Longtime Anchor Michele Marsh Dies at 63

Michele Marsh was a pleasant and competent anchor for years in New York. She died Tuesday of breast cancer at age 63.

Marsh was only 25 when she hit the big time, arriving at WCBS/Channel 2 in 1979. She sat with several colleagues during her 17-year career at WCBS, but viewers probably recall her and Rolland Smith most fondly.

“In the time we spent together as anchors we became good friends and confidants,” Smith tells TunedIn.

Smith occasionally spoke to her after his exit from WCBS. As for Marsh, she was abruptly let go as part of the infamous “Black Friday” mass firings in 1996.

John Johnson was also shown the door that autumn day. The duo would immediately turn to WNBC as anchor colleagues on a new noon broadcast.

“I am very distressed over Michele’s death,” Johnson tells me. “She was a true professional and an outstanding woman journalist in a field dominated by men.”

Johnson says she was terribly hurt how it ended at Channel 2 given her many years of service.

Other than a brief hiccup when Dave Marash was rehired and reteamed with Smith in the early 1980s, Marsh was on the late newscast until 1993, where she got to know Ernie Anastos.

He tweeted, “She was loved by so many, a top professional. I will miss my sweet friend.”

At Channel 4, Marsh also co-anchored the 6 p.m. with Chuck Scarborough.

“We liked one another and did some good work together,” Johnson recalls.

Marsh died surrounded by her family at her Connecticut home. She is survived by her husband, son John and daughter-in-law Anna.

The family is asking that a donation be made to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in her memory.

“My personal life and my professional life was made so much richer for knowing her humor, her laughter, and her spirit,” Smith says.

Greg Kelly Out at Fox5; Lori Stokes Takes the ‘Good Day’ Seat

The long run for Greg Kelly as co-anchor of the successful Good Day New York is over. He’ll say goodbye with a tribute Friday, TunedIn has learned. Lori Stokes (below), the veteran morning anchor at Channel 7, is ready to grab the seat next to Rosanna Scotto, starting Wednesday.

But first, expect a tribute to Kelly before signing off Friday morning.

It’s not a complete shock as we speculated last month that Kelly was likely the “odd man out” with Stokes’ impending arrival.

The why is more complicated.

Kelly and Scotto were a ratings juggernaut, even eclipsing the network news programs on occasion. The popular duo were together for four years until a 2012 promotion landed Kelly as the WNYW lead evening anchor. But just six months later and Kelly is an asterisk to history, one of the worst anchor stints in New York history.

Kelly resumed the famed chemistry with Scotto in January 2013.

Despite that strong rapport, several people have said Kelly, the son of former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, isn’t liked by most people in the newsroom.

However, speculation has Kelly liked by at least one person–namely President Donald Trump— in whose administration he could find a position. Sources say Kelly often speaks positively about former Fox morning colleague Heather Nauert and her new role as State Department spokesperson. We’re told it’s actually changed Kelly’s demeanor to calm and happy, a departure from his usual difficult personality.

As for Stokes, leaving the top AM early news program in New York is also curious. But insiders say Stokes bailed on Eyewitness News because she was offered a new contract with a pay cut.

She surprised many last month with decision to leave Channel 7 after 17 years.

Morning Anchor Shakeup at WNYW/Channel 5

It starts with Sukanya Krishnan (left), the longtime WPIX morning host. There she was this week as co-anchor of the Channel 5/WNYW precursor to Good Day New York. She is teaming with Jennifer Lahmers, who is usually seen in the evening at the desk or covering a story in the field. Now, the two ladies get the Good Day New York lead-in from 4:30-7am each weekday.

But WNYW has more surprises up its sleeve. As first reported by FTV Live, Lori Stokes, who recently ended a 17-year run on WABC/Channel 7, is moving onto the Fox O and O.

What happens next is still to be determined. Sources say Stokes is expected to join Channel 5 in November as co-anchor of the popular Good Day New York. Reportedly, she will team with Rosanna Scotto, thus ending the longtime duo with Greg Kelly. If that does materialize, Kelly could be the odd man out.

“I always said I’d like to see him back in the trenches doing the war correspondent thing,” Former Fox5 colleague  says. “It’s in his blood. I’d love to see him as spokesman for his dad’s [former police commissioner, Ray Kelly] campaign for mayor, or better yet–president!”

While we don’t know the inner workings, it’s clearly a gamble upsetting the chemistry with Greg and Rosanna. Stokes (right) has a strong track record in the daypart and WABC is usually rating winner in the morning (if not the rest of the day), but will she and Scotto gel? Is it risky to have two females anchor the broadcast? Time will tell.

Gabe Pressman, New York Broadcasting Giant, Dead at 93

Legend and icon, words that are commonly misused and overused. But they could have been written just for Gabe Pressman. The Bronx native was 93. He was a fixture at WNBC for decades, getting a lifetime contract with his second stint in 1980.

The pioneering broadcaster is credited as the first street reporter in New York, when he joined WNBC in 1956.

“Gabe was the real deal!” Sue Simmons, his longtime WNBC colleague, remembers. “There was no one more respected in our newsroom. In my moments of insecurity, he was always gently supportive.”

Along the way, he interviewed mayors, governors and presidents. Pressman would do just that, “pressing” his subjects to answer for a hard-hitting story and becoming a leading proponent for the First Amendment.

There was plenty of shock in 1972 when Pressman switched channels to WNEW (now WNYW).

Former News Director Ted Kavanau got word from his general manager Larry Fraiberg that Pressman liked the Ten O’Clock News.

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Uncertainty Looms for Future of CBS Evening News

In the wake of Scott Pelley‘s ouster from the CBS Evening News, execs once again are forced to rebuild their signature flagship newscast.

Pelley (left) was dismissed from the broadcast at the end of May, while remaining as a 60 Minutes correspondent. His tenure in the coveted seat started in 2011.

Pelley brought stability to the venerable news coverage, even if the ratings didn’t reflect that opposite NBC with Lester Holt and ABC with David Muir, who at three years is now the elder statesman of network news anchors.

So what happens next for CBS?

One insider with knowledge of the process says management is sifting through a number of internal candidates.

Anthony Mason has been named the interim anchor, expected to last through the summer. He’s been a fixture at CBS for more than 30 years, after stops in local news including WCBS/Channel 2.

“They are playing this really close to the vest,” the insider tells Tuned In, “although Anthony is definitely a top candidate and a very popular one.”

But Mason, who will be 61 later this month, isn’t the only person being scrutinized for the high-profile assignment. Don Dahler, who got the anchor duties Saturday night, could be another possibility. The former WCBS anchor also did extensive reporting for ABC.

The network is also exploring some outside candidates.

However the insider cautions, “Obviously with the [Katie Couric] disaster, they’re going to be very careful about bringing in someone who doesn’t fit in the carefully restored CBS tradition.”

(Photo courtesy; adweek.com)

Lou Young Retires From WCBS

One of the premiere street reporters for more than 35 years, Lou Young leaves WCBS/Channel 2. The station giving a send-off to the popular broadcast journalist, complete with a cake and champagne.

“It made me feel very loved,” Young says.

Call it retirement if you like, but Young has another idea.

“I’m taking a break and it was the perfect time to do it,” Young tells Tuned In.

However, he’s in no rush to resume his career, saying he’s fully decompressing without even watch the news.

“Somebody told me that you don’t know what you’re going to feel like until you walk through the door. I’ve just walked through the door,” Young says . “I need to spend a little time and I’ll figure it out.”

Young worked at the “Big 3” local stations, starting with nine years at WABC/Channel 7 from 1981 to 1990. He moved to WNBC until 1994, before his 23-year stint at WCBS.

“I want to spend some time with my parents,” Young says.

A multiple Emmy Award winner, Young covered some of biggest stories at WCBS, including the search for Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, and, of course 9/11.

“As jobs go, it’s terrific,” Young says.

His retirement was expedited by the sudden death of longtime friend and colleague John Slattery in 2014.

“You keep putting stuff off because, in the back of your mind, you think you’re going to live forever. But you’re not going to live forever,” Young admits. “You’re not going to get to any of this stuff unless you get out and do it. And you can’t do it if you don’t have time. And you can’t have time if you’re working.”

WPIX’s Marvin Scott Tells Tales of Distinguished Career

It’s a fabled career that most could not even dream of having. Marvin Scott has been a journalist in print and television for more than a half-century.

A member of the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Scott has amassed more than 10 Emmy Awards.

Now, the longtime WPIX reporter is going through the vault for his autobiography, As I Saw It: A Reporter’s Intrepid Journey (Beaufort Books).

We learn the inner workings of his street cred and building of sources and (the topical) leaks. Scott takes you overseas to war zones in Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Suez Canal. But the whole book is worth it just to read his chilling account of 9/11. Scott, frustrated and stuck in New Jersey, would not sit idly by as the towers were targets of terror.

Before cementing his legendary tenure in New York at WPIX, Scott was part of Channel 5’s upstart Ten O’Clock News. It all started for a 14-year-old Scott when he sold a photo to the New York Daily News.

He was there for the Beatles’ euphoria in 1964 when they arrived at Kennedy Airport and the dread 16 years later when John Lennon was gunned down.

Scott delves into some investigative pieces that still resonate decades later and some interviews that stand the test of time like PLO leader Yassar Arafat.

There’s also a riveting behind-the-scenes account of a scoop that slipped through his fingers when President Obama would announce Osama bin Laden was dead.

The events jump off the page as Scott freshens memories and educates a new generation. You don’t have to be a broadcasting fan to enjoy this great read.

This barely scratches the surface on the 300 pages where we learn the most important of the “5 W’s” — why — because he loves the work!

Scott Stanford Returns to WPIX Sports Desk

It’s dizzying at WPIX as Scott Stanford is heading back to sports. Stanford, who just won an Emmy for Sports Anchor, is taken off news for the second time at PIX.

Last week Channel 11 terminated Sukanya Krishnan faster than expected when she refused to promote new morning anchor Betty Nguyen on her Facebook page.

With Krishnan’s exit, station honchos led by news director Amy Waldman opted for a fresh start in the AM.

Stanford joined WPIX in 2013 after serving as Bruce Beck‘s sports backup. Stanford parlayed some news anchoring opportunities at WNBC into co-anchor duties with Tamsen Fadal. However, within nine months, Stanford lost his news gig and settled into first his sports role at PIX.

But Stanford had another chance to explore news, this time alongside Krishnan on the morning news.

For all that bouncing and becoming a yo-yo, not to mention confusion for viewers, Stanford just keeps on rolling along (I can hear him singing it now)!

If you’re wondering what happens to Andy Adler, sources say the ball’s in her court whether to return to weekend sports anchoring. She and Stanford would also host Mets and Yankees pre- and post-game shows and other sports features.

Adler just announced her engagement to Doug Ellin, the 49-year-old creator of Entourage.

As for Nguyen’s new co-anchor, we’re told the station is searching for candidates with reporter Dan Mannarino (who is covering the terrorist attack in Manchester) as a possibility.

Mannarino’s one anchor stint at Channel 11 wasn’t the most memorable other than its length, lasting just a few weekends with the venerable Kaity Tong.

But as we see at PIX, everything is new again.

Sukanya Krishnan Fired at WPIX

Viewers hoping to bask in the final week with Sukanya Krishnan on the PIX Morning News are in for a rude awakening.

The longtime anchor, who emotionally told the audience earlier this month that she’s exiting Channel 11, was fired after Thursday’s broadcast.

Sources tell TunedIn, her exit is connected to Betty Nguyen, an accomplished former CNN, MSNBC and CBS anchor, as the replacement for Krishnan. We’re told that news director Amy Waldman forced talent to promote the new hire on their social media pages. Krishnan, though, balked, saying in effect, “I’m still here,”

That’s when the ugliness ensued for the 16-year PIX star.

Waldman, sources say, felt it was insubordination and led directly to her calling Krishnan’s agent about the termination.

But the embattled manager went one step further. In quite the Trumpian move, we’re told she ordered staff, in particular morning co-anchor Scott Stanford, to never mention Krishnan’s name on the air or face their own firing. As late as Tuesday, a PIX spokesperson confirmed she was staying through Friday, May 26, the last day of the sweeps period.

Kala Rama takes Krishnan’s spot at the anchor desk on a temporary basis.

However, Stanford’s future at PIX is still uncertain. Insiders say time is running out for him to decide between a sports return in the evening or leaving the station.

Krishnan joined PIX in 2001 and the became a mainstay of their morning newscast for 13 years.

NY1 Reporter Roger Clark Trick Shot Goes Viral

Call it the legend of Roger Clark.

Most of us can only dream about making a half-court heave. The morning NY1 reporter has now done it twice live on the cable channel.

In his last bout with sports glory on Friday, Clark, while previewing the New York Liberty season, lets loose a mid-court prayer. Oh, did I mention it was backwards?

But this is no accident. Clark pulled off the same feat with the Harlem Globetrotters in December 2015. That time, though, he went “glass” for the crazy shot at a Brooklyn gym.

Last week, it was pure swish by Clark. Adding to the drama, anchor Pat Kiernan put the pressure on, saying he had 10 seconds left in the live window. Instead, he drills the basket in his first try as Liberty legend Teresa Weatherspoon, former player Kym Hampton and the team mascot go estactic. We can hardly wait for the encore!

Below is a montage of the basketball wizardry Clark tweeted recently.