Source: WCBS’ Cindy Hsu Out on Medical Leave

cindyIf you’ve been tuning into Channel 2 on the weekend, you’ve noticed Cindy Hsu is M.I.A. from her anchoring duties.

The veteran WCBS weekend anchor hasn’t been on the air since late July. Hsu’s absence is shrouded in secrecy.

However, the mystery may be somewhat revealed.

While most people in the newsroom are in the dark as to the circumstances, a station insider believes Hsu is on short-term medical leave. No other details are known, but the insider says it’s “nothing dire” and that Hsu is “going to be OK.”

The source adds that the station is anxious to welcome Hsu back at the Broadcast Center.

The 49-year-old Emmy winning anchor/reporter has been a mainstay at Channel 2 for 22 years.

Update: Ann Mercogliano Joins Inside Edition

AnnMercogliano73013Ann Mercogliano, a versatile New York City reporter, is going national. She is now a member of Inside Edition. The newsmagazine is seen at 1:30 pm weekdays on WNYW/Channel 5.

Mercogliano quietly started last week as a freelancer, Tuned In has learned, while correspondent Megan Alexander is on maternity leave.

Mercogliano apparently told people last month she was exiting WPIX for a role at WABC/Channel 7, as we reported at the time.

With stints at WNBC and WCBS, along with Channel 11 gig, she became the Tim McCarver of local news. (McCarver, a longtime major leaguer, was a sportscaster on every major network.)

Mercogliano’s New York rise began in 2010 when she arrived at Channel 4.

Her reporting chops grew over the years, first with lighter fare, including a trip to London for the Royal Wedding, (which got the popular brunette an Emmy Award nomination), and how to stuff your Thanksgiving turkey. She was on the street for a many hard news stories since joining WPIX in 2013.


Veteran Reporter Sarah Wallace Heading to WNBC


Wallace ready for new start at Channel 4

If Al Michaels can move to NBC after several decades and several Emmys at ABC, why not Sarah Wallace on the local level?

A distinguished 30-year career for Wallace at WABC/Channel 7 ended abruptly in February due to a clash of styles with news director Camille Edwards.

Now WNBC/Channel 4 is coming to the rescue, bringing the famed reporter back on the air. She’ll be a member of the station’s I-Team, investigative unit. Tuned In has learned she’ll debut shortly after Labor Day.

“Sarah Wallace is a reporter’s reporter,” Susan Sullivan, WNBC news director, said in a statement.

Insiders say Sullivan’s hard news focus is a good fit for Wallace.

WNBC is beefing up its I-Team that already includes Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst, Melissa Russo and Pei-Sze Chang. Insiders say Wallace’s hire signals their re-emphasis on investigative journalism.

Wallace has been a fixture in New York since joining Channel 7 in 1984. The veteran reporter is beloved among viewers and newsrooms.

insiders say Wallace received dozens of calls from her former Channel 7 colleagues. The overwhelming feeling is that WABC’s loss is WNBC’s gain.

Wallace has a mantle full of trophies, from 15 Emmy Awards to a Peabody and a couple of Murrow Awards.

Freelance Reporter Ann Mercogliano Exiting WPIX

PIX11_LogoShe’s made the rounds in New York, but multiple sources say the versatile Ann Mercogliano is ending ties with WPIX. Tuned In has learned Mercogliano’s last day in Monday. We’re told Channel 7 will be her next stop.

Mercogliano, previously worked on WNBC, transitioning from soft pieces at LX New York (today’s New York Live) to harder reporting. She also had a brief stint at WCBS/Channel 2 before Channel 11 came knocking.

“I enjoyed working with her. I think it’s a shame that they’re letting her leave and never gave her a staff position.”

Mercogliano’s tenure at PIX lasted 2 1/2 years.

Source: WPIX ‘Worse’ Under News Director Amy Waldman

AmyWPIX has its news director in place, but they still have a major ratings problem. That’s not the only problem at the Tribune flagship.

When Amy Waldman officially took the reins, she gained support from numerous newsroom staffers.

However, multiple sources tell Tuned In that Waldman, the eight-year Channel 11 veteran, is losing her cred among the rank and file.

“She has two priorities: herself and what’s for lunch?” one PIX insider says.

While she has had conversations with employees since taking the managerial role, sources say Waldman isn’t actually listening to any of the staffers.

That style falls short compared to previous WPIX news directors. For example, insiders say Karen Scott listened to her group and “would try to rectify” any problems.

They say Bill Carey, a veteran news manager in New York and elsewhere, was straight-forward.

“With Bill we knew where we were headed,” a source says.

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Picture Finally Comes Into Focus for Sarah Wallace Firing at Channel 7

wabc_bio_sarahwallace_160x200After a stellar 30-year career for Sarah Wallace, Tuned In has learned exclusively what led WABC/Channel 7 management to abruptly fire their veteran reporter.

Station insiders say the ugly dismissal stems from a story Wallace worked on several years ago.

Her investigation helped shed light on a man and his potential wrongful murder conviction.

Wallace’s report was fully developed and investigated, but never aired.

However, in February, Wallace was subpoenaed to testify about nonconfidential material in that case at an innocence hearing.

“She uncovered those facts in her investigation of the story and simply told the truth,” an insider says.

The man would not have gotten the innocence hearing without the information that Wallace uncovered from the prosecution’s star witness, insiders say.  The man is serving a 25 years to life sentence.

She testified in February and was fired by news director Camille Edwards almost immediately.

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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.