Local Listings

Dec 16, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Chicago’s CBS affiliate continues to clean house as part of its effort to turn the station around. CBS owned-and-operated station WBBM fired about 10 producers and newsroom staffers Wednesday, including morning news executive producer Karin Movesian, weekend news executive producer Jill Manuel, sports producer Lissa Druss and other assignment desk and newsroom staffers. The station will replace some of those positions with new hires. WBBM has been mired in third place in its late local news and fourth or fifth place in across-the-board ratings.
In a memo to staffers, Carol Fowler, VP, news, said, “It was a difficult day, but one that we felt was necessary to move forward in rebuilding the station.” Chris Selfridge, who previously served as a dayside executive producer, will now serve as executive producer of the 5 a.m.-to-7 a.m. news. Assistant news director Todd Woolman will take on added responsibilities as interim dayside executive producer, overseeing the 11 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. newscasts. Julie Eich remains as executive producer of the 10 p.m. newscast.
Also at WBBM, meteorologist Ed Curran was hired away from NBC O&O WMAQ-TV to be its weather anchor. He started Dec. 9.
Station sets on auction
In the market for a new set? You may want to check out eBay.com, where you would have found the news sets used by Viacom duopoly stations KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV in Los Angeles up for auction last week. They contain sports, weather and interview modules and can be reconfigured and customized, according to the eBay descriptions. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to the scholarship fund for the children of Larry Greene, the KCBS photographer who was killed in a helicopter crash in the Persian Gulf in September. The stations will introduce new sets Jan. 20, when both will operate their news from the KCBS facility.
WPTY wants out of the dungeon
Clear Channel’s WPTY-TV in Memphis is recasting its news in an effort to pull itself out of the ratings cellar. The ABC affiliate hired Dee Griffin from Meredith’s CBS affiliate KCTV-TV in Kansas City, Mo., to join new anchor Cameron Harper, who was most recently with Scripps-Howard’s ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix. Mr. Harper is slated to start Dec. 23, and Ms. Griffin will start no later than Jan. 5. They replace Bill Lunn and Michelle Robinson. In addition to the new team, the station will debut new sets, Doppler radar, studio cameras from Sony, graphics and new music.
“It’s a new way of doing things,” said News Director Jim Turpin, also the news director for sister station WLMT-TV. “What we want to do is tell stories about people and not just be regurgitators of facts.” Reporters need to make the stories more relevant to the audience, he said. The station has lagged behind the NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates in ratings in the market. “We have a long way to go before we are competitive from a ratings standpoint,” he said. WPTY has already introduced the new music package and graphics. The graphics are simpler, with more primary colors and a subtle background design, he said. The station expects to introduce the new set officially on Super Bowl Sunday.
Florida newspaper staffers win TV Emmy
In an unusual twist, three South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper staffers won an Emmy Award this month in the news/public affairs category for its “Pet Overpopulation” television news package. The story, which aired in June, appeared first in the newspaper and then video was added so the paper’s broadcast partners could use the piece. The newspaper has nonlinear editing systems at its facility and producers on staff. “We want to produce our content for all platforms,” said Earl Maucker, senior VP and editor. “This catapults us into a unique and significant category of news environments that can do it all and at a high-quality level.” The Emmy was awarded to the newspaper staffers and a staffer at its former broadcast partner CBS owned-and-operated station WFOR-TV. The TV station is now partnered with the Miami Herald, while The Sun-Sentinel now works with fellow Tribune-owned WBZL-TV, the WB affiliate.
If you have information for local listings, please contact Daisy Whitney at 303-777-6864 or daisywhitney@qwest.net.