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Weeters

This thread will soon become "Comings and Goings", a thread targeted at talent and staff arrivals and departures. Please consider starting new threads for anything that does not fit this criteria. 
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Saw this one coming honestly. They demoted her to weekend evenings either right before or after she began maternity leave.

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Brigida Mack, formerly of WBTV,  just announced she is jumping to rival WJZY. She will soon be working for Nexstar. 
 

https://twitter.com/brigidamack/status/1215728675108413440?s=21

 

She’s the second former WBTV employee to jump to a rival in the past several months, the first being Ashley Strohlein to WCNC

 


 

 

Edited by Nelson R.

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Some sad news on this Saturday.  Heidi McGuire former reporter for KUSA in Denver  has passed away yesterday after battling brain cancer. Heidi left KUSA in 2012. 

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Longtime WSB chopper pilot Jason Durden posted on Twitter that he’s no longer with the station. Pretty abrupt. Last time in the air was apparently last week. Sister stations WJAX and WFOX grounded their chopper. Surely the mighty WSB wouldn’t have gone that route, too. Or would they? 
 

 

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Brian James, a KXAS meteorologist, has accepted a meteorological position with Tenet Healthcare.  His last day at KXAS will be January 22.

 

 

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On 1/10/2020 at 4:34 PM, Nelson R. said:

Brigida Mack, formerly of WBTV,  just announced she is jumping to rival WJZY. She will soon be working for Nexstar. 
 

https://twitter.com/brigidamack/status/1215728675108413440?s=21

 

She’s the second former WBTV employee to jump to a rival in the past several months, the first being Ashley Strohlein to WCNC

 


 

 

Just what the doctor ordered for WJZY. They needed a big name veteran talent like Brigida Mack and they got it.

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20 hours ago, Greggo said:

Longtime WSB chopper pilot Jason Durden posted on Twitter that he’s no longer with the station. Pretty abrupt. Last time in the air was apparently last week. Sister stations WJAX and WFOX grounded their chopper. Surely the mighty WSB wouldn’t have gone that route, too. Or would they?

That's probably what happened now that WSB is owned by a hedge fund, which are always looking to cut costs whenever possible.

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On 1/10/2020 at 4:34 PM, Nelson R. said:

Brigida Mack, formerly of WBTV,  just announced she is jumping to rival WJZY. She will soon be working for Nexstar. 
 

https://twitter.com/brigidamack/status/1215728675108413440?s=21

 

She’s the second former WBTV employee to jump to a rival in the past several months, the first being Ashley Strohlein to WCNC

 


 

 


So what is happening with Page then??

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A year after being sidelined when she sustained a traumatic brain injury in a fall, legendary WGME anchor Kim Block is stepping aside. She was with the station nearly 40 years.
https://wgme.com/news/local/a-statement-from-cbs-13s-kim-block-to-you
https://wgme.com/news/local/a-look-back-at-kim-blocks-40-year-legacy-in-maine

Edited by newsbot

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New M&A. Weigel continues its buying spree.

 

They're acquiring Hartford's WHCT-LD from Venture Technologies for $1.5M.

 

Shockingly enough, Hartford is currently one of the very few markets that don't carry MeTV. But WZME in Bridgeport did carry the network to portions of the market prior to 2015.

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That's going to be interesting to see what they do considering WHCT doesn't even have must-carry status anymore.

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WBTV’s Molly Grantham just announced on the 11:00 news she is expecting baby #3 in July! She told her kids last night. Good for them. 

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On 1/13/2020 at 11:42 AM, Greggo said:

Longtime WSB chopper pilot Jason Durden posted on Twitter that he’s no longer with the station. Pretty abrupt. Last time in the air was apparently last week. Sister stations WJAX and WFOX grounded their chopper. Surely the mighty WSB wouldn’t have gone that route, too. Or would they? 
 

 

 

15 hours ago, ScottJ said:

That's probably what happened now that WSB is owned by a hedge fund, which are always looking to cut costs whenever possible.

They are keeping their helicopter, Jason just retired.

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11 minutes ago, rkolsen said:

 

They are keeping their helicopter, Jason just retired.

I think you mean “retired.” That post makes it pretty clear it wasn’t his choice. The whole “changes ... can happen at any time” part is pretty telling. FTV has a vague(ish) quote from the news director claiming they’ll still have a chopper. Perhaps they went from 2 to 1. Or they found someone who works for less $$$. Something’s definitely up. 

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On 1/13/2020 at 11:42 AM, Greggo said:

Longtime WSB chopper pilot Jason Durden posted on Twitter that he’s no longer with the station. Pretty abrupt. Last time in the air was apparently last week. Sister stations WJAX and WFOX grounded their chopper. Surely the mighty WSB wouldn’t have gone that route, too. Or would they? 
 

 

 

On 1/14/2020 at 8:39 AM, ScottJ said:

That's probably what happened now that WSB is owned by a hedge fund, which are always looking to cut costs whenever possible.

 

15 hours ago, rkolsen said:

 

They are keeping their helicopter, Jason just retired.

 

15 hours ago, Greggo said:

I think you mean “retired.” That post makes it pretty clear it wasn’t his choice. The whole “changes ... can happen at any time” part is pretty telling. FTV has a vague(ish) quote from the news director claiming they’ll still have a chopper. Perhaps they went from 2 to 1. Or they found someone who works for less $$$. Something’s definitely up. 

Besides Cox grounding WFOX-WJAX chopper, Scripps is also moving in the direction of grounding WCPO chopper.  It's possible that miz-sized to smaller markets may not be able to fly news choppers long-term, and that trend could eventually find its way to larger markets.  Plus flying drones looks to be more economically viable.  Or stations doing like a decade ago of sharing news chopper to focus other resources on other things, if they wish to fly news choppers a little while longer.

I'm also thinking along the lines that Durden's departure wasn't voluntary.  I liked hearing his traffic reports on WSB radio (AM-750/95.5-FM and B-98.5) during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and his time on WSB 2.  Hopefully Durden may find work elsewhere... Perhaps another Atlanta TV station would be smart to hire him.

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With all this Coxpollo chopper grounding talk, I wonder what the fate of WFXT's chopper is. Or would the volatile nature of that market make a grounding unfeasible at the current time?

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On 1/14/2020 at 1:26 PM, qunewsguy said:

That's going to be interesting to see what they do considering WHCT doesn't even have must-carry status anymore.

Hartford and Springfield are two of the few markets which have never had a MeTV station in any way (WZME's tailspin into ShopLC/Sonlife irrelevance over the years can't be counted as serious, especially as they wanted to be NYC-exclusive). Weigel will pay for carriage for sure; it's undeniably worth it in a market with so few signals to begin with.

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10 hours ago, atlnewsfan03 said:

 

 

 

Besides Cox grounding WFOX-WJAX chopper, Scripps is also moving in the direction of grounding WCPO chopper.  It's possible that miz-sized to smaller markets may not be able to fly news choppers long-term, and that trend could eventually find its way to larger markets.  Plus flying drones looks to be more economically viable.  Or stations doing like a decade ago of sharing news chopper to focus other resources on other things, if they wish to fly news choppers a little while longer.

 

Re: mid-sized to smaller markets: The time has already come on that. Pre-recession there were a number of stations in the 50-100 market range flying choppers (just look at late 90s/early 2000s news opens -- a LOT of stations had them). Now, to my knowledge, there's only KOTV in Tulsa, and the ultimate outlier, market 140-something WBOC. You can rest assured that their choppers would be grounded if either got sold.

 

As for drones, they are absolutely not a replacement for choppers, regardless of how companies will try to spin it. Try getting a drone to an industrial fire clear across town in 5 minutes. Not gonna happen. At the same time, stations probably aren't sending their choppers up much to get aerials for a non-breaking-story. The two pieces of technology largely don't overlap IMO. Drones can be used for breaking news, but they can only get to scenes as fast as everyone else can driving, they take a while to set up once at the scene, and the operator has to hope that it's in a zone they're able to fly in and officials haven't put up any drone flight restrictions. Also, unless it happens to be near your station, you're probably getting more of the aftermath than the event itself. Choppers don't have the same restrictions over where they can fly, when, and how. You can fly a chopper over a crowd of people all day. Forget about a drone doing that.

 

Basically, companies getting rid of choppers have decided the juice isn't worth the squeeze, and that whatever they're gaining in terms of spot news coverage doesn't outweigh the enormous amount they pay to fly the thing. A drone may soften the blow slightly, but I think it's a move these companies would be making whether drones existed for news or not. Having a drone just softens the blow a bit.

 

I don't think you'll see Top 10-15 stations dump choppers anytime soon. They're still getting their money's worth. I'd consider them endangered in lower markets, especially the 30-50 range.

Edited by AJClementeFan69

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