The winds of change are blowing through WPIX. News director Mark Effron was scheduled to leave the station October 31. But insiders say he officially exited Friday. We’re told Effron was primarily a figurehead since management made the decision to let him go, something Tuned In first told you last month.
The plan on paper was to have the new news director in place for a few weeks before Effron left. With his early, albeit, not surprising departure, station brass are forced to expedite their search.
We’re told two big name television programmers were approached to succeed Effron. But they balked. Kenny Plotnik, the longtime Channel 7 news director, ultimately ended his courtship by taking a VP role at New England Cable News in September.
More recently, Dianne Doctor‘s name surfaced as a possible replacement. Doctor is VP of the mythological newsroom at Fox’s WWOR. Insiders tell Tuned In that she also declined the offer.
Speaking of Fox, Emad Asghar is the WNYW assistant news director with ties to PIX. He was another person that was interviewed for the opening, and he was another individual who said no.
While the station has received dozens of resumes, it appears to be a two-horse race.
Insiders say assistant news director Amy Waldman, and Chuck Carter, managing editor, are overseeing the daily operations of WPIX news. We’re also told that Waldman, with PIX for more than seven years, has been aggressively campaigning to become the next news director.
But Waldman has her detractors. One source calls her a placeholder.
“Amy is working real hard to clean up her image,” the source says. “But she burned too many bridges during the Effron time. Newsroom support is not there for her.”
Not all within East 42nd Street share that opinion about Waldman.
“She would be good as long as she had a strong assistant news director,” an insider tells Tuned In.
As close as Waldman or Carter could be to the coveted promotion, they could be teetering on the brink of dismissal. If an outsider is hired, expect that person to potentially clean house and put a new management team in place.