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Posts Tagged ‘WTHR’

As Angela Buchman’s Debut Nears, Chief Meteorologist Chris Wright to Exit WTHR

Chief meteorologist Chris Wright is leaving WTHR, Dispatch Broadcast Group’s NBC affiliate in Indianapolis.

Wright’s exit comes as the station prepares for the September arrival of Angela Buchman, who joins WTHR from rival WISH after sitting out a yearlong non-compete clause in her contract. Wright told NewsBlues that WTHR offered him “a huge pay cut and a reduced role” and said he would “go try to catch on somewhere else.”

“Despite our efforts and wanting him to remain at WTHR, Chris has chosen to look for other opportunities,” Dispatch vice president of news John Cardenas told the Indianapolis Star.

WTHR has yet to respond to TVSpy’s request for comment.

Oops: WTHR Uses KTTV Meteorologist Pablo Pereira’s Headshot in Story About New GM

Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR gave an on-air welcome to its new general manager, Larry Delia, during the 6 p.m. newscast on Friday night.

“Our family here at WTHR is welcoming a new general manager to channel 13. Larry Delia has been named president and GM of WTHR by our parent company, the Dispatch Broadcast Group,” anchor John Stehr said. “We want to welcome Larry to Channel 13.”

One problem: WTHR used the headshot of Pablo Pereira, a meteorologist at KTTV in Los Angeles, in the graphic (above).

WTHR ran the correct picture during the 11 p.m. newscast and the 8 a.m. newscast Saturday (below).

John Cardenas Named President and General Manager of WBNS in Columbus

John Cardenas has been named vice president of news for Dispatch Broadcast Group and president and general manager of WBNS, the company’s CBS affiliate in Columbus.

It is a return to the station for Cardenas, who was news director at WBNS from 1999-2010. For the past three years, he has been general manager of WTHR, Dispatch’s NBC affiliate in Indianapolis. In his new role, he will oversee both stations.

“We are thrilled that John will be returning to Columbus where I’m sure he will build upon the market leadership of 10TV and will take the executive lead of our broadcast news operations in Columbus and Indianapolis,” Dispatch Broadcast Group CEO Michael J. Fiorile said in a statement.

Cardenas replaces Tom Griesdorn, who will retire from WBNS in June after 14 years as president and general manager.

“It’s an honor to come back home to Columbus, yet still be involved in the award-winning journalism being done at both stations,” Cardenas said.

Kathy Hostetter Named News Director at WTHR

Kathy Hostetter has been named news director at WTHR, Dispatch Broadcast Group’s NBC affiliate in Indianapolis.

Hostetter, who was an executive producer at WTHR from 1998-2002, will begin in her new role on May 6. Since April 2010, she has been news director at WAVE in Louisville. She has also worked as news director at WISE in Fort Wayne, Ind. and WAVY in Portsmouth, Va.

“Kathy is a remarkable and highly-regarded news leader with years of experience in major markets. As a former Executive News Producer here at WTHR, her local experience is a tremendous asset,” WTHR GM John Cardenas said in a statement. “I am excited that she will be joining us.”

Hostetter replaces Keith Connors, who left WTHR when his contract expired last year.

KNXV, WTHR, KMGH and WVIT Win Peabody Awards

Four local stations –Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV, Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR, Denver ABC affiliate KMGH and Hartford NBC O&O WVIT –  have won George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media in 2012.

KNXV’s award-winning report, “Ford Escape: Exposing a Deadly Defect,” was a five-month investigation that revealed an acceleration problem with the vehicle, sparking a federal inquiry and the recall of 700,000 SUVs.

WTHR won a Peabody Award for “Investigating the IRS,” a “stunning investigation” that exposed how illegal immigrants were defrauding the IRS of billions of dollars in tax refunds.

“Investigating the Fire,” KMGH’s award-winning report, examined the mistakes and miscommunication that led to a deadly fire caused by the Colorado State Forest Service’s controlled burn. The report resulted in legislative changes in Colorado.

WVIT won for “Breaking News: Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.” The station was the first television news outlet to report on the Sandy Hook shooting, providing “comprehensive coverage that informed not only its own audience, but viewers around the country.”

Former Employee Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against WTHR

The former executive assistant to WTHR general manager John Cardenas has filed an age and sexual discrimination lawsuit against the Indianapolis NBC affiliate and Dispatch Broadcast Group, WTHR’s parent company. The Indianapolis Business Journal has details of the lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana:

In the suit, [Debbie] Wiley describes a work environment at WTHR that lacked any sort of grandeur. Wiley alleged Cardenas on multiple occasions was drunk while at work, “during which times his inappropriate behavior was even more exaggerated.”

Given her close working relationship with Cardenas as his assistant, “she bore the brunt of it,” Wiley’s attorney, Eric Pavlack, told IBJ. Wiley claims the station president also made inappropriate sexually suggestive “and/or romantically suggestive physical contact” with her.

At one point last June, she states in court records, “Cardenas was drunk at work and kept getting into my personal space, which made me uncomfortable. I reported this to management, as well.” Read more

Chikage Windler Joins KEYE From WTHR

Chikage Windler, the weekend meteorologist at WTHR, is saying goodbye to the Indianapolis NBC affiliate. She is headed to Austin, where she will be chief meteorologist at CBS affiliate KEYE.

“It’s my last show here at WTHR-TV today at noon!” Windler wrote on Facebook Tuesday morning. “THANK YOU for watching and counting on me for your forecasts here! It’s been an honor.”

Windler begins at KEYE on March 4. She replaces Troy Kimmel, who resigned from KEYE in December. [via Indianapolis Business Journal]

Former WTHR and WXII Reporter Jane Harrington-Smith Dies

Jane Harrington-Smith, a former reporter for WXII in Greensboro and WTHR in Indianapolis, has died of heart failure, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. She was 62.

Harrington-Smith was the first black female reporter at WXII, where she worked for six years. At WTHR, she was the lead reporter on the Mike Tyson rape trial in 1992.

“She was a great lady and very gracious,” WXII anchor Cameron Kent told the Journal. “Our profession will really miss her. She was a great reporter; one of the best that I have ever been around.”

News Director Keith Connors Leaving WTHR

Keith Connors, news director at WTHR will be leaving the Indianapolis NBC affiliate when his contract expires in a few weeks.

The Indiana Business Journal reported Connors told staffers he’ll be leaving the station to pursue other options.

Indianapolis has been hard on its news directors lately.  In August, CBS affiliate WISH ousted Patti McGettigan while ABC affiliate WRTV and news director Kevin Finch parted ways last week.  Soon, FOX affiliate WXIN will be the only network affiliated station with a news director.

Connors came to WTHR in January of 2011 from KHOU in Houston where he was executive news director.  Previous to Houston, Connors worked in Rochester, NY, Norfolk, VA and Charlotte, NC.

>UPDATE: WTHR sent TVSpy a press release not only announcing their continued dominance in the Indianapolis ratings but showing big ratings increases over last year’s numbers, “Eyewitness News continues to dominate and win all key newscasts, remaining a strong number one at 4:30am, 5:00am, 5:30am, 6am, 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm and 11pm. In addition, all key newscasts earned big ratings increases from the same time period a year ago.”

WFAA, WTHR Win Regional News & Documentary Emmy Awards

WFAA and WTHR were the two regional winners at the 33rd annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, handed out Monday night in New York City.

WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, took home the Emmy for Outstanding Regional News Story in the Spot News category. The award for “A Day of Weather” was presented to executive producer Valerie Roberts-Evans, producer Eric Valadez and chief director Art MacLaren.

 Related, TVNewser: News and Doc Emmy Awards: PBS, ABC, CBS Lead List of Winners

WTHR, the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, won Outstanding Regional News Story in the Investigative Reporting Category. Producer Cyndee Hebert, reporter Bob Segall, photojournalist Jim Hall and photojournalist-editor Bill Ditton were honored for “Reality Check: Where Are The Jobs?”

A full list of the winners is here.

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