Tag Archives: Frances Rivera

MSG Network and WPIX Lead 2014 Emmy Nominations

FrancesThe New York Emmy Award nominations are announced today. Topping the list is MSG Network is 64 nominations. WPIX led the over the air outlets with 44, one better than the YES Network.

In the On-Camera Talent: News Anchor category, WCBS’ Chris Wragge will look to add to the mantle. Among those vying for the award include WNBC’s Michael Gargiulo, Tamsen Fadal of WPIX, and her former colleague Frances Rivera (above).

The weather anchor category features WABC’s Amy Freeze goes against WPIX’s Linda Church, and previous winner Lonnie Quinn of WCBS. News 12 The Bronx’s Mike Favetta rounds out the competition.

WPIX’s Scott Stanford is nominated as Best Sports Anchor for his work with WNBC. Standing in the way of the trophy are Bill Pidto of MSG, News 12 Long Island’s Jamie Stuart and Kevin Maher and WNJU/Telemundo’s Rafael Bello.

In the General Assignment Reporter category, a pair of WPIX standouts are highlighted: Jay Dow and James Ford. They’re joined by WCBS’ Carolyn Gusoff and Weijia Jiang, and Darla Miles of WABC.

Former WPIX commentator Larry Mendte got six nods, including the Political Reporter category.

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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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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: Vickie Burns to Assume Major Role at WPIX

Vickie_BurnsThe mystery of Vickie Burns at WPIX is about to be revealed. Tuned In has learned exclusively that the former WNBC news director will officially be put on payroll at Channel 11. All indications are she’ll be named a consultant alongside news director Mark Effron. As we reported, it’s a role that the veteran news executive has held since earlier this summer.

There is also a possibility that Burns could assume a newly created station manager position.

As late as yesterday, there was additional buzz that Burns would take over for Steve Charlier on the corporate level at Tribune. That rumor was squelched by this morning. Therefore, Burns, known for her demanding personality, will in based in New York.

For several weeks, as we’ve reported, Burns has become a presence in the PIX newsroom. We’re told she’s had a hand in the station’s anchor audition process.

Burns’ last TV job was as KNBC news director in 2012.

“Whatever role Burns will play it’s obvious her job is to monitor PIX11. In the past four months,
Effron and company have made some mistakes to further alienate viewers,” the insider says, referring, in part, to a format change and failed anchor pairings. “November will be critical. Not only for managers but anchors. Burns has a rolodex of New York City anchors and reporters to look towards.”

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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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WPIX Gives Royal Treatment to Prince Harry in New Jersey

HArryBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

It’s good to be the king! OK, maybe the Mel Brooks line is a bit strong. But it was all about WPIX this morning with a special 10 minutes of coverage as Prince Harry toured Seaside Heights, New Jersey with Governor Christie.

At 11 a.m. WPIX pre-empted Jerry Springer for morning anchors Sukanya Krishnan and Frances Rivera. Reporter Ann Mercogliano exuberantly told viewers that she hoped to get a moment with the prince. However, that standout TV moment never happened as Harry didn’t make his way down the receiving line. Mercogliano was smooth as she spoke to onlookers. In her few minutes on the air, a comfortable Mercogliano put her personality on display, saying about the twenty-something prince, ”he does look good!”

Mercogliano is no stranger to covering the royals. Her reporting from Kate and William’s wedding for WNBC in 2011 was Emmy-nominated.

We were unable to find any other outlets, local or national, that aired live footage. Surprisingly, even WWOR, did we mention Seacaucus, New Jersey based WWOR, was also no-show.

WPIX and the Boston Bombing Coverage

PIX11_LogoBy JERRY BARMASH

It was a long day’s journey into night. But for WPIX, it was a riveting day of coverage from Boston as the second marathon suspect was ultimately captured.

WPIX, which welcomed a new news director this week, was the place to be Friday for the best video and reporting.

It started at 4 a.m. with morning anchors Sukanya Krishnan and Frances Rivera, who worked into the afternoon. Channel 11′s non-stop coverage rolled on with Tamsen Fadal and Larry Mendte taking over the anchor desk.

PIX had several reporters on the scene in and around the Boston area, including Jay Dow and Erica Pitzi.

But the day belonged to James Ford. The usual morning reporter started his day at 2 a.m. During the next 21 hours, Ford provided viewers with some of the most riveting images. Ford and his videographer became “embedded” with the S.W.A.T. and police. His “war zone” reporting was must see TV, even when cops ordered the cameras on the ground for safety purposes.

WPIX resumed regular programming Friday night at 11:30.