Tag Archives: Scott Stanford

Breaking: John Muller Returns to WPIX; Scott Stanford Dropped as Anchor

Tamsen ScottThe latest drama at WPIX is a doozy. In fact, it’s a rumor that’s been gathering steam. Now it’s official.

Scott Stanford is losing his co-anchor role with Tamsen Fadal. The station is bringing back John Muller, the former morning anchor, to team with Fadal at 5 and 10 p.m.

Muller was an original member of the PIX Morning News when it launched in 2000.

In a note sent to staffers tonight and obtained by Tuned In, news director Mark Effron says Stanford, who joined Channel 11 in September, will be the station’s lead sports anchor and host the weekly Sports Desk on Friday nights.

Effron told staffers that PIX will be increasing in-depth analysis and team coverage of sports in the newscasts.

Although Stanford wasn’t the first sportscaster to make the move to news anchoring, oddly he covered both within the same broadcast.

Stanford has several years of sports experience on WNBC and WWOR.

Muller’s second stint at WPIX follows his tenure at ABC as anchor on World News Now and  America This Morning. He also was a fill-in news reader on Good Morning America.

Muller returns to PIX on June 23.

Channel 7 Wins Another Sweeps; WPIX Finds Its Own Silver Lining

Eyewitness News TeamChalk up another ratings bonanza for WABC-TV. From morning to night, Channel 7 was the May sweeps leader of the pack. The station outdistanced the competition, either using households as the measuring stick, the key demo adults 25 to 54, or both.

The signature broadcast, Eyewitness News at 11 p.m. with Bill Ritter, Sade Baderwina, Lee Goldberg and Rob Powers, held a 44 percent advantage over the number two among households. WABC increased its lead to 47 percent with the key demo.

The gap was even more pronounced at 6 p.m. when the Ritter, Liz Cho, Goldberg and Powers team obliterated the competition. It was a 57 percent bulge in the households indicator. Channel 7 was equally strong in the key demo, registering better results than any two others newscasts combined.

Although not sustaining it for the entire month, WNBC did come out on top for a few Chuck Scarborough/Sibila Vargas 11 p.m. broadcasts. It was impressive considering where Channel 4 had been in the last few years. Continue reading

Use of Social Media on Local News ‘Detrimental to the Journalistic Profession’

Grymes MacedoTelevision news has always been about garnering the ratings. That’s what news directors and GMs liked. Now, it’s not only about sales revenue and the Nielsen numbers. Today there’s a definite realignment with social media. At the same time, there’s also evidence  of “dumbing down” the broadcasts.

If you’re up early on the weekend, for example, you may have noticed a different look on WCBS-TV.

With Cindy Hsu, a solid pro, moved to weekend nights, Channel 2 is opting for style at the desk.

Teaming anchor Andrea Grymes (above left) and recent hire Diane Macedo (above right) has the feel of girls “playing TV.”

Thankfully, the initial giggles and smiles have eased. That isn’t the type of chemistry essential in New York. Altoona, maybe, but not NYC.

Grymes is a decent enough reporter, but lacks in the substance department, especially when placed behind the desk. As for Macedo, her stock is apparently rising with management as an occasional fill-in anchor at other times.

Rolland Smith logged nearly 40 years in local news, including many in New York a generation ago at the aforementioned WCBS. He says change is not always for the better.

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Major WPIX Overhaul Could Be on the Way

Tamsen ScottThe fate of WPIX’s news director is likely tied to next month’s pivotal ratings performance. Mark Effron got the position a year ago and, although he made several personnel moves, it’s no different than rearranging the Titanic chairs.

Channel 11 has been facing an ongoing battle for eyeballs. The numbers have remained poor, primarily at 10 p.m. with Effron ‘s biggest acquisition— when Scott Stanford was pulled away from sports for a full-time opportunity to co-anchor with Tamsen Fadal.

“There’s a growing feeling within Tribune that it’s not working at 5 and 10 [p.m.],”  a PIX insider charges.

Morning is another problem area for WPIX, with no ground gained on WNYW’s powerhouse Good Day New York. The Rosanna Scotto/Greg Kelly led program typically beats some of the big boys….having better results than NBC’s Today show.

The May sweeps could bring potential sweeping change to the Tribune flagship. Sources tell Tuned In this is a final chance for on-air talent and behind-the-scenes staffers to fight for their jobs.

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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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What Was the Most Memorable Media Moment of 2013?

Stanford1

Is Scott Stanford your pick for top media moment of 2013?

The clock is about to strike midnight on 2013. That means it’s time go down memory lane for the Best Moments of the Year. Good or bad, there were several standout moments representing the media landscape in New York.

Among them,

  • Rob Morrison was under media scrutiny for allegedly choking his wife, Ashley, in February. Within days of the incident, Rob was officially gone from his morning anchoring duties at WCBS-TV.
  • Greg Kelly, however, was welcomed back to mornings, as co-anchor of WNYW’s Good Day New York. Kelly spent six short months as the station’s lead anchor at night. The failed experiment caused a “do-over” in January, re-teaming the popular Kelly with Rosanna Scotto.
  • WPIX made some waves by hiring sportscaster Scott Stanford as a news anchor.
  • No need for a news anchor at WWOR. The Fox affiliate pulled the plug on the Ten O’Clock News and any semblance of a news department. Continue reading

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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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

Scott Stanford ‘Very Excited’ to Start His News Anchor Career Tonight at WPIX

Scott_StanfordRod Stewart probably wasn’t looking into a crystal ball when he wrote Tonight’s the Night four decades ago. But he could have been talking about Scott Stanford, who makes his anchor debut this evening on WPIX.

Stanford, as has been well documented, arrives on East 42nd Street after a career in sportscasting on TV and radio. Throw in his ongoing wrestling commentating and you’ve got eyes wide and ears perked.

Related: Stanford ’95 Percent Certainty’ to Get PIX Anchor Gig

“[I’m] very excited to join the PIX11 news team tomorrow! PIX11 news will be informative and entertaining as the viewers will feel like they’re hanging out with friends!” Stanford tells Tuned In.

As the countdown is on before Stanford joins Tamsen Fadal at 5 p.m. (and 10 p.m.), it would appear that the veteran broadcaster is trying to play it straight at the start.

He spent the last four years as number two sports anchor at WNBC. Stanford has mixed song lyrics as part of his on-air shtick when telling his nightly sports story.

‘No Compelling Reason to Go to PIX for News at Night’ in Reaction to Scott Stanford as Anchor

Stanford1Now that the smoke has cleared, we’ve had time to reflect on WPIX’s big move. Scott Stanford jumps from second string sports anchor on WNBC to main news man opposite Tamsen Fadal. He gave his final signoff from the Peacock Saturday night.

Tuned In got some industry feedback to WPIX’s decision to give Stanford the high-profile role. Despite Stanford’s lack of news experience, reaction is mixed.

“it’s great for him. He’s not your normal type of anchor, which is what I think is great– one of the funniest guys in the building,” A former WNBC colleague says. “He’s very likeable, easy to work with. We’ll see what his news chops are like, but they’re definitely thinking outside the box at PIX.”

Internally at Channel 11, this insider has a different take on the Fadal-Stanford on-air partnership, which begins a week from today.

“There is just no compelling reason to go to PIX for news at night,”  the WPIX insider tells Tuned In. “Neither anchor has credibility.”

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