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Cleaning House at WTMJ

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WTMJ seems to be in some turmoil. News Director Janet Hundley abruptly left the station a few days after Christmas and now OnMilwaukee.com is reporting 10PM anchor George Mallet was shown the door on Friday, after barely two years back at the station, and less than one week before the Olympics.

 

Less than two years after returning to the station, George Mallet is out as news anchor at WTMJ-TV.

 

The newscaster confirmed to OnMilwaukee that he was let go by the channel Friday.

 

"I remain very happy to be back in Milwaukee and am thankful for the opportunity I had to work at TMJ4," Mallet told OnMilwaukee.

 

Mallet returned to the TMJ4 news desk in 2016, joining the weeknight evening team after longtime anchor Mike Jacobs retired a year earlier and co-anchoring the 10 p.m. news alongside Carole Meekins. Mallet had previously worked at the station from 2007 until 2010 before departing for another TV job in Vermont.

 

Today's news comes on the heels of Janet Hundley announcing her immediate resignation as the station's news director in late December. The channel has yet to announce her replacement.

 

Last year, longtime Chief Meteorologist John Malan "retired", but my insider sources say that was mostly driven by Scripps corporate not wanting to continue his contract.

 

At what point do we start calling this a "bloodbath"? I can't imagine Carole Meekins will last much longer, either... At least in her current 10PM anchor role.

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So last spring WTMJ was number 1 at 10 and number 2 at 5 and 6 pm, at the time Scripps was letting Janet Hundley do her own thing albeit with a significantly reduce budget from the Journal days. The second it was announced that Scripps was buying Journal there was a lot of tension but was eased somewhat at the time. Couple months later for no apparent reason corporate becomes more involved with the station, ratings dropped and by November WTMJ was 4th at 6 and 10 pm, Hundley has enough and quits.

 

George Mallet was a Hundley hire after Mike Jacobs retired and it took a while to get him hired, but corporate tries to get involved and wants to hire someone else. Understandably, people inside TMJ4 aren't happy that corporate would tried to hire station staff, Mallet was a successful afternoon anchor at WTMJ for several years before leaving for a 10 pm anchor spot out East and was a favorite inside and outside the station.

 

Several people that have "retired" have actually been forced out at the former Journal stations. It's likely more station veterans will be forced to "retire" or take a significant pay cut. People on the radio side of the building are generally happy that soon they will have new owners, on the TV side the mood couldn't be worse.

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So last spring WTMJ was number 1 at 10 and number 2 at 5 and 6 pm, at the time Scripps was letting Janet Hundley do her own thing albeit with a significantly reduce budget from the Journal days. The second it was announced that Scripps was buying Journal there was a lot of tension but was eased somewhat at the time. Couple months later for no apparent reason corporate becomes more involved with the station, ratings dropped and by November WTMJ was 4th at 6 and 10 pm, Hundley has enough and quits.

 

George Mallet was a Hundley hire after Mike Jacobs retired and it took a while to get him hired, but corporate tires to get involved and wants to hire someone else. Understandably, people inside TMJ4 aren't happy that corporate would tried to hire station staff, Mallet was a successful afternoon anchor at WTMJ for several years before leaving for a 10 pm anchor spot out East and was a favorite inside and outside the station.

 

Several people that have "retired" have actually been forced out at the former Journal stations. It's likely more station veterans will be forced to "retire" or take a significant pay cut. People on the radio side of the building are generally happy that soon they will have new owners, on the TV side the mood couldn't be worse.

Is there anyway TMJ4 can switch companies if they're not happy with Scripps??? I'm shocked Mallet is gone!

Nextstar seems to be treating WFRV well, Of course that wouldn't help WGBA any. Is WGBA having any problems lately? If not, how is that different than WTMJ?

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Is there anyway TMJ4 can switch companies if they're not happy with Scripps??? I'm shocked Mallet is gone!

Nextstar seems to be treating WFRV well, Of course that wouldn't help WGBA any. Is WGBA having any problems lately? If not, how is that different than WTMJ?

 

The chance of Scripps just selling WTMJ is close to 0 percent but with how much Scripps is struggling the chances of the whole group being under different ownership is higher.

 

WGBA is in 4th place and is run a shoestring budget, WFRV is 3rd but the station did better when it was owned by CBS.

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Is there anyway TMJ4 can switch companies if they're not happy with Scripps?

No. Scripps owns WTMJ. The station doesn't get a say in who owns them. The only way for WTMJ to "switch companies" would be if Scripps decided to sell them.

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Is there anyway TMJ4 can switch companies if they're not happy with Scripps???

 

Well yes there is...

All the current staff has to do is start a "Go Fund Me" page and raise $600 million dollars. They can advertise on TMJ for the money.

After they raise all the money they go to the FCC and fill out the "I hate my owners" form #605.

 

The commission should approve it within 6 months...

 

Sooner if you couple it with a Somali adoption.

 

Mira,

The TMJ staff should have seen most if this coming from 10 miles away. There are plenty of "working examples" at the other Scrapps outlets.

 

When you hitch your wagon to the social media beast you become a victim of said beast.

 

Lets look at KUSI-TV..

Just enough social to survive...and nothing more. The ratings remain solid and there is NO social media revolt.

 

Now Scrapps will go all balls out and ruin TMJ for good...and for all.

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At what point do we start calling this a "bloodbath"? I can't imagine Carole Meekins will last much longer, either... At least in her current 10PM anchor role.

 

It's sad...TMJ was just turning the corner from the Berra era and Hudley had done a great job focusing back on hard news rather scanner-chasing, and this all happened. Their weather department outside of their big two names (Gotter and Ritka) is now completely anonymous, and losing at least three weeks of formerly guaranteed Packers playoff coverage probably gutted their ratings this year (and nobody wanted to watch the team shows once the Panthers killed their playoff hopes).

 

That, and if they had low head-count days, the radio people could take up the slack on news when needed. That's likely gone. Why Journal went from employee ownership to this mess they're in now is awful; the Journal Sentinel is pretty much being used to fill the news pages for the other Gannett newspapers in the state and has become utterly generic.

 

 

Half their 6pm newscast last night was rolling Olympic promos rather than actual ads, which should tell you what you need to know there. And the bizarre rebranding of Wisconsin Tonight into a Saturday night advertorial show makes no sense.

 

Is there anyway TMJ4 can switch companies if they're not happy with Scripps???

 

Gray would be it at this point in order to try to get into all the state's markets, and Scripps would ask for a ransom purchase price. It was Journal's flagship and hub, and selling it off would be admitting they failed.

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It's sad...TMJ was just turning the corner from the Berra era and Hudley had done a great job focusing back on hard news rather scanner-chasing, and this all happened. Their weather department outside of their big two names (Gotter and Ritka) is now completely anonymous, and losing at least three weeks of formerly guaranteed Packers playoff coverage probably gutted their ratings this year (and nobody wanted to watch the team shows once the Panthers killed their playoff hopes).

 

That, and if they had low head-count days, the radio people could take up the slack on news when needed. That's likely gone. Why Journal went from employee ownership to this mess they're in now is awful; the Journal Sentinel is pretty much being used to fill the news pages for the other Gannett newspapers in the state and has become utterly generic.

 

 

 

Gray would be it at this point in order to try to get into all the state's markets, and Scripps would ask for a ransom purchase price. It was Journal's flagship and hub, and selling it off would be admitting they failed.

I don't understand, playoffs are never a guarantee It depends on how the team does during the season.

 

 

 

Any guesses on Who sits next to Carol this week as the games begin?

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Any guesses on Who sits next to Carol this week as the games begin?

 

Steve Chamraz? When Steve was hired he had in his contract that he would be lead anchor and get a pay raise when Mike Jacobs retired. Scripps didn't want to pay the money and the company rework his contract before hiring George Mallet. Apparently Brian Gotter has the same type of contract, chief meteorologist and pay rise when John Malan retires, well Malan retired a year ago and they still haven't name Gotter chief meteorologist.

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well folks... tmj4 has seen it's last "news director"...

 

https://recruiting.adp.com/srccar/nghome.guid?c=1060841&d=External&r=5000316894606

The position has been filled. Former WTMJ ND Jeff Kiernan returns to the station as Senior Director of Local Content.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/television-radio/2018/03/22/former-reporter-and-news-director-jeff-kiernan-returns-wtmj-tv-local-content-chief/450851002/

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The position has been filled. Former WTMJ ND Jeff Kiernan returns to the station as Senior Director of Local Content.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/television-radio/2018/03/22/former-reporter-and-news-director-jeff-kiernan-returns-wtmj-tv-local-content-chief/450851002/

 

to be a fly on the wall in that interview...

 

scripps exec: "so... you've been at WBBM for... nine years?"

kiernan: "that is correct"

exec: "and during your tenure, the station has consistently been in last place?"

kiernan: "yes, that is correct. like clockwork."

exec (standing up holding out hand) "you've got the job."

 

:rolleyes::D

 

maybe he can manage to get tmj back to where they were under his previou-ahahaha nope couldn't make it through that one with out laughing....

 

:p

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to be a fly on the wall in that interview...

 

scripps exec: "so... you've been at WBBM for... nine years?"

kiernan: "that is correct"

exec: "and during your tenure, the station has consistently been in last place?"

kiernan: "yes, that is correct. like clockwork."

exec (standing up holding out hand) "you've got the job."

 

:rolleyes::D

 

maybe he can manage to get tmj back to where they were under his previou-ahahaha nope couldn't make it through that one with out laughing....

 

:p

That could be any interview for Senior Direc-er, I mean News Director, at Scripps. If I was running the show at WDJT, I’d be smiling right about now.

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to be a fly on the wall in that interview...

 

scripps exec: "so... you've been at WBBM for... nine years?"

kiernan: "that is correct"

exec: "and during your tenure, the station has consistently been in last place?"

kiernan: "yes, that is correct. like clockwork."

exec (standing up holding out hand) "you've got the job."

 

:rolleyes::D

 

maybe he can manage to get tmj back to where they were under his previou-ahahaha nope couldn't make it through that one with out laughing....

 

:p

 

Ohhh Geeeez...

 

You left out the part where they discussed the "low pay, back stabbing and incompetence"...

...and the part where they had a good chuckle...and THEN the hand was extended...

 

"Suck-A!"

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to be a fly on the wall in that interview...

 

scripps exec: "so... you've been at WBBM for... nine years?"

kiernan: "that is correct"

exec: "and during your tenure, the station has consistently been in last place?"

kiernan: "yes, that is correct. like clockwork."

exec (standing up holding out hand) "you've got the job."

 

:rolleyes::D

 

maybe he can manage to get tmj back to where they were under his previou-ahahaha nope couldn't make it through that one with out laughing....

 

:p

It would've been good a couple of years ago when Berra bounced, but if Jeff thought CBS' meddling was bad, wait until he sees how much Scripps dabbles in local operations, and with the shaky future of the rest of company after the radio debacle, watch out!

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Here someone that's back Freelancing, Lance Hill!

Saw him today at noon.

Seriously? It had been reported that a stroke knocked him off the air at WDJT. I'm glad to see that he seems to have recovered well enough to at least return to the air in a freelance role.

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Seriously? It had been reported that a stroke knocked him off the air at WDJT. I'm glad to see that he seems to have recovered well enough to at least return to the air in a freelance role.

Yes! I was shocked when Vince said Lance Hill during the noon tease! I had to look it up! Apparently he's been back since August! IDK when TMJ4 found airtime for Lance, no one left Storm Team 4 to my knowledge.

 

Then again Mark Mcginnis has popped up on WISN before.

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Seriously? It had been reported that a stroke knocked him off the air at WDJT. I'm glad to see that he seems to have recovered well enough to at least return to the air in a freelance role.

That’s not what knocked him out at DJT. It’s more like who

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I'm not certain on his life but Didn't he have the stroke at when he was still working for 58?

 

 

Another thing that is interesting is he was posting pics of 58 weather graphics on his Twitter before he went back to TMJ4 , not retweeting them from Drew or others

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I'm not certain on his life but Didn't he have the stroke at when he was still working for 58?

His site appears to be gone now, but Duane Dudek reported it at the time:

http://www.duanedudek.com/blog/2016/02/10/wdjts-lance-hill-reportedly-recovering-from-stroke/

 

This quotes Dudek's reporting:

https://www.adweek.com/tvspy/milwaukee-meteorologist-recovering-from-stroke/163673

 

And Lance Hill apparently commented on it when he started at TMJ4:

[MEDIA=twitter]1028254223992008705[/MEDIA]

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Interesting update to post regarding George Mallet. He has joined rival WISN 12 as a special correspondent.

 

[MEDIA=twitter]1064632919438835717[/MEDIA]

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Interesting update to post regarding George Mallet. He has joined rival WISN 12 as a special correspondent.

 

[MEDIA=twitter]1064632919438835717[/MEDIA]

WISN does seem to hire all the serious journalists the other guys get rid of, don't they?

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WISN does seem to hire all the serious journalists the other guys get rid of, don't they?

I said veterans to my dad tonight! Joyce, Mike from 4, now George from 4!

 

 

 

Anyone else thinks that the timing is interesting with Kathy retiring? When is her last 6PM News? I haven't heard. Her special is on now.

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