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Posts Tagged ‘WXMI’

WXMI Fires Reporter For Failing to Disclose Ties to Atheist Group He Was Covering

WXMI has fired reporter and weekend anchor Jason Volentine after he failed to disclose his connection to an atheist group that he was covering.

In July, Volentine did a story for WXMI about the Freedom From Religion Foundation‘s campaign to have the image of a church removed from the city logo of Wyoming, MI.  MLive reports that the Grand Rapids Fox-affiliate dismissed Volentine when it learned that he had ties to the FFRF, a Wisconsin-based organization that fights for the separation of church and state. Read more

VIDEO: Stray Cat Jumps on Reporter During Live Shot

A random cat crashed WXMI reporter Nicole DiDonato‘s live shot Thursday morning, jumping onto her shoulder and sinking its claws in.

DiDonato was shooting a live tease outside of a local microbrewery during the Fox-affiliate’s morning newscast when the stray cat decided to make a cameo (video above).

“Learned my lesson: Never making eye contact with a cat before a live tease ever again,” DiDonato tweeted following the incident. [WXMI]

Jennifer Dowling Joins WXMI From Rival WWMT

Jennifer Dowling has jumped from WWMT in Grand Rapids to rival WXMI, MLive.com reports.

Dowling was a crime and courts reporter and fill-in anchor at CBS-affiliate WWMT. She joined the station in 2010 from WILX, the NBC-affiliate in Lansing, MI. She has also worked at KEVN in Rapid City, SD, KTIV in Sioux City, IA and WHO in Des Moines.

The Michigan native began at Fox-affiliate WXMI last week.

Rick Mecklenburg Joins WXMI as Chief Meteorologist

Rick Mecklenburg has joined WXMI, the Fox-affiliate in Grand Rapids, as chief meteorologist.

Mecklenburg officially joined the station on May 1. He made his on-air debut last week.

Mecklenberg is a former chief meteorologist at WSBT, the CBS-affiliate in South Bend. He filled in on WXMI after the departure of chief meteorologist Peter Chan last year. [via NewsBlues]

Chief Meteorologist Peter Chan Out at WXMI

WXMI chief meteorologist Peter Chan is out the door at the Grand Rapids Fox-affiliate.

“We thank him for the time he’s been with us, and we wish him well in the future,” WXMI news director Kerri Cavanaugh told mlive.com.

Chan was a member of the original WXMI news team, which debuted in 1999. His last day on the air was Thursday. Cavanaugh said the station has not made a decision on who will succeed Chan as chief meteorologist.

Nicole DiDonato, Morgan Bond Join WXMI

Nicole DiDonato and Morgan Bond (pictured) have been hired at WXMI, the Fox-affiliate in Grand Rapids.

DiDonato will be a multimedia journalist on the station’s morning newscast. Until 2010, she was a weekend anchor and reporter at WFIE, the NBC-affiliate in Evansville.  A Michigan native, DiDanato begin her career at WXYZ in Detroit, where she was a writer, associate producer and production assistant.

Bond, also a Michigan native, will be a multimedia journalist for the station’s evening newscasts beginning on March 14. She joins WXMI from KRBC in Abilene.

In Grand Rapids, WOOD Makes HD Debut

WOOD, an NBC-affiliate serving Southwestern Michigan, began broadcasting its newscasts in high definition over the weekend, starting with Saturday’s 6 p.m. newscast.

“What we do for our viewers isn’t changing,” WOOD news director Rebecca Sapakie said, in announcing the station’s HD launch. “24 Hour News 8 will continue to lead the way in breaking news, investigative reporting and severe weather coverage. Only now it will be in high definition.”

WOOD is the third station in the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo market to go HD, following Fox-affiliate WXMI and CBS-affiliate WWMT.

Anderson Cooper Calls Out WXMI Reporter for His Giggle Fit

Following his giggle fit on Wednesday’s “360,” Anderson Cooper added himself to the show’s RidicuList last night.  And pointed out that he’s certainly not the first person to break down in laughter on live TV.

After calling out Matt Lauer as well as a host on the Home Shopping Network, Cooper played a clip of WXMI traffic reporter Robb Westaby losing it…

Full video of Westaby’s laughing fit inside… Read more

Reporter Lisa LaPlante Departs WXMI After 13 Years

Reporter Lisa LaPlante is leaving WXMI after 13 years with the Grand Rapids Fox-affiliate.

LaPlante, one of the original members of WXMI’s news team, has decided to leave the TV news business for a communications post with an area health department. She told The Grand Rapids Press that her decision to leave WXMI was “gut-wrenching.”

“When I started at FOX 17 nearly 13 years ago, we had one show, 35 minutes a day,” she recalled for the Press. “It has been exciting to see the growth to seven hours of news a day.”

LaPlante’s exit is the second high-profile departure from WXMI this month. Reporter-anchor Hailey Frances left the station two weeks ago for a job in Phoenix.

Local Stations Bring Live Coverage Through the Night as Man’s Violent Rampage Rocks Grand Rapids

It was the deadliest shooting rampage ever to occur in Western Michigan. The havoc caused by Rodrick Dantzler on Thursday in Grand Rapids was so widespread that reporters had to specify that they were reporting live at just one of multiple crime scenes.

On Thursday afternoon, Dantzler, who has been described as having bipolar disorder, entered the homes of two former girlfriends, killing them both as well as others present in the houses at the time, including his own 12-year-old daughter. In all, Dantzler killed seven people in the span of a couple of hours and then led police on a car chase through Grand Rapids, eventually holing himself up in a house and taking three hostages.

WWMT, WXMI, WOOD, and WZZM all preempted their regularly scheduled programming on Thursday evening to bring live coverage of Dantzler’s rampage, which ended around 11:30 p.m. when the suspect shot himself.

Here’s a station-by-station breakdown of the local TV coverage… Read more

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