more

NBC’s 10 Owned Stations Growing Newsgathering; 130+ New Jobs Planned

NBC Universal has announced it is hiring for more than 130 positions across the 10 Owned & Operated stations. “People will always need local news and information. How they get it will change,” says Valari Staab, president of the NBC Owned Television Stations group. “Television has shown it’s done nothing but increase, not decline, with what’s happening with the Internet.”

Ahead of Comcast’s acquisition of NBCU earlier this year, the companies met with the FCC to explain thei commitment to local news. In part, the company agreed to, “maintain at least the current level of news and information programming on NBC’s and Telemundo’s owned-and-operated (“O&O”) broadcast stations, and in some cases expand news and other local content.”

Staab, who was named president of the NBC Owned Television Stations group in April, announced what the expansion means:

> Related: FishbowlNY reports NBCU’s Telemundo station in New York is also expanding local news.

WLS Promotes Freelance Reporter Michelle Gallardo

After seven years as a freelance reporter for ABC owned-and-operated WLS in Chicago, Michelle Gallardo has been promoted to a full-time employee.

“Michelle has proven herself time and time again in the past seven years working for ABC 7 News as a freelance reporter,” WLS news director Jennifer Graves said in a statement. “She has shown her versatility, dedication and determination, and I have no doubt she will have continued success in this new position.”

Gallardo’s promotion is effective tomorrow. TimeOut Chicago’s Robert Feder notes the move takes place the same week as the station expands 10 p.m. weekend newscasts to one hour each.

Jim Watkins Offically Out at WPIX in New York

Nearly a month after FishbowlNY reported Jim Watkins was out the door at New York City CW-affiliate WPIX, the station has finally confirmed the longtime anchor’s departure.

“Jim Watkins and WPIX-TV have decided to end their relationship after 13 years and three Best Newscast Emmy Awards,” WPIX said in a statement.

The station has disputed the original report that Watkins had been fired and was no longer welcome in the WPIX building. For more details, visit FishbowlNY.

WSPA Photojournalist ‘Learning to Live Again’ After August Car Crash

Almost three months ago, Jimmy Moore, a photojournalist at Spartanburg CBS-affiliate WSPA, was paralyzed in a car crash.

Last night, WSPA’s Chris Cato did a six-minute report on Moore’s progress called “Learning to Live Again.” The former photojournalist was married this summer to WSPA nightside producer Jaimie Reda; the two have spent the first months of their marriage in a rehabilitation center, as Moore undergoes rigorous physical therapy. Read more

Philadelphia Police Investigating How WTXF Obtained Evidence in House of Horrors Case

Philadelphia police are reportedly investigating how WTXF obtained ID cards belonging to one of the people arrested in the so-called House of Horrors case.

The Fox O&O has been in possession of ID cards belonging to Jean McIntosh, the daughter of alleged ringleader Linda Weston. The cards show that McIntosh worked as a care aid in at least one assisted living facility, perhaps providing insight into how Weston targeted her victims. Read more

WPTV Story Puts Focus on Reporter’s Wife

This week WPTV aired a story that hit close to home for reporter Jon Shainman. Actually, it hit inside his home.

Shainman calls his wife “a previvor.” With a long history of breast cancer in her family, Shainman’s wife Amy decided to undergo a test to find out her chances of getting cancer. The results showed that she had a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer and a 87% chance of breast cancer.

“I just didn’t feel like those odds were very good for me,” Amy said in an interview with her husband. “So I wanted to cure myself.” Read more

In Seattle, KING’s ‘Evening Magazine’ Names KOMO Anchor Kathi Goertzen Woman of the Year

As part of Seattle’s annual “Best of Western Washington” awards, KING‘s “Evening Magazine” has named Kathi Goertzen, an anchor at rival station KOMO, “Woman of the Year.”

For the past decade, Goertzen has publicly struggled with a benign brain tumor that has left her unable to anchor daily newscasts. Instead, she continues to work at KOMO in a variety of other roles, from special interviews to production work.

Although Goertzen’s facial nerves were recently compromised, her sense of humor remains intact. When “Evening Magazine” host Meeghan Black presented Goertzen with the award, the longtime KOMO anchor said she would display it next to another one of her prized awards.

“The one I have on my desk is ‘Newscaster You’d Most Like To See Naked,’” Goertzen quipped. “I have that one on my desk. This will go right next to it.” Video inside. Read more

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