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Posts Tagged ‘KATU’

KOIN on Low Power After Fire Knocks Portland Stations Off-Air

koin-transmitter-fire-021014Portland CBS affiliate KOIN, along with Sinclair owned ABC affiliate KATU and Tribune owned CW affiliate KRCW were knocked off the air yesterday by a fire.

According to KOIN the fire in an electrical room in a building in Tualatin, OR, spread to transformer lines before being put out quickly.

The LIN owned station said over-the-air and satellite signals were affected, but the cable broadcast was not. Service was partially restored a little over an hour after it was disrupted.

Viewers living far from the transmitter site may not be getting KOIN’s signal since the station said it’s been running on low power since the fire.

KOIN said it has no estimate on when full power would be restored.

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Portland Reporter Suing Sinclair for Failing to Pay Overtime

sinclair_304Attorneys for former KATU investigative reporter Thom Jensen have filed a suit seeking class action status for a federal lawsuit saying Sinclair Broadcasting Group failed to pay overtime to news reporters at its stations in Oregon, reports The Register-Guard.

Jensen, who worked at the Portland ABC affiliate from October 2006 until December 2012, alleges he regularly worked between five to 10 hours of overtime each week without getting paid for it.

The lawsuit would include people who worked at KATU in Portland as well as those who worked at KMTR and KVAL in Eugene. Fisher Communications, which owned the stations before Sinclair announced it was buying the station group in April, is also named in the suit.

Also, the lawsuit claims Jensen has post-traumatic stress disorder and that the Portland station refused to accommodate his disability. The suit alleges Jensen was fired because of that disability and in retaliation for complaining about not receiving overtime pay.

Jensen claims the company created a stressful and difficult working environment that worsened his illness. Read more

Viewers Question Reporter After She Asks If It’s OK for President to Watch Basketball Game

KATU reporter Anna Canzano stirred up some negative viewer reaction when she used social media to question whether it was appropriate for President Barack Obama to watch a college basketball game with his family.

The reporter for the Portland, OR, ABC affiliate wrote roughly the same question on both the KATU facebook page, her company facebook page and her company twitter feed,

A large majority of the responses were in the president’s favor and many wondered why Canzano was asking the question at all. One responder on twitter asked Canzano, “what is wrong with you?” Read more

Layoffs at Sinclair Stations in Seattle, Portland

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group has handed down a round of layoffs at its newly-acquired stations in Seattle and Portland, TVSpy has learned.

A source at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO tells TVSpy that there were 10 layoffs in the station’s newsroom and close to 20 across all Sinclair’s properties in Seattle. They include satellite truck operators, editors, producers and radio reporters and editors.

The source describes the mood at KOMO as “a combination of sadness and nervousness,” noting that the newsroom is a “very tight-knit group” that has been through a lot, including the death of Kathi Goertzen, over the past two years. Staffers are said to be banding together to help laid-off employees find new jobs.

KOMO news director Holly Gauntt declined to comment. General manager Janene Drafs did not respond to an email from TVSpy.

In Portland, The Oregonian reports nine people were laid off at ABC affiliate KATU, including “three editors, a writer, a producer, two truck operators and two folks who work with KATU’s web operation, including an executive producer.”

More details? Email us: tvspy@mediabistro.com.

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Acquire Fisher Communications for $373M

Sinclair Broadcast Group is buying Fisher Communications for $373.3 million, the two companies announced Thursday.

Fisher owns 20 television stations in eight markets, reaching 3.9% of U.S. TV households (full list is after the jump). The transaction also includes three radio stations in Seattle. As part of the terms of the agreement, Fisher will provide “certain operating services” for three TV stations in Eugene, Ore. –  KMTR, KMCB and KTCW — after the transaction is approved by the FCC.

TVNewsCheck reports Sinclair won a bidding war with LIN Media for the station group “in a deal finalized in the wee hours of Tuesday night.”

“Sinclair is the largest independent TV broadcaster in the country, and we believe its commitment to the industry — along with its greater scale and sizable resources — will provide our stations, team members and business partners with new opportunities to flourish,” Fisher president and CEO Colleen B. Brown said in a statement. Read more

Investigative Reporter Thom Jensen Out at KATU

Thom Jensen has confirmed with TVSpy he is no longer with KATU, the ABC affiliate for Portland, OR.

Jensen told TVSpy, “I got an outpouring of love from viewers and co-workers after I left.  It was really touching.”

Jensen had been working with the station as an investigative reporter for six years.  He added, “I really did enjoy working with KATU Investigators and with the new news director and the new direction she was taking the team.”

TVSpy has reached out to KATU for comment.  We will update the post with any new information.

Don Pratt Tapped as VP-GM of Boise’s KBOI-KYUU

Don Pratt is stepping into the role of vice president and general manager at KBOI-KYUU, the Fisher Communications duopoly in Boise.

Pratt comes from the Fisher-owned station in Portland, ABC-affiliate KATU, where he has been the vice president and news director since 2006. Prior to that, he worked at WHDH in Boston, WCSC in Charleston and KGO in San Francisco.

“We’ve been very pleased with Don’s performance at KATU, where he took our news product to its next level, establishing the strongest news brand in the market,” said KATU general manager John Tamerlano, who is also the SVP of Fisher Regional Television. Read more

Portland Stations Pulled From New Streaming Service

When streaming TV service Skitter launched in Portland in March, the company set itself apart from the Barry Diller-backed TV startup Aereo because it had existing carriage agreements with broadcasters.

Now it looks like those agreements aren’t holding up.

Multichannel News reports that the ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox affiliates in Portland demanded that their signals be pulled from Skitter while they review their retrans agreements with the company. And Skitter has complied. Read more

Sports Director Katy Brown Departs KATU

Katy Brown has departed KATU after seven years as the station’s sports director.

KATU news director Don Pratt confirmed Brown’s departure to TVSpy but would not give any details about what led to her exit.

Brown has been covering the Portland sports scene since 2000.  She was recently named Oregon Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Weekend sports anchor Craig Birnbach, who has been with KATU since 2007, has replaced Brown on the station’s evening newscasts this week. Read more

KATU Crew Narrowly Escapes Downed Power Line Then Reports on Damage Live

While reporting on a heavy blanketing of snow in southwest Portland, a KATU news crew narrowly escaped danger after a falling tree limb pulled a power line to the ground feet away from their live truck.

“I was terrified,” KATU reporter Lincoln Graves said. “As soon as the sky lit up and I heard the ‘zapping’ sounds, I thought the worst. I put my hands over my head thinking our truck mast had somehow touched a power line.” Read more

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