What's Up with the Weather Anchor in Birmingham?

Although the station isn't talking, it appears that WIAT main Weather Anchor Gene Norman is out the door.

Norman has been at the station for only a year and a half, coming from KHOU in Houston. He left that station under cloudy circumstances (see what I did there? Cloudy....and it's a story about a weatherman).after being demoted at the station.

On the day the demotion....errrrr...schedule change was announced at KNOU, Norman tweeted out:

“blondie which referred to Weather Anchor Chita Johnson)  moves to morning, morning moves to 4, 5. I am reduced” to 6 and 10.

Later in the day, Norman tweeted, “It appears my twitter account was hacked today be careful on social media,” and the tweets regarding the assignment changes were removed. 

No long after that Norman was gone from the Houston station. In April of 2013, Norman resurfaced in the much smaller market of Birmingham and WIAT.

But now, Morning Weatherman Mark Prater is filling in on Norman's spot and his bio has been scrubbed from the station's website. 

His last post to his Facebook page was on December 10th and his last to Twitter was December 11th.

Then again, maybe hackers have control of those pages again.

Stay tuned.... 

San Antonio Station Retracts Report After Being Sued

Back in October, FTVLive told you that a San Antonio attorney had sued KENS-TV claiming he was defamed and libeled in news reports.

Lawyer Jon Christian Amberson’s lawsuit  was for at least $1 million in actual damages and $5 million in punitive damages from the station.

Well now, KENS has gone on air and issued an apology for what they said was  erroneous investigative reports.

The CBS affiliate retracted two stories that attorney Amberson said had wrongly reported that he stole land and mineral rights from a Karnes County couple.

“We apologize to Mr. Amberson for the inaccurate and incomplete presentation the I-Team reports presented about him,” KENS anchor Sarah Lucero said at the end of the retraction, which lasted 1 minute and 41 seconds. KENS broadcast the retraction on its 6 p.m. newscasts Monday and Wednesday. It also was slated to air on its 10 p.m. newscast Wednesday. It also was posted on the station’s website.

Curtis Cukjati, Amberson’s lawyer, said a confidential settlement was in place to resolve the lawsuit but wouldn’t say whether it includes a financial component.

“All I can say is the matter has been resolved to the parties’ satisfaction,” Cukjati said

Triston Sanders, the station’s executive news director, declined to comment.

The Reporter who did the story has left the business for PR.


H/T San Antonio Express News

Anchor with Just Months to Live Keeps Working

If a doctor told you that you had just months to live, would you keep working at the station?

Back in September, FTVLive told you about WCIA (Champaign, IL) Anchor Dave Benton telling viewers that his brain cancer has returned and he only had 4-6 months to live.

Benton is still alive and living each day to the fullest and he's still working at WCIA.

“I’ve been fortunate not to have a lot of side effects so far,” he said. “I sleep a lot the week of treatment (on Tuesdays or Wednesdays every other week.)  By that Thursday or Friday, I’m exhausted.  I sleep all weekend long, and I kind of bounce of back.  What I appreciate is that I see a lot of people getting treatment when I’m getting my treatment, and some of them are facing challenges I can’t imagine.”

He said the latest round of treatment appears to have added a few months. Benton said he’s getting lots of support from the community, and served as an inspiration from others who are ill.

“I’ve (heard from) some people that it’s helped them tell their side, and the situation that they’re facing,” he said.  “It has helped them to be more positive and to look forward and be grateful for the god things we have at this moment.”

But he’s chosen to remain at work as long as possible, and live life as normal as possible.  

And there will be a permanent marker of that hard work.  Champaign County Crime Stoppers recently announced it would annually give out the ‘Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award’ for a citizen who exemplifies the crime-fighting spirit.

Benton has been a board member with Crime Stoppers, and hosted a series of special programs on WCIA aimed at solving crimes.

“Having been in television now, it will be 30 years in April, I guess I never thought there could be an award named in my honor,” he said.  “You want to go out and do go things, I know it’s important to be involved in the community, and I wanted to that and to it effectively, but it never led to be thinking, ‘gee, I should get an award, or there should be an award in my name.  So when they presented me with this idea, I literally was quite shocked that was even possible.   Why me?  There are a lot of people that do great things in this community, and they deserve a pat on the back.”

This guy has a awesome attitude.


O-Town Station Adds Another Blonde to the Mix

Earlier this week, FTVLive told you that WESH (Orlando) had replaced blonde headed Maratha Sugalski with Maratha look-a-like blonde headed Meredith McDonough.

Now the station has just hired a new 5PM Anchor and I' betting the house that you know what color he hair is? Wait a minute! You cheated and looked at the picture. 

Angela Taylor is moving from Fort Smith, Ark. to O-Town to be WESH's new 5 and 10PM Anchor. The 10:00 airs on sister station WKCF-Channel 18.

Taylor is moving within the Hearst family, she was a co-anchor at KHBS in Fort Smith.

"WESH 2 has a strong commitment to covering news in Central Florida, and we are thrilled to have Angela, a talented journalist, join Jim Payne, Meredith McDonough and Brett Connolly as part of the evening and late-news anchor team," WESH 2 news director Kirsten Wolff said.

"My family is excited to make Central Florida our new home," Taylor said in a statement. "We are looking forward to getting involved in the community."

H/T Orlando Sentinel 

Colbert to Takeover for Letterman in September

It looks like Stephen Colbert will have a lot of time off.

Colbert is wrapping up his Colbert Report this week and then will takeover the Late Show from David Letterman.

The NY Daily News says that Colbert will take over as the host of “The Late Show” in September.

CBS officials declined to comment.

David Letterman steps down from the show on May 20, but CBS executives have not yet said what will happen with the show over the summer before Colbert takes over.

Chicago Sports Anchor: I'm Sorry

Earlier Today, FTVLive told you that WLS Sports Anchor ABC 7 sports Anchor Mark Giangreco went on the air last night and ranted about Cutler, the Bears and the team's ownership.

He said that ownership to fire everyone and cut Cutler, but says that the team doesn't have the guts to do it. 

All that was well and good, but Giangreco included a graphic that said "Cut him or Cut your Wrists".

Making a suicide joke in the sportscast is was not a wise move.

Giangreco has now issued a statement about his lack of judgement with the graphic:

“My remarks were inappropriate, and I deeply regret and apologize for this incident. I will be issuing an on-air apology in this evening’s newscast.”

The bigger question is how does a graphic like this get on the air in the 3rd market in the country?

Weatherman Shot in Station's Parking Lot

This morning KCEN (Waco) Meteorologist Patrick Crawford posted to Instagram a picture of him and the morning crew wearing their ugly Christmas sweaters. Crawford won the prize for the most ugly sweater. He's on the left side of the photo. 

Now, the Weather Anchor is in a Texas emergency room after being shot multiple times in the station's parking lot.

Police are still searching for the shooter. They say that words were exchanged in the KCEN parking lot between Crawford and the shooter, a man cops say was 30-25 years old. Soon after the argument started, Crawford was shot. 

Crawford was able to drive away and flag down a construction worker, who called for help.

Cops evacuated the station while searching for the gunman. The staff has since been let back inside, but police officer has asked for names, birthdates, and license plate numbers of every employee that was at the station this morning.  

Crawford is at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, where he was undergoing surgery.


KCEN Employee Shot in Station's Parking Lot (Updated)

Police around Waco are searching for a suspect after a shooting near KCEN (Waco, Tx).

The Department of Public Safety, Bruceville-Eddy police, and the Falls County Sheriff's Office, among others, blocked off our parking lot with crime scene tape and patrolled the area with assault rifles.

Several officers walked through the building with a K-9, and cleared the station.

DPS troopers asked employees to gather in the front office as police investigated the area. That restriction was lifted around 10:15 a.m.

Employees have been let back into the building.

Although the station is not reporting it, sources tell FTVLive that the station's morning Weather Anchor was shot several times. The shooting happened either in or near the station's parking lot. 

More as we hear it. 

Update: The station now confirms that Morning Weather Anchor Patrick Crawford (FTVLive withheld the name until it was released) was shot.

Crawford, the morning show meteorologist at the station for the last two years, managed to drive away and flag down a construction worker, who called for help. 

Cops say the suspect exchanged words with the employee before he pulled a semi-automatic handgun and fired several times.


REALLY?! A Little over the Top, don't you Think?

There is no doubt that many Chicago Bears fans have grown tired of Quarterback Jay Cutler. The QB has had a miserable season and most Bear fans are blaming him for the awful season.

WLS Sports Anchor ABC 7 sports anchor Mark Giangreco went on the air last night and ranted about Cutler, the Bears and the team's ownership.

 He said that ownership to fire everyone and cut Cutler, but says that the team doesn't have the guts to do it. 

All that was well and good, but Giangreco might have gone over the top with the chyron he used to show dire the situation is.

Kind of in bad taste.

Just saying.... 

Turning to Facebook for the Newscast

For viewers that want to get the newscast on their time, many are turning to Facebook. 

ABC News has started doing their Facebook newscast with David Muir and it is being watched by 100-200 thousand people on the social media site.

But, ABC News isn't the only outlet doing a a Facebook newscast, local stations are doing it as well.

KSAZ Phoenix produces 2 Facebook News Updates that highlights three or four top news stories in under 90 seconds. The segment is posted twice daily, usually around 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The newscast reaches between 75,000 and 80,000. 

KABC in LA also using the social media site to connect with viewers and do a newscast. The station does its daily QuickCast, a daily video that covers three stories in under one minute. The unanchored episodes are voiced by KABC talent and pull in between 100,000 and 200,000 views each.

More stations are jumping into the social media newscasts and by the end of 2015, it is likely to become a staple in most newsrooms. 

Well That Didn't Workout Like You Planned

It still amazes me at how little TV stations and networks don't get social media.

How someone at CNN did not see this one coming, we have no idea. 

CNN called on Twitter users to offer up questions for a panel of police officers on an upcoming segment called "Cops Under Fire". The network asked users to use the hashtag #AskACop.

You all see where this is going....right?

Instead of getting serious questions and comments,  it instead elicited a flood of sarcasm, outrage and derision centered on recent high-profile incidents of police violence. 

#AskACop climbed to the top of the list of U.S. Twitter trends Tuesday night. And CNN bragged about it. Are you kidding me?

The network should have known what it was getting itself into. 

There is no doubt that this was a social media backfire just waiting to happen. CNN's Don Lemon hosted the show, but then again, I'm guessing you guys had already figured that out. 

H/T Mashable

Ummmmm? WTF Are you Wearing?

Yesterday was the first day of Chanukah, so KTVI in St. Louis did what many other stations did, they interviewed a Rabbi about the Holiday.

KTVI Reporter Kim Hudson did the interview and she did it while wearing a shirt with a cross on it.


First of all, a check of KTVI's archives show that Hudson wears this shirt a lot, which might not really be the outfit a Reporter should be wearing on air in the first place.

But, to wear the shirt while interviewing a Rabbi is just plain wrong.

Just saying....