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Archives: March 2012

Mega Millions Jackpot Is Worth $640 Million, But What’s the Value to Stations Airing the Drawing?

While the record Mega Millions jackpot (now up to $640 million) makes for a compelling news story for local stations, what is the value of airing the actual drawing?

For decades, lottery drawings have been a fixture on local stations but interest in live TV drawings has waned in recent years as people increasingly go online to check the winning numbers or scan their tickets at the local convenience store.

“There was a time way back when you could look at the ratings and see a bump,” WCVB general manger Bill Fine told TVSpy this week, talking about the significance of a station airing lottery drawings. “It’s just not that way anymore.” Read more

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Bristol’s WCYB Adds Julie Newman, Brian Bishop

WCYB-WEMT in Bristol, TN has hired anchor Julie Newman (pictured) and reporter Brian Bishop.

Newman will co-anchor the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Garick Zikan beginning April 4. She comes to Bristol from Blue Ridge PBS, where she has been a producer and host for three years. Bishop, who will be a general assignment reporter, joins WCYB from WKPT in Kingsport, TN.

The station has also shuffled two meteorologists: weekend meteorologist Donnie Cox has been promoted to weekday mornings, and WEMT weekend meteorologist David Boyd has been moved to WCYB’s weekend newscasts.

Bob Williams Resigns After 27 Years at WCJB

Citing family reasons, WCJB anchor Bob Williams resigned today after more than 27 years at the Gainesville ABC-affiliate.

“It was a hard decision to make, but I felt it was the most appropriate thing to do under the circumstances for my family,” he told the Gainesville Sun. “I do have some things I have to take care of.”

During his time at WCJB, he has served as a reporter, anchor, news director and community service manager. Most recently, he has been the station’s noon anchor and promotions manager. His last day on the air was yesterday.

KOKH Cuts Ties with News Director, Top Anchor

Oklahoma Fox-affiliate KOKH has cut ties with news director Joe Spadea and longtime anchor Andrew Speno (pictured).

“Just so you don’t hafta hear it on the streets, I parted ways w/ Fox 25,” Speno tweeted, announcing the end of a nine year run as KOKH’s main anchor.

Oklahoma City media blog The Lost Ogle reports that Spadea and Speno, as well as an employee from HR, were all fired or asked to resign this week.

No word yet on what led to the departures, although The Lost Ogle has some theories.  KOKH general manager John Rossi has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Lynna Lai Named Weekend Anchor at WKYC

Lynna Lai is joining Cleveland’s WKYC as the weekend anchor, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Lai was most recently an anchor at rival WOIO, the Cleveland CBS-affiliate. The station did not renew her contract after former WKYC anchor Romona Robinson was hired in January.

She replaces Eric Mansfield, who is leaving the station for a job at Kent State University. Her first day will be April 16.

“Sometimes, anchors are perceived as being out of touch with the community, for never setting foot outside the station,” she said in a statement. “But Channel 3 is committed to hiring anchors who are reporters first, so I think this is a great fit.”

Adrian Whitsett Returns to KETV Following DUI

KETV anchor Adrian Whitsett is back at work, after serving time for his third DUI.

KETV general manager Ariel Roblin confirmed today that Whitsett has returned to work, although she said that his return to the air has not yet been determined.

In an email, Whitsett told TVSpy that he hopes to be back on air “within a few weeks.”  Before going on unpaid leave following his arrest, Whitsett anchored KETV’s weekday 5 p.m. newscast.

Whitsett’s Twitter account went dark following his DUI arrest in January but he started tweeting again on Thursday.  “Good to be back at it!” reads one message.

Six Weeks After On-Air Dog Attack, Kyle Dyer Returning to KUSA

Six weeks after being bitten on the face by a dog on the morning newscast, anchor Kyle Dyer is returning to Denver’s KUSA on Monday, the Associated Press reports.

Dyer was injured during an interview with the dog’s owner about the dramatic rescue after the Argentine Mastiff fell through the ice. The Argentine Mastiff, Max, bit the anchor on the lip, resulting in four hours of reconstructive surgery and 70 stitches.

“Woke up at 5am to get ready for an even earlier alarm on Monday,” Dyer wrote on Facebook this morning. “Yes, I’m headed back to work! Happy Weekend!”

WWL to Launch 4:30 a.m. Newscast Next Week

Beginning Monday, the morning newscast on New Orleans CBS-affiliate WWL will begin at 4:30 a.m.

“We know there is an audience that wants information earlier in the morning, and we felt this was the right time to start serving that group of viewers,” news director Bill Siegel told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The extra half-hour will be anchored by Mike Hoss, with meteorologist Laura Buchtel and traffic reporter Christina Leavenworth. Melanie Hebert will co-anchor when she joins the station this Summer.

Following Complaints from Local Stations, City of Sanford Rescinds Controversial Media Warning

The City of Sanford has rescinded its controversial warning that members of the media covering the Trayvon Martin case could be arrested, following pressure from local news outlets who argued that the threat was unconstitutional.

On Wednesday, the City of Sanford, which has enlisted the help of a private PR firm in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, issued a press release stating that law enforcement officials would “not hesitate” to arrest members of the media who approach city employees outside of working hours.

After receiving complaints from Orlando stations, including WESH and WFTV, the city issued a follow-up release on Thursday evening, rescinding its threat. Read more

WOFL’s Valerie Boey: George Zimmerman’s Father Seemed ‘Tired, Stressed’

WOFL reporter Valerie Boey is speaking out on how she landed an exclusive interview with George Zimmerman‘s father, Robert.

“He emailed me,” Boey told the Orlando Sentinel. “I thought at first, ‘I’m not going to get  my hopes up.’ I went and met him in a public place. I asked to see his ID. I asked, ‘Why me?’ He said, ‘Because I trust you.’ He watches us all the time.”

Boey said Robert Zimmerman seemed “very tired, stressed.” Read more

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