Monthly Archives: November 2013

ABC’s Rob Nelson Takes Anchor Slot at Channel 7

wabc2Overnight viewers may know Rob Nelson for his three years with ABC News Now. Nelson has also been a co-anchor on the network’s America This Morning. Staying in the company, Nelson has been named weekend morning anchor at WABC, succeeding Phil Lipof. Last month, it was announced that Lipof would leave Channel 7 for WCVB in Boston. His final newscast is December 8. A WABC spokesperson confirmed Nelson’s hiring, which was first reported by @Ny_NewsObserver. Nelson is not expected to start until sometime in January.

In March, Nelson was switched to dayside at ABC News. He was a correspondent for all platforms and programs.

As ABC News President Ben Sherwood remarked in a statement at the time, “Rob’s reporting, grace and humor infused each broadcast with a winning style he perfected over many years.”

Exclusive: John Houseman Out at WCBS

WCBS-blue-and-grey-new-logoThere was barely enough time for the direct deposit to be activated.

John Houseman, who we reported last month was hired by WCBS-TV as an executive producer, is no longer with the station. Houseman had more than 30 years at Channel 11, mainly as assistant news director, until he was dropped from the Tribune O&O in May.

An insider tells Tuned In that Houseman resigned from his Channel 2 post, although other sources believe he may have been axed. A WCBS spokesperson declined to comment.

“I would bet my career that he was fired,” says someone who worked with Houseman for more than a decade. “He’s not exactly the most likable human being.”

Veteran Reporter Pablo Guzman Shares Recollections of JFK Assassination

JFK2The nation was forced to come of age and have its innocence shattered. Fifty years ago today, Americans suffered a tragic generational moment when President John F. Kennedy was gunned down. It was a sunny, late fall afternoon as Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository were about to become part of the lexicon.

It was even harder to fathom for the youth.

Pablo Guzman was 13 years old. He was an eighth grader at Our Lady of Pity in the South Bronx. In the next half-century, Guzman would become a hard-nosed street reporter, primarily known for his work on WCBS/Channel 2. But that fateful day in Dallas would remain with Guzman throughout his career.

“It was permanently etched,” Guzman tells Tuned In. “I went to Catholic school so you can imagine what his election and his murder meant.”

Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic elected president. So parochial schools felt like their “Favorite Son” was killed. But of course, the sadness permeated much deeper.

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Cablevision’s Traffic and Weather Makes Major Overhaul

T&WThere’s a little less congestion at Channel 61.

Tuned In has learned that Cablevision has bludgeoned its News 12 Traffic and Weather service, located on Channel 61 in several tri-state locations.

Cablevision has confirmed the staff layoffs, although not by name or the amount of people affected.

“We recently made adjustments to News 12 Traffic & Weather that resulted in the elimination of some positions,” a News 12 spokesperson says. “News 12 Traffic & Weather continues to deliver traffic and weather updates more than 10 times per hour, 24/7, and viewers can also get real-time updates on News12.com or on News 12 mobile apps.”

Tuned In has learned that the entire full-time air traffic staff has been sent packing, leaving only a handful of temps in the wake. We were not able to confirm the fate of meteorologists at the channel.

Among those out the door in the restructuring, Lisa Ritchie, a longtime radio personality on Long Island. Producers Dave Steckel and Dave Squillante were apparently also part of the purge, sources say. However, we’re told that managers Pete Shields and GM Jeff Blum will remain.

T&W started in the early 1990s. It features an off-camera traffic reporter showing maps and cameras  for New York, the Hudson Valley, Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Tribune Hires Hartford Courant Publisher as WPIX GM

PIX11_LogoThe wait is over for a new GM at Tribune’s flagship. Rich Graziano succeeded Eric Meyrowitz today as WPIX’s next President/GM. Graziano takes over the position immediately and will report to Tribune’s President of Broadcast Media, Larry Wert. Since 2009, Graziano has been in charge of Tribune’s Hartford properties, including publisher and CEO of the Hartford Courant. He was also VP/GM at WTIC and WCCT. Just nine days ago, Tuned In broke the news that Meyrowitz was out at Channel 11 after three years on the job.

“Rich is a skilled and innovative leader who has achieved great success in managing large-scale media operations and delivering results for viewers, advertisers and the community,” Wert says. “We’ve made a number of changes at WPIX, both on-the-air and in the management ranks—the station is gaining momentum. Rich is the perfect addition to lead the new team we’ve assembled.”

Graziano has more than 20 years of media experience, including a stop at WLVI in Boston.

“WPIX is an iconic brand. The station has a distinct history and a wonderful legacy in New York,” Graziano says. “I see tremendous opportunity to lead WPIX to excellence, through hard work, innovation, and by creating value for our viewers and advertising partners.”

Breaking: WPIX Cans GM Eric Meyrowitz

PIX11_LogoWPIX VP and GM Eric Meyrowitz has been fired. Sources confirm to Tuned In that Meyrowitz’s last day at Channel 11 was Thursday. There had been rumblings that Meyrowitz would not have his contract renewed. A WPIX spokesperson refused to comment.

Meyrowitz joined WPIX in September 2010.

“I think his hands were tied because of his higher-ups,” a source tells Tuned In. The source adds that Meyrowitz was well-liked within the newsroom causing many to be upset by his axing.

There’s no word on who will succeed Meyrowitz or if an interim GM will be named by the station. One rumor has news director Mark Effron ascending to the new role.

The source believes, “Everybody says if they move him upstairs, [they’re] walking out.”

Just weeks after Effron’s arrival at WPIX, John Houseman was sent packing in May. The longtime assistant news director logged more than three decades at PIX.

Passionate Viewers Sound-Off About Frances Rivera Dismissal from WPIX

FrancesWhile the buzz has been surrounding night time changes at WPIX, notably Scott Stanford‘s ascension to news anchor, the public is speaking in record numbers about the morning newscasts.

It’s three months since our breaking news filled the Internet that Frances Rivera would not have her contract renewed. We’ve received feedback from dozens of people and we’re still getting comments. Here is a sample of some strong opinions posted to Tuned In.

Chrissy Craig writes, “I thought Francis Rivera did an awesome job…loved her smile…sense of humor and her charm.”

Barbara Fortini says, “I am completely floored! I have been looking for Frances for weeks. Frances Rivera is a very pleasant, professional and enjoyable to watch… Too bad for PIX because many people will not be viewing the news without Frances at the helm.”

Joel Santos concurs, “I thought Francis was out on emergency leave or maybe even vacation, but now morning after morning of not seeing her around, it was obvious something was wrong. I googled Francis Rivera to read this heart wrenching news! This must’ve been a decision based on politics,  because anyone who tuned into the PIX11 Morning News saw there was nothing but chemistry on the air between Sukanya and Francis.”

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