Phoenix Station Names New Deuce

KNXV stayed in house for their new Assistant News Director hire. 

Here is the internal memo, obtained by FTVLive that sent to the staff from GM Anita Helt:

Subject: Assistant News Director Announcement

I am excited to share that today we have eliminated the “interim” title and officially named Jamie Ioos as our assistant news director.  As many of you know, Jamie is an experienced news manager; in addition to her role here as executive producer, she’s also been a news director, news consultant as well as a producer.  Since joining us nearly four years ago, she has been a tireless advocate for our news team.  She lives the A-Team values as a creative leader who has a passion for our brand and team and you only need but five minutes with her to know her competitive spirit.  After talking with many qualified candidates across the country, I have no doubt the best partner to lead our newsroom with Pat is right here at ABC15 in Jamie.

Diane Sawyer, Jeff Fager Spotted Meeting

Whispering tongues were wagging around the Big Apple, when ABC's Diane Sawyer was spotted meeting with Chairman of CBS News and the Executive Producer of 60 Minutes Jeff Fager.

Is DiSy looking to go back to Black Rock?

Sources tell FTVLive that it is true that the two were meeting, but not about any job offers. 

Sawyer and Fager were meeting to collaborate on a tribute to former CBS Washington Bureau Chief Bill Small. Small is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National News Emmy Awards later this month. 

Sawyer, a former CBSer herself will be part of the tribute to Small. 

Sorry rumor-mill, there's nothing to this one. You all move along now. 

The Story Never Added Up from the Beginning

You may remember a few days ago, I told you that FTVLive was sent email saying he had a big exclusive for us. A Reporter at a southwest station had sent naked pictures to a "viewer" and had been sexting with the said viewer.

The person that sent us the pictures said he wanted to give us the story first. We told you that we passed on the story. The story seemed fishy from the beginning and we knew that if FTVLive ran the story, the Reporter in question was going to have his life wrecked. The entire story just didn't add up and we did not do it.

The emailer then sent along the story to other TV websites, hoping one of them would bite on this bogus story. As we figured, only one TV website did do something on the story and included the Reporter's name.

Read the rest of the story in ScottLand

How Does This CNN Reporter Still Have a Job?

CNN's Fareed Zakaria has been accused of plagiarism on a number of occasions. Yet, CNN has stood behind him and said that his plagiarism was an isolated incident.

Not true says the website OurBadMedia who site example after example of Zakaria lifting work with no attribution. 

Nothing could be more glaring than Zakaria's lifting word for word from a documentary on the imprisonment and death of Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnistky.

This video shows the doc and Zakaria's report side by side. Watch the video and then ask, how the hell is this guy still employed at CNN? 

More CNN Layoffs coming in October

Turner Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Martin was spotted in Atlanta this week holding some "Town Hall" meetings with employees at Turner properties, including CNN.

Martin told the staffers that the next round of layoffs to hit the company will be happening in October.

The cuts are part of "Turner 2020" which is designed to make the company more streamlined and ready for the future. CNN is expected to cut hundreds of jobs.

Stay tuned....

Miami Reporter is M-I-A

South Florida viewers have not seen WFOR Investigative Reporter Michele Gillen on the air for months and many are wondering where she is?

The same can be said for those working in the WFOR newsroom.

Gillen has not been seen in the newsroom for 2 months and it appears that the station isn't talking. 

Gossip Extra says that the longtime Reporter walked out after a nasty, public tongue-lashing about her work from colleague Jim DeFede in mid-July — and she hasn’t been at work since.

“Apparently, nobody can get a hold of her,” said one WFOR reporter who asked not to be named because the reporter fears retaliation from station management. “So, we’re just waiting to see if she’ll come back.”

Morale at WFOR, which is sinking to the last places in the ratings and underwent deep budget cuts, has been compared to morale in the Iraqi army.

But among plenty of incidents over the past months, this one has been the most talked about.

Word is that it all went down at a meeting of investigative reporters and producers in the newsroom’s conference room.

“At one point, Jim (DeFede) went on a rant about the lack of productivity from the investigative team,” the source added. “He said something about being worried the station will do away with the team.

“Then he went off on Michele and (reporter) Brian Andrews and told them that they’re not on the air often enough and don’t pull their own weight.”

Occasional anchorman Andrews wasn’t at the meeting, the source said, but Gillen was there and defended herself.

What started out as a professional conversation degenerated into a shouting match, and Gillen eventually left.

Her last words on the way out: “Hostile work environment!”

We asked station spokesman Lee Zimmerman if Gillen is still employed by WFOR or just on an extended vacation, and he replied: “No comment!”

Always nice when the spokesperson of a TV station that demands answers from those in charge, answer with a "no comment."

Most of Staff Could be Laid Off at Comcast SportsNet Houston

The staff at Comcast SportsNet in Houston could be getting a whole lot smaller if a deal to sell the network is approved.

The Houston Chronicle reports that seventy-five of the 115 employees of Comcast SportsNet Houston were informed Tuesday their jobs will be eliminated if a bankruptcy judge approves a plan backed by the Astros and Rockets to sell the financially troubled network to DirecTV and AT&T.

Employees were informed of the potential layoffs as mandated by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies with at least 100 workers to provide 60-day notice in advance of certain plant closings or mass layoffs. 

As company officials delivered the news, one employee said a funereal atmosphere descended over the network’s studios in downtown Houston, midway between Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center.

“You just watched rows and rows of people walk into a room and come out with letters telling them, ‘Hey, thanks for two years, and now you’ve got nothing,’” the employee said. “There wasn’t a lot of outward anger. It was pretty subdued.”

Stay tuned...

TV Agency Has Busy Summer Placing Top Clients

The agents at N.S Bienstock have had a very busy summer. The agency moved some of the biggest names in the business into new roles and moved a number of very strong up and comers into more high profile jobs.  The company is proud to announce the following job placements:

 Longtime Bienstock client DAVID MUIR has been named Anchor and Managing Editor of World News Tonight succeeding Diane Sawyer from his duties as a weekend anchor and correspondent for ABC News.. In addition, David will continue as Co-Anchor of 20/20. 

 CHUCK TODD joins N.S. Bienstock as a new client and is named Host and Managing Editor of Meet The Press as well as Political Director for NBC News.  Previously, Todd hosted Daily Rundown on MSNBC.

 ROBIN ROBERTS proudly launches her production company Rock’n Robin Productions, a full service broadcast and digital production company creating new and exciting programming for network, cable, and online audiences. 

 JOHN GREEN has been named as the Executive Vice President of Programming and Development to run day to day operations of Robin Roberts’ Rock’n Robin Productions. 

 TOM LLAMAS joins ABC News as a Correspondent and Anchor from 5pm Anchor and Investigative Reporter at WNBC.

 MICHAEL CORN is promoted to Senior Executive Producer of Good Morning America.  Previously, Corn was the Executive Producer of World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.

 ALISYN CAMEROTA joins CNN as an Anchor and Host based in New York City after 16 years at Fox News. 

 PAM OLIVER is promoted to Senior Correspondent at Fox Sports.

 KRISTINA PINK becomes a Sideline Reporter for Fox Sports NFL Sunday this football season after working the sidelines for their college football coverage last year.

 CHRIS VLASTO is promoted to Executive Producer of the 7am hour of Good Morning America.  

 FRANCES RIVERA joins MSNBC as an anchor from WPIX-TV in New York City. 

The list of Bienstock client moves continues after the job. 

Read More

Staffers Leaving Indy Station Before CBS Pullout

The staff at WISH in Indianapolis are worried about the future of the station when it loses its affiliation.

A number of staffers are getting out while the getting is good. 

Sources tell FTVLive that Brent Denny, who was the WISH Director of National and Regional Sales, jumped to WTHR as their National Sales Manager. A WISH account executive jumped ship over to WXIN as well.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Julie Zoumbaris, who had been WISH's sales director since 2009, departed to take that same position with WRTV, the ABC affiliate announced. And morning traffic reporter Julie Patterson left after she and station executives were unable to come to terms on a new contract, industry sources said.

All these departures come a month after CBS Corp. announced it would switch its affiliation from WISH to WTTV-TV Channel 4 on Jan. 1. WISH officials have made no announcements about how they plan to proceed without the national network affiliation.

In the meantime, station owner LIN has tried to steady the ship internally. Earlier this month, LIN honchos gathered with WISH employees to show their appreciation for their work and assure them they are working on a plan for a future without CBS, according to a source close to the station.

But, many staffers are no banking on the station's plans and are looking to get out before CBS pulls out.

Stay tuned..... 

Sinclair Turns WJLA to the Right

When Sinclair announced that they were going to buy WJLA in DC, many staffers worried what direction Sinclair would take the station.

As expected, Sinclair is slowly turning the station to the right. 

The Washington Post says that last week, for example, WJLA viewers woke up to a new face on the morning news: Mark Hyman, a veteran conservative pundit, who offered some criticism of President Obama.

In his commentary, Hyman railed against the inconsistent enforcement of a ban on travel to Cuba by Americans. Noting that the music stars Jay Z and Beyoncé had “partied up” in Havana last year without penalty, Hyman insinuated that Obama had protected the couple from prosecution. “It occurs to me that Beyoncé and Jay Z are close friends of the president and first lady,” said Hyman, adding sarcastically, “You don’t suppose . . . oh, never mind. He’d never do that.”

Many staffers see the changes and are worried what it will do for the station's reputation in DC.

Staffers say some of the stories ordered by Sinclair on a “must-run” basis don’t meet the station’s long tradition of non-partisan reporting. Moreover, they suggest that airing criticism of the federal government without rebuttal is bound to play badly in a region that is home to hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

“You can’t run a TV station in Washington by telling government workers that they’re a bunch of criminals and crooks,” said one of the station’s journalists, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said he risked being fired if identified. “You can’t be the anti-government channel in Washington. They’re going to lose the trust they built up with people over years and years. We’ve told people, ‘We’re just like you,’ not, ‘We’re looking out for the tea party.’ 

O-Town Station Tacks on Another Half Hour to Newscast

Orlando's WRDQ has expanded it's 10PM newscast to an hour.

The newscast is produced by sister station WFTV.

"We've been on an upward trend with the 10 p.m.," said Shawn Bartelt, general manager of WFTV and WRDQ.

In August ratings for 10 p.m., WRDQ and Fox-owned WOFL-Channel 35 were locked in a tight ratings race for the 25-to-54 demo.

WOFL has been the longtime leader in the time slot. But the WRDQ news was reaching more households last month, a major shift in the market.

Bartelt cited other reasons for enlarging the telecast anchored by Nancy Alvarez and Jorge Estevez. "Nancy and Jorge are a strong team that can carry an hour," Bartelt said.

In January, Alvarez and Estevez became the first Hispanic anchor team on a weeknight English-language newscast in Orlando.

H/T Orlando Sentinel