Tag Archives: Bill Carey

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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Breaking: Larry Mendte Out at WPIX

LarryMendte_ComingCleanLarry Mendte is the latest casualty of the new WPIX regime. Tuned In has learned that Mendte is no longer with Channel 11 or Tribune. A well-placed source confirms that Mendte’s contract wasn’t renewed, but that the parting was amicable.

Astute viewers of the revamped 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Scott Stanford and Tamsen Fadal noticed that Mendte and his nightly commentaries have been conspicuous by their absence since earlier this month.

Mendte, a three-time Emmy winner for his PIX pieces, joined WPIX in February 2010. The commentaries originated from Channel 11, but aired on several other Tribune owned stations. Mendte’s departure is the latest purge by news director Mark Effron to eliminate the staff hired by former news director Bill Carey.

Mendte could be thought-provoking or controversial. He used his platform on multiple occasions  pressing Congress to pass the 9/11 First Responders Health and Compensation Bill. When it passed six months later, Mendte was honored with several awards

In 2011, he made a historic trip to Libya. He was the only journalist to accompany former congressman Curt Weldon on a peace mission.

There was also anchoring at PIX for the veteran broadcaster. Mendte was part of the Hurricane Sandy coverage with Kaity Tong and Jodi Applegate. He was also on the air for 12 straight hours with Fadal as one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was killed by police.

Photo: mediabistro.com

Turmoil Persists at WPIX; Managers Have ‘No Clue’

PIX11_LogoDespite the ray of hope of Scott Stanford set to become a full-time news anchor with Tamsen Fadal, WPIX is still the home of eggshells and awkwardness.

Since that mega announcement, Tuned In has learned that reporter Hilary Whittier was fired yesterday. But news director Mark Effron was forced to do a temporary about face. The station realized that she couldn’t be axed without alerting the unions, two in fact. Instead, she’ll report to the newsroom for the next 30 days, likely without being seen on the air.

“She’s a nice person, but too green for the streets of New York,” one source contends.

Whittier, as a multimedia journalist, is a rare commodity. She shoots her own pieces, except when doing a story live. We’re told that Whittier, with PIX since 2011, was to be fired because they don’t like her work or her personality.

There was another behind-the-scenes maneuver today. Morning news executive producer Howard Dorsey resigned. His departure had been rumored for several weeks as, sources say, this was not Dorsey’s decision. He started at Channel 11 in 2010. Senior executive producer Sharon von Zweiten is expected to fill the gap on an interim basis.

Effron has also decided to make WPIX the alternate news station for New York City. We’re told he discussed the issue last week, placing a moratorium on the use of stories outside of the five boroughs. An insider says the concentration of coverage will be Brooklyn and Queens, “as that’s where the meters are.”

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Breaking: Frances Rivera Accepts Buyout from WPIX

WPIX130806062959The anchor winds are blowing at WPIX.

While the focus of most people’s attention at Channel 11 has been evenings and Tamsen Fadal, Tuned In has learned exclusively that morning is about to get a makeover.

Frances Rivera, the PIX Morning News co-anchor, has accepted a buyout. Insiders say she will stay on the air until the end of the month.

Tuned In attempted to reach the station for comment.

Rivera teamed with the popular Sukanya Krishnan for the three-hour morning program beginning in August 2011. It could be that viewers never warmed up to Rivera. As in the evening, the ratings have been poor opposite powerhouse Good Day New York at WNYW, although Channel 11’s best numbers have actually been in the a.m.

“When it comes to news anchor teams, good chemistry is the hardest thing to find.  And here’s proof positive,” an insider says. “Frances was liked as a person, but you didn’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to notice the lack of, or existence of, any chemistry between her and Sukanya. I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did.”

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WNBC’s Scott Stanford Eyes Larger Role at WPIX

Scott_StanfordScott Stanford is the latest name leaked to have been brought in by WPIX for a
tryout. Multiple sources tell Tuned In that it’s not clear if Stanford, the WNBC number two sports anchor behind Bruce Beck, was applying for a sports position, news anchor, or both.

Before you shoot down the news anchoring concept for Stanford, realize that he does have recent experience, albeit minimal, in that venue. This year, the energetic sportscaster has dialed it down as occasional anchor on WNBC’s Cozi TV (formerly New York Nonstop) digital channel.

Whether that will convince WPIX, led by news director Mark Effron, remains to be seen.

Effron did not make himself available for comment to Tuned In. A station spokesperson would not address any audition by Stanford, only stating, “PIX11 has had meetings with several people regarding a variety of positions at the station.”

We attempted to reach Stanford without success.

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Dan Mannarino Joins Kaity Tong as WPIX Weekend Co-Anchor

278x373_reporter_danmannarinoBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

There’s been a lot of buzz about who will join Tamsen Fadal as WPIX weeknight co-anchor. But while we wait for the talent to be chosen, news director Mark Effron has made a somewhat surprising announcement.

Dan Mannarino has been named a co-anchor on the weekend broadcasts with Kaity Tong, beginning Saturday night at 6.

A spokesperson tells Tuned In that the pairing is for the summer.

It is just the latest in a long line of changes removing all connections to Bill Carey as news director.

The solo anchor experiment at PIX was started under Carey’s watch. Jim Watkins, first displaced to weekends in 2010, gave way to former co-anchor Tong in October 2011.

Mannarino, whose stock is rising at Channel 11 in his 2 1/2 years on the job, was part of the reporting team from Italy twice– for the elevation of Archbishop Dolan and in March as the cardinals voted for a new pope.

Earlier this month, Tuned In learned exclusively that Effron unveiled his plans for PIX at a meeting with staffers, which included teaming Fadal with a partner. There was apparently no mention of adding a second anchor on weekends.

Photo: pix11.com

Exclusive: John Houseman Out at WPIX

PIX11_LogoBy JERRY BARMASH

It’s more than three decades in the making. Today, John Houseman is leaving WPIX/Channel 11.

Houseman’s exit comes just 16 days after Tribune hired Mark Effron as the station’s new news director. Houseman, the WPIX lifer, was in his second stint as interim news director. Houseman’s days appeared numbered when he was reinstated as assistant news director.

A WPIX spokesperson confirms Houseman’s departure and adds “the parting is mutual and very amicable.”

Related: WPIX Names Julie Grauert to Dual Role as Traffic and News Reporter

Houseman, who has been with Channel 11 for 31 years, assumed the acting news director role in October when Bill Carey left.

He is a graduate of Fordham University.

Next on the PIX plate is likely deciding the fate of interim evening anchor Tamsen Fadal. It’s been Fadal’s position to lose since Jodi Applegate walked away in December.

No matter who anchors, one thing is clear. Effron almost immediately brought back a traditional feel at 10 p.m., complete with the desk and chairs.