Channel 2 Reporter Exploits Child in ‘Exclusive’ Robbery Story

girlTelevision is certainly a visual medium. Local news is about striking a balance between attracting viewers and reporting the story.

Tuesday night, WCBS reporter Weijia Jiang stepped over the line of decency.

In telling the story about a string of robberies in a Brooklyn community while some of the victims slept, Jiang spoke to an eight-year-old girl about the incident. Her mother also talked to Jiang, who translated from Spanish.

Many aspects are wrong about the girl being interviewed for the “exclusive” piece.  For starters, the first taped clip showed the girl saying “I was about to cry,” as she became inconsolable. (Video clips of the report below)

As she continued to cry the girl belted out, “He was going to kill my ma.”

The scene was “inexcusable,” one veteran TV reporter tells Tuned In.

“I know I would not have done that,” the longtime city reporter says. “[It's] shameful and exploitative.”

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2015 New York Emmy Awards Rundown

B9lXa8FIYAAYH1T (1)For a night, the cutthroat business of television news embraces itself at the New York Emmy Awards. Of course, some had more to embrace than others.

In one of the top awards of the night, Best News Anchor, Adriana Vargas from Univision 41/WXTV upset some big names: WCBS’ Chris Wragge, and a trio of WPIX talent– Tamsen Fadal, Scott Stanford and Sukanya Krishnan. Stanford, however, didn’t go home empty-handed, winning the Best Sports Anchor prize.

Channel 41 also was chosen Top Morning Newscast, defeating WCBS, and a pair of WPIX entries, while its rival Telemundo 47/WNJU won the biggest hardware–Best Evening Newscast.

WCBS’ Lonnie Quinn earned his fifth Emmy as top Weather Anchor.

Along with Stanford, Channel 11 gave newly installed news director Amy Waldman plenty to smile about, as the Tribune flagship took home 15 trophies. Mario Diaz and Jay Dow won multiple awards.

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WNBC’s Ida Siegal Takes on New Assignment: Children’s Author

Headshot - goodShe’s been a mainstay on WNBC for a dozen years. But Ida Siegal is now finding a different audience. Siegal just penned her first children’s book series, Emma Is on the Air, which chronicles an eight-year-old with dreams of becoming a TV reporter.

Siegal’s idea came directly from her own experiences covering stories.

“When I’m out in the field and I’m in the NBC News truck, we get approached by children all the time,” Siegal tells Tuned In.

She says those inquisitive kids usually ask if Siegal is famous and how can they get on TV.

“There’s a real, genuine enthusiasm with these children, and it doesn’t matter who the child is, what the economic background is, what neighborhood we’re in; it’s pretty much across the board everywhere we go,” Siegal says.

She fills a void by teaching curious children about journalism, thanks to Emma’s make-believe reporter experiences. Siegal takes it step further, putting the lead character in the first person.

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WNBC Shows Errant Islanders ‘Game 8′ Graphic

isles wnbcWhile the New York Islanders extend their first-round series to the limit with a victory Saturday, WNBC had other ideas in mind.

You don’t have to be a sports fan or hockey aficionado to know that the playoffs are a best of seven series.

However, as weekend morning co-anchor Gus Rosendale read the story Sunday with video from the Nassau Coliseum, a graphic at the bottom of the screen showed a glaringly, awkward mistake.

It read, “Islanders Force A Game 7; Nassau Coliseum Could Stay Open For Game 8.”

The Islanders begin at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season.

Rosendale didn’t make mention of the Game 8 possibility or allude to the graphic below. However, he said, “If the Islanders win tomorrow’s game in Washington, they will return to Long Island in their quest for the Stanley Cup.”

Of course, that would be in the second round against a new opponent and a resetting to Game 1, except the WNBC graphics person missed those minor details.

Ironically, Rosendale had an innocent flub to the start his Isles story and joked, “This isn’t live, is it? They fix all this stuff in editing? This doesn’t actually go out?”

Too bad Channel 4 couldn’t fix that, as no one from the control room or talent caught the embarrassing gaff that sat on the screen for at least 45 seconds.

Gabe Pressman Honored for Lifetime of On-Air Work

gabeHe almost single-handedly invented television news reporting in New York. Gabe Pressman and his six decades in the industry were honored Friday at the Fair Media Council’s Folio Awards. His award became a lifetime achievement appearance for the irreplaceable Pressman, who received two standing ovations sandwiching his speech and short video of his legendary career.

Pressman tells Tuned In, “It’s been a very interesting lifetime. I wouldn’t trade it for it any other experience.”

The pioneering broadcast journalist who turned 91 in February has been with NBC for more than a half-century.

“You are privileged to be a witness to interesting things that happen,” Pressman says. “I’ve had a whole lifetime of that.”

Perhaps Pressman’s most famous coverage came on November 22, 1963 in the hours after President Kennedy was shot. He left an assignment to wait for word from Dallas.

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Jim Douglas Joins WCBS-FM as Back-Up Saturday Night Voice

Jim-DouglasIt’s a homecoming for Jim Douglas. The former Fresh 102.7 morning man is returning to the air and CBS Radio on Hudson Street. This time the veteran air personality is the Saturday night fill-in for Joe Causi starting tonight at WCBS-FM.

Douglas left Fresh in October, leaving his legions of fans to wonder what’s next.

His work down the hall from the Fresh studios is a full-circle experience for Douglas.

“I was an intern there when I was 18 and now I get to sit in the ‘air chair,’” Douglas tells Tuned In.

It was a five-year stint at Fresh for Douglas, who also talked up songs on WKJY (KJOY) 98.3 on Long Island and the defunct “Mix 105″ in New York.

But for Douglas, the future is now at the classic hits station.

“I can’t begin to say how excited I am.”

Tuned In Exclusive: Lisa Colagrossi’s Husband Says Morning Shift Was ‘Contributing Factor’ to Her Death

11081013_402089466636141_5445076497163986496_nIt’s been a month since the WABC-TV family lost Lisa Colagrossi. But the ones really dealing with the tragedy are her husband of 17 years, Todd Crawford, and her two boys.

Crawford, in an exclusive conversation with Tuned In, says he’s overwhelmed by the support from the broadcasting industry.

“It was very comforting and very touching,” Crawford says. “What we knew before all of this happened is how important that she was to us. But what we didn’t realize was how special she was to a lot of other people around the country.”

While Crawford is so appreciative of the condolences, he recognizes it can only provide temporary support.

“We’ll never replace someone like Lisa. We would need four people to replace one Lisa; that’s how much she meant to our family.”

Colagrossi died suddenly from a brain aneurysm after working on a story in Queens for the morning newscast on Channel 7.  Crawford says the medical problem is genetic, but Colagrossi had no symptoms and there was no a family history.

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Tributes for Veteran Business Anchor Ken Prewitt, Dead at 68

Ken-PrewittKen Prewitt, a man who brought his strong knowledge of financial news to radio and TV for decades, has died. He was battling brain cancer since 2012. Prewitt was 68.

In command of his copy, Prewitt was known for long stints providing business news updates on various stations, primarily WCBS 880, first with Wall Street Journal Radio, then through Money Magazine.

During the last decade, Prewitt redefined his spot as one of the best business broadcasters, bringing his booming voice to Bloomberg Radio in 2005, serving as morning host for much of that time until his illness forced a leave in 2013.

Veteran broadcaster Janice Kirkel shares a unique perspective on Prewitt, having worked together at Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

“Ken was someone you could talk about absolutely anything with — not just business news, but theater, history, politics, music,” Kirkel, a WFAN update anchor, tells Tuned In. “He always had great stories to tell and a great sense of humor.”

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Frank Cipolla Relives Best Moments for Autobiography

CIPOLLA 8x10 HEADSHOT 1-15Whether you know his work from name, voice, or face, chances are if you’ve been paying attention to New York news coverage in the last three decades you know Frank Cipolla.

His longevity and versatile reporting skills for radio and TV are the framework for his 2011 autobiography, It Shocked Even Us and More Crazy Stories Covering Local News. (Available directly through Cipolla’s website, itshockedevenus.com)

No need to be a war correspondent for anecdotes. Cipolla has tons, probably enough for another installment from his beat in the five boroughs and New Jersey. His time at WNBC is a favorite chapter worth the price of the book on its own. As a newscaster, Cipolla was on the front line for some of biggest egos in the business: Howard Stern, Don Imus and Soupy Sales.

Cipolla tells Tuned In it was equally stressful and hilarious.

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Diana Williams Takes Leave of Absence from Channel 7

wabc_bio_dianawilliams_160x200Longtime anchor Diana Williams is taking a break from her duties at WABC-TV. She wrote on her Facebook page that she’s stepping away to care of her ailing husband.

“On Friday we said our goodbyes. For those who have been following me via social media my husband will begin a bone marrow, now referred to as a stem cell transplant, starting today. And I will be at his side as he gets a new birthday,” Williams tells her Facebook followers. “I bid farewell to the best team you could ask for on Friday as I take a leave of absence from work. I don’t know how long I will be gone but I couldn’t do this without the support of my amazing co-workers. God bless them and all of you.”

If, or when, Williams will return is undetermined. Her tenure at WABC started in 1991. She co-anchored several years with Bill Beutel. These days Williams has been the co-anchor at 5 p.m. with Sade Baderinwa.

It’s been a difficult several weeks for WABC staffers. Last month, Sarah Wallace abruptly quit after three decades covering stories. But the station was emotionally rocked on March 20, when reporter Lisa Colagrossi died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage.

Photo: 7online.com