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Mar 25, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Extended hour and a new hire at KOIN
CBS affiliate KOIN-TV, Portland, Ore., is expanding its morning newscast by a half-hour, moving the show’s start time from 5:30 a.m. to 5 a.m., to become a two-hour newscast April 1. It will still be anchored by Reed Coleman and Mark Hendricks with weatherman Ron Pedersen. KOIN recently entered a news partnership with news/talk radio KPAM-AM to combine efforts by both stations for better news coverage in the mornings. KOIN is also hiring veteran anchor Julie Emry. She returns to TV after retiring in 1998. She was the main co-anchor at rival ABC affiliate KATU-TV with Jeff Gianola, who is also now at KOIN. Ms. Emry will start work in September and co-anchor all of KOIN’s early-evening newscasts with her Mr. Gianola.
Strawberry debuts at Tampa Bay News 9
Executives at Time Warner’s 24-hour news channel Tampa Bay News 9 were surprised last week to get national attention via New York newspapers after Charisse Strawberry, wife of former Yankees star Darryl Strawberry, made her TV news debut on the station March 19. The segment was taped a week before her husband was arrested March 13 for violating his probation. The station did not run promos to tell viewers she would be their newest host because it did not want to exploit the recent publicity surrounding Mr. Strawberry.
Ms. Strawberry hosts a two-minute segment, “Today’s Woman,” which examines women’s issues. It airs 12 times a day, one day a week. “We launched it with one of our anchors [but] we were looking for someone to be the host of the segment. We were hoping to find a recognizable face or name,” said Bay News 9 General Manager Elliott Wiser. “Then in February we did a Black History Month special and we profiled four prominent African American women in the Tampa area. One of the women was Charisse Strawberry, and she indicated to us she was interested in doing television.” She auditioned and got the gig a month ago.
In the future Ms. Strawberry may go out in the field to do pieces for the segment. “I’m a little surprised [at the national attention],” Mr. Wiser said. “We thought we would get some attention. My hope is that people don’t ignore the fact that she does a good job presenting the segment and that she has something to add to issues when it comes to women today.”
Murrow excellence awards announced
The Radio-Television News Directors Association announced its 2002 regional winners of the Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in journalism. Five stations won six awards each: Fisher Broadcasting-owned ABC affiliate KOMO-TV, Seattle; CBS-owned KCNC-TV, Denver; Belo-owned ABC affiliate WFAA-TV, Dallas; Belo-owned NBC affiliate WCNC-TV, Charlotte, N.C.; and Fox-owned WTTG-TV, Washington D.C. RTNDA received 2,040 regional entries from 49 states, up by more than 70 percent from last year. Judges gave 403 awards in 13 categories ranging from spot news to use of videography. Regional winners automatically become eligible for the national awards competition.
Houston sports anchor run Wragged
NBC affiliate KPRC-TV, Houston, has been getting viewer feedback on main sports anchor Chris Wragge, who received national attention by pulling double duty as a reporter for NBC Sports covering this year’s Winter Olympics in addition to anchoring the local sportscast from Salt Lake City. KPRC had staff reductions late last year, which included longtime sports anchor Craig Roberts, who recently anchored the 6 p.m. news while Mr. Wragge anchored the 10 p.m. news. For a few months now, Mr. Wragge has been anchoring both evening newscasts. “People in town noticed that. It boosted the image of the station and it also boosted Chris’ image.” said KPRC General Manager Steve Wasserman. The former “Entertainment Tonight” reporter has also made a mark with his own feature, “Wragtime,” in which he goes into the local sports community. In one segment, he played various positions on the best high school baseball team, and in another he jumped off a high board after a local Olympic athlete won the gold medal in that event in the 2000 Summer Olympics.