Local Listings

Mar 4, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Orlando `Manhunt’ boosts WOFL-TV
Fox affiliate WOFL-TV, Orlando, Fla., last month launched “Manhunt,” a campaign to catch local criminals. WOFL profiled the 10 most wanted criminals in Central Florida in every newscast for the first two weeks of the campaign. Re-enactments of unsolved crimes air in the newscast every Saturday night after “America’s Most Wanted.” The concept is the brainchild of WOFL General Manager Mark Higgins and is facilitated via a three-year partnership with Crimeline, a nonprofit organization that helps people anonymously report tips and represents law enforcement agencies in six Florida counties. As tips come in, the newscasts update viewers. “Manhunt” marks the first time that multiple law enforcement agencies have partnered with an Orlando station. In just 24 days, WOFL helped catch six most-wanted suspects.
“Based on the tragedy of what occurred Sept. 11, I think that the media could do more in terms of being proactive and advocates in trying to not just collect information and present it but also in being part of the solution as well,” Mr. Higgins said. “Nobody was really focusing on crime. We feel it should be a top priority in keeping our streets safe. When we were not up against the Olympics in our late newscast, since launching `Manhunt,’ our station was up 13 percent from the last rating book in November. We think that really shows the appetite for this product.”
Bay News 9 launching Spanish version
Bay News 9, Tampa, Fla.’s 24-hour Time Warner news channel, is launching Bay News 9 en Espanol on Monday. Targeted for Time Warner Cable’s digital Channel 139 in that market, it will be the market’s first 24-hour Spanish-language local news channel. Gloria Montoya will be the weekday anchor, and Carleth Keyes will be the weekend anchor as well as a reporter.
WBZ to look at Boston terrorism victims
CBS-owned WBZ-TV, Boston, will air a newscast March 10 at 11 p.m.-following the network’s World Trade Center documentary-that will focus on the families of local victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The special newscast, which will include a live report from New York City, will be anchored by Lisa Hughes and Joe Shortsleeve. At 11:20 p.m. there will be a local news update from weekend anchors Josh Binswanger and Shelli Lockhart.
Near-miss for KTTV van
Around noon on Feb. 22, Electronic Media Senior Editor Chris Pursell was sitting outside the publication’s Los Angeles offices taking a break. Seconds after he got up to return to the office, a Fox-owned KTTV live truck skidded out of control, hit the curb, flipped over and landed in the spot where Mr. Pursell had been sitting. The van and its equipment were totaled. Mr. Pursell said that when he heard the crash, he rushed back and saw that a police car had already arrived to help. Henry Chua, the engineer who was operating the van, is resting at home with minor injuries. KTTV General Manager David Boylan said an investigation is under way.
Furlong named GM for KPHO-TV
Robert Furlong will be the new VP and general manager of CBS affiliate KPHO-TV, Phoenix. Mr. Furlong comes from across town at UPN affiliate KUTP-TV and fills the vacancy left after Patrick North departed in January. “We’re extremely pleased that Bob is joining Meredith, especially with the broadcast expertise he offers,” said Kevin O’Brien, Meredith Broadcasting Group president. “He has proven himself an innovative and effective general manager. Additionally, his knowledge of the Phoenix market will truly benefit KPHO.”