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.
After 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.
It’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.
There is shock and sadness still permeating Channel 7. It’s been a week since venerable investigative reporter Sarah Wallace left the station. Questions remain as to why she’s no longer part of the “Circle 7” staff after more than three exemplary decades.
Did Wallace quit? Did she get fired? Was she pushed out by News Director Camille Edwards?
While it may take time for those answers to be revealed, it is clear that the station is devastated by the abruptness of her departure and lack of closure.
“People are heartbroken at the loss. Sarah is respected, admired and loved by her colleagues,” a station insider tells Tuned In. “It’s like a death in the family.”
One veteran anchor takes it a step further for her longtime friend and colleague.
WPIX’s Kaity Tong writes on her Facebook page that Wallace is “absolutely THE most dedicated, tenacious, fair, and professional journalist around. She is brilliant. And has been brilliant for more than 30 years.”
Longtime investigative reporter Sarah Wallace is no longer at Channel 7. Insiders tell Tuned In the award-winning reporter abruptly left the station Thursday.
There is some confusion surrounding her departure.
“We don’t know what happened,” a source says. “She’s a great reporter and a huge part of the Eyewitness News team. But why this happened – no one has said and no one seems to know.”
But we do know she is beloved by most at the station. Her former co-workers started sending an email chain sharing how they felt about her work.
“The outpouring of support for her has been huge,” another insider says.
That outpouring is apparently not extending to management. News director Camille Edwards sent a two-sentence note to staffers saying, “I wanted to let you know that Sarah Wallace is no longer with Eyewitness News. We want to thank Sarah for her many years of service and wish her the best,” FTVLive reports.
It all started for Wallace at WABC in 1984, originally as a consumer reporter.
But she found her calling on the investigative beat, where she would chase down subjects with a kinder/gentler version of Mike Wallace’s ambush theater perfected on 60 Minutes.
By JERRY BARMASH
Veteran Channel 7 reporter Jeff Pegues is moving onto a network platform. The personable broadcast journalist is joining CBS News as a Washington DC based reporter.
Pegues started at WABC in December 2003, and quickly rose to cover some of the biggest stories for the station.
Arguably, the Emmy Award winner’s most memorable newsgathering took place last October during Superstorm Sandy. Viewers will recall Pegues being on the scene of the harrowing Breezy Point fire as residents attempted to escape.
“It’s been an incredible 10 years,” Pegues told Tuned In exclusively. “Working for Channel 7 is like playing for the Yankees. It’s a class, top-notch organization.”
During that decade in “pinstripes” on camera, he was a regular nighttime reporter. The 11 p.m. newscast would feature lead anchor Bill Ritter traditionally throwing it to a live Pegues with his “Jeffrey” moniker.
Tuned In has obtained the email that news director Camille Edwards sent to employees Friday.
“Sometimes life is bittersweet. This is one of those moments,” Edwards wrote.