WPIX Anchor Kirstin Cole Makes Inappropriate ‘Beanie’ Comment

WPIX140721072034A seasoned anchor/reporter crossed the line Monday morning. WPIX morning anchor Kirstin Cole, joining Kori Chambers, made a remark that could be deemed anti-Semitic. At the very least, it was inappropriate.

Leading into a story about a new Starbucks in Williamsburg, Chambers told viewers, “Some of the hipsters are all riled up this morning.”

Cole added, “Their beanies are all askew. They don’t know what do with themselves.”

She also gave a visual to viewers, straightening the mock headgear.

Let’s assume for a moment that Cole was intending to connect the beanies comment to Chambers’ hipsters, If that’s the case, then she is insensitive. Cole is certainly aware of the large Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg and the yarmulkes they wear.

Whether it was truly planned as a slur doesn’t really matter. The remark was still shocking and Cole should be held accountable.

Many are outraged by her “performance.”

“It was not the smartest thing to say,” a viewer tells Tuned In.

Incidentally, the Cole and Chambers introduction did not properly lead into the Joe Mauceri live report. There was no debate, no drama, not even a sound bite from people on the street, for or against the coffee shop opening.

Instead, Mauceri turned the story into “where you get your morning coffee.” He read some social media replies.

The reporter admitted seeing “people go in and out” at the new coffeehouse. But no reaction from customers was shown.

Welcoming John Muller Back, WPIX Gives Winning Viewer Dinner with Anchors

PIXIt’s a brand new start on East 42nd Street. We’ve seen the promos ushering home John Muller as Tamsen Fadal’s new partner tonight. Now the folks at Tribune have taken the re-do to another odd level.

The station had a contest where viewers could win an opening night seat in the studio when Muller and Fadal begin at 5 p.m. But the evening doesn’t end there! Following the early newscast, one lucky fan (said in game show announcer voice) will join the new duo for dinner. It’s a good bet the station is assured of solidifying at least one more regular viewer. To quote Greg Mocker, PIX is on the “trail of something different,” although that’s not necessarily something to be applauded.

“There are no adults watching the kids run around at Chuck E. Cheese,” one veteran broadcaster jokes. Continue reading

WNYW’s Greg Kelly Fawns and Flirts With Reporter in Bikini

GilliganGreg Kelly is getting lambasted online about his inappropriate behavior on a recent episode of WNYW’s Good Day New York. Despite his borderline awkward exchange with a bikini clad Anna Gilligan, the blame falls directly at station management’s feet.

Like him or not, Kelly was just being Kelly. We’ve seen these moments before; sometimes they appear contrived when his on-air mom Rosanna Scotto has to reign him in, if not scold him. This was one of those times.

Of course, Kelly isn’t six years old and should know the difference between a good boy and being a problem child.

Gilligan, the Good Day entertainment reporter, was live from Action Park for its reopening. She disrobed to show off her body as she took a swing across the new Tarzan ride.

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Marysol Castro Out, Dan Mannarino Uncertain, as WPIX Cuts Early Morning Newscast

WPIX140605055949We barely had time to take a deep breath since the night time changes at PIX, bouncing Scott Stanford to sports and rolling out the red carpet for John Muller (more in a moment), when another salvo struck.

The PIX (early) Morning News was upended today, right before our eyes. Marysol Castro, who rejoined Channel 11 in September, anchored for the final time today. Tuned In confirmed it from multiple sources and she alluded to her dismissal in the closing seconds with on-air partner Dan Mannarino.

“Hey dude, it was nice knowing you,” Castro told Mannarino.

“It was fun,” he replied.

As for Mannarino, his status is a bit muddy. He’s been part of numerous rumors for months. But we’ve learned on good authority that Mannarino is taking some time off to decide on his future. Another definite, if Mannarino returns it won’t be behind the anchor desk.

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Breaking: John Muller Returns to WPIX; Scott Stanford Dropped as Anchor

Tamsen ScottThe latest drama at WPIX is a doozy. In fact, it’s a rumor that’s been gathering steam. Now it’s official.

Scott Stanford is losing his co-anchor role with Tamsen Fadal. The station is bringing back John Muller, the former morning anchor, to team with Fadal at 5 and 10 p.m.

Muller was an original member of the PIX Morning News when it launched in 2000.

In a note sent to staffers tonight and obtained by Tuned In, news director Mark Effron says Stanford, who joined Channel 11 in September, will be the station’s lead sports anchor and host the weekly Sports Desk on Friday nights.

Effron told staffers that PIX will be increasing in-depth analysis and team coverage of sports in the newscasts.

Although Stanford wasn’t the first sportscaster to make the move to news anchoring, oddly he covered both within the same broadcast.

Stanford has several years of sports experience on WNBC and WWOR.

Muller’s second stint at WPIX follows his tenure at ABC as anchor on World News Now and  America This Morning. He also was a fill-in news reader on Good Morning America.

Muller returns to PIX on June 23.

WPIX Names Former Beauty Pageant Winner Traffic Anchor

Kaitlin+Monte+Swimwear+Bikini+E8ypAwhz4OnlFor those of you tossing and turning until WPIX names its new traffic reporter, this is your big day!

Tuned In has learned exclusively that Channel 11 has hired Kaitlin Monte for morning traffic duty. Viewers may recognize Monte from her work on WNBC’s Weekend Today in New York. She has hosted the interactive trivia segments since 2012. She’s also been on SNY’s Mets Insider.

Before TV, Monte was a beauty queen. Representing New York, she placed second in the 2012 Miss America pageant.

We’re told the leggy brunette will begin at PIX sometime next month.

Monte, 25, succeeds Julie Grauert, who lasted less than a year on the job.

(Photo courtesy: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)

Channel 7 Wins Another Sweeps; WPIX Finds Its Own Silver Lining

Eyewitness News TeamChalk up another ratings bonanza for WABC-TV. From morning to night, Channel 7 was the May sweeps leader of the pack. The station outdistanced the competition, either using households as the measuring stick, the key demo adults 25 to 54, or both.

The signature broadcast, Eyewitness News at 11 p.m. with Bill Ritter, Sade Baderwina, Lee Goldberg and Rob Powers, held a 44 percent advantage over the number two among households. WABC increased its lead to 47 percent with the key demo.

The gap was even more pronounced at 6 p.m. when the Ritter, Liz Cho, Goldberg and Powers team obliterated the competition. It was a 57 percent bulge in the households indicator. Channel 7 was equally strong in the key demo, registering better results than any two others newscasts combined.

Although not sustaining it for the entire month, WNBC did come out on top for a few Chuck Scarborough/Sibila Vargas 11 p.m. broadcasts. It was impressive considering where Channel 4 had been in the last few years. Continue reading

WNYW Revamps News Schedule for Summer

LacyThe latest musical chairs in the WNYW anchor desk is set to debut June 5. The summer schedule takes favorite Ernie Anastos to an even more reduced workload, TVSpy reports.

Anastos swaps face time with lead anchor Steve Lacy (left), meaning a valuable 30 minutes less per night for the veteran Anastos. Lacy moves to the 5 p.m. and remains on the 10 p.m., co-anchoring both newscasts with Dari Alexander. Anastos slips into the solo half hour 6 p.m. report.

Anastos, a fixture as a top anchor in New York for more than three decades, was bounced from the high profile 10 p.m. broadcast in the summer of 2012.

In addition, Channel 5 is planning to add hourly weekend news updates from 9 a.m. to noon.

Use of Social Media on Local News ‘Detrimental to the Journalistic Profession’

Grymes MacedoTelevision news has always been about garnering the ratings. That’s what news directors and GMs liked. Now, it’s not only about sales revenue and the Nielsen numbers. Today there’s a definite realignment with social media. At the same time, there’s also evidence  of “dumbing down” the broadcasts.

If you’re up early on the weekend, for example, you may have noticed a different look on WCBS-TV.

With Cindy Hsu, a solid pro, moved to weekend nights, Channel 2 is opting for style at the desk.

Teaming anchor Andrea Grymes (above left) and recent hire Diane Macedo (above right) has the feel of girls “playing TV.”

Thankfully, the initial giggles and smiles have eased. That isn’t the type of chemistry essential in New York. Altoona, maybe, but not NYC.

Grymes is a decent enough reporter, but lacks in the substance department, especially when placed behind the desk. As for Macedo, her stock is apparently rising with management as an occasional fill-in anchor at other times.

Rolland Smith logged nearly 40 years in local news, including many in New York a generation ago at the aforementioned WCBS. He says change is not always for the better.

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WPIX Going the Contest Route to Elicit Morning Ratings

PIX11_LogoHow bad are the WPIX ratings in the morning? Non-existant would best describe them. The station wants to break out of the funk with a May sweeps giveaway to sway viewers from WNYW.

Tuned In has learned exclusively that WPIX will foot the bill for one year’s worth of mortgage or rent for four viewers. The desperate move is called Home Free Friday, and starts April 28. Winners will be announced each Friday in May on the PIX Morning News with Sukanya Krishnan and Kori Chambers.

We’re told that up to $1,500 per month will be handed out, and as much as $18,000 in total to one winner for their yearly mortgage or rent payment.

Viewers will watch for a code word during the morning broadcast. They will text the word to enter the drawing.