Tag Archives: Channel 4

Longtime Anchor Michele Marsh Dies at 63

Michele Marsh was a pleasant and competent anchor for years in New York. She died Tuesday of breast cancer at age 63.

Marsh was only 25 when she hit the big time, arriving at WCBS/Channel 2 in 1979. She sat with several colleagues during her 17-year career at WCBS, but viewers probably recall her and Rolland Smith most fondly.

“In the time we spent together as anchors we became good friends and confidants,” Smith tells TunedIn.

Smith occasionally spoke to her after his exit from WCBS. As for Marsh, she was abruptly let go as part of the infamous “Black Friday” mass firings in 1996.

John Johnson was also shown the door that autumn day. The duo would immediately turn to WNBC as anchor colleagues on a new noon broadcast.

“I am very distressed over Michele’s death,” Johnson tells me. “She was a true professional and an outstanding woman journalist in a field dominated by men.”

Johnson says she was terribly hurt how it ended at Channel 2 given her many years of service.

Other than a brief hiccup when Dave Marash was rehired and reteamed with Smith in the early 1980s, Marsh was on the late newscast until 1993, where she got to know Ernie Anastos.

He tweeted, “She was loved by so many, a top professional. I will miss my sweet friend.”

At Channel 4, Marsh also co-anchored the 6 p.m. with Chuck Scarborough.

“We liked one another and did some good work together,” Johnson recalls.

Marsh died surrounded by her family at her Connecticut home. She is survived by her husband, son John and daughter-in-law Anna.

The family is asking that a donation be made to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in her memory.

“My personal life and my professional life was made so much richer for knowing her humor, her laughter, and her spirit,” Smith says.

Gabe Pressman, New York Broadcasting Giant, Dead at 93

Legend and icon, words that are commonly misused and overused. But they could have been written just for Gabe Pressman. The Bronx native was 93. He was a fixture at WNBC for decades, getting a lifetime contract with his second stint in 1980.

The pioneering broadcaster is credited as the first street reporter in New York, when he joined WNBC in 1956.

“Gabe was the real deal!” Sue Simmons, his longtime WNBC colleague, remembers. “There was no one more respected in our newsroom. In my moments of insecurity, he was always gently supportive.”

Along the way, he interviewed mayors, governors and presidents. Pressman would do just that, “pressing” his subjects to answer for a hard-hitting story and becoming a leading proponent for the First Amendment.

There was plenty of shock in 1972 when Pressman switched channels to WNEW (now WNYW).

Former News Director Ted Kavanau got word from his general manager Larry Fraiberg that Pressman liked the Ten O’Clock News.

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Diane Macedo Likely Moving Crosstown to WNBC Anchor Desk

macedoDiane Macedo, weekend WCBS/Channel 2 morning anchor and reporter, has left the station. Multiple sources tell Tuned In that Macedo is headed to WNBC to co-anchor the new 4 p.m. newscast debuting in May.

Channel 4 previously announced that Stefan Holt, son of NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, was hired as co-anchor on the late afternoon broadcast.

Macedo took to Twitter announcing her farewell last weekend and teasing her next opportunity with, “can’t say yet. Soon!”

A WNBC spokesperson says they don’t comment on rumors, but wouldn’t deny it either.

Macedo, 34, joined WCBS two years ago, primarily working with Andrea Grymes on the early Saturday and Sunday broadcasts. She was a frequent fill-in in the evening when Cindy Hsu was out for a few months last year.

UPDATE: Macedo is joining ABC News as anchor of the overnight broadcast World News Now and America This Morning.

Photo:Twitter @dianermacedo

WNBC Shakeup: Shiba Russell Out; Brynn Gingras CNN-Bound

ShibaRussell_WNBCShiba Russell is gone from WNBC. The anchor’s days were numbered at Channel 4 since Sibila Vargas came on board from Los Angeles in October 2013, supplanting Russell as night time co-anchor with Chuck Scarborough.

Tuned In speculated even before Vargas put her Channel 4 mic clip on for the first time with the headline, “Is Shiba Russell on the Way Out at WNBC?

Russell’s five-year tenure at 30 Rock started with such a promising note, perhaps too promising. Most believe was hired from the ABC affiliate in Boston with the ultimate goal of replacing legend Sue Simmons.

Her star immediately soared. Shortly after starting out on the weekend anchor desk, Russell was promoted to weekdays, putting her in the perfect “wait in wings” position.

Simmons was pushed out in 2012, and there was her heir apparent to pick up the pieces.

However, the chemistry never worked between Scarborough and Russell. The pairing would not come anywhere close to the 32 years of Chuck and Sue’s famous “marriage.” In fact by early 2014, Vargas, who already sat with Scarborough for the 6 p.m. newscast, replaced Russell on the 11 p.m.

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WNBC to Air 4 p.m. News Starting in May

WNBC new logoDecades ago, WNBC set local news on fire when NewsCenter4 was born, ushering in New York’s first two-hour newscast. This time they are the follower, not the leader. Channel 4 will start its early evening newscast at 4.

The move is coming to four markets in May.

That means Ellen DeGeneres‘ Show gets pushed to 3 p.m. while The Steve Harvey Show moves back to 2.

There is no word on any anchor pairings for the one-hour WNBC broadcast.

Market leader Channel 7 has been the only 4 p.m. local newscast since Oprah Winfrey’s 2011 departure.

For now, WNBC does 30-minute “segments” from 5-6:30 p.m. with Chuck Scarborough and Sibila Vargas as bookends to David Ushery and Shiba Russell, anchoring at 5:30.

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.

Gabe Pressman Honored for Lifetime of On-Air Work

gabeHe almost single-handedly invented television news reporting in New York. Gabe Pressman and his six decades in the industry were honored Friday at the Fair Media Council’s Folio Awards. His award became a lifetime achievement appearance for the irreplaceable Pressman, who received two standing ovations sandwiching his speech and short video of his legendary career.

Pressman tells Tuned In, “It’s been a very interesting lifetime. I wouldn’t trade it for it any other experience.”

The pioneering broadcast journalist who turned 91 in February has been with NBC for more than a half-century.

“You are privileged to be a witness to interesting things that happen,” Pressman says. “I’ve had a whole lifetime of that.”

Perhaps Pressman’s most famous coverage came on November 22, 1963 in the hours after President Kennedy was shot. He left an assignment to wait for word from Dallas.

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Frank Cipolla Relives Best Moments for Autobiography

CIPOLLA 8x10 HEADSHOT 1-15Whether you know his work from name, voice, or face, chances are if you’ve been paying attention to New York news coverage in the last three decades you know Frank Cipolla.

His longevity and versatile reporting skills for radio and TV are the framework for his 2011 autobiography, It Shocked Even Us and More Crazy Stories Covering Local News. (Available directly through Cipolla’s website, itshockedevenus.com)

No need to be a war correspondent for anecdotes. Cipolla has tons, probably enough for another installment from his beat in the five boroughs and New Jersey. His time at WNBC is a favorite chapter worth the price of the book on its own. As a newscaster, Cipolla was on the front line for some of biggest egos in the business: Howard Stern, Don Imus and Soupy Sales.

Cipolla tells Tuned In it was equally stressful and hilarious.

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Breaking: Tom Llamas Exiting WNBC

LlamasHe’s a multiple Emmy Award winner. He’s covered the biggest stories since joining WNBC in 2009. Tom Llamas is leaving 30 Rock. Insiders say his last day is Friday.

Tuned In has learned that news director Susan Sullivan told staffers in an email today.

Llamas went from general assignment reporting to anchoring to more comprehensive investigative pieces.

No word on Llamas’ next move.

Among the breaking news he covered for Channel 4 and NBC News viewers were the Boston Marathon bombing and the earthquake in Haiti.

In June of 2013, Llamas was taken off the noon anchoring slot to concentrate on the I-Team reports. He has maintained the 5 p.m. broadcast with Shiba Russell.

Also last year, Llamas snatched the Best Anchor prize at the New York Emmys.