Tag Archives: WCBS-TV

WNBC Moves Forward at 5 p.m. with Split Newscast

WNBC140908172527Without any publicity or fanfare, WNBC quietly unveiled its revamped 5 p.m newscast without Tom Llamas.

Channel 4 opted to break the traditional one-hour broadcast into two separate 30-minute shows. Chuck Scarborough and Sibila Vargas anchor the first half. We’re told the “anchor” leg features a rotating male presence of either David Ushery or Rob Schmitt, alongside Shiba Russell.

At first blush we notice the previously demoted Russell is getting the short end of the stick again. She has the noon duties but loses a pivotal half hour of face time.

Of course, Chuck and Sibila are already the station workhorses as the lead team at 6 and 11 p.m.

It’s uncertain if this is a stopgap measure. In addition, Tuned In learned the station did not let the staff know about the changes.

“Newsroom insiders are concerned these changes will be confusing to viewers,” a source admits.

At 5 p.m. viewers have multiple options for local news. WCBS and WABC, usually performing better than WNBC, are joined by WPIX and WNYW.

Several years ago, Channel 2 tried a split 5 p.m. news that featured a lighter news slant at the bottom of the hour. There’s no word on what the direction for WNBC’s version will be.

Llamas departed for ABC News last month.

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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MSG Network Leads Emmy Wins; Tamsen Fadal Named Best Anchor

tamsenThe best in local news were showcased Sunday night at the New York Emmys. WPIX and WNBC took home the most awards among the over-the-air stations. The 57th annual shindig featured trophies in more than 100 categories.

Channel 4 took the top prize–Best Newscast of the Year (over 35 minutes). Telemundo Channel 41/WNJU was a big winner in the Best Morning and Evening Newscast (under 35 minutes).

WPIX’s Tamsen Fadal (left) was a surprise Best Anchor winner. She added hardware as anchor in the Politics Special category.

WCBS’ Lonnie Quinn returns to the winner’s circle as Best Weather Anchor. His colleague Chris Wragge got another Emmy in the Live Reporter category.

Former WPIX commentator Larry Mendte was honored with three awards.

In sports, MSG’s Mike Breen took home the Play-By-Play trophy, while YES’ Jim Spanarkel was named Best Analyst.

Superstorm Sandy helped WPIX earn a pair of Emmys, including News Excellence. WABC, WCBS, and WNBC also were honored for the hurricane coverage.

Winning reporters include: WCBS/WLNY’s Alice Gainer, WABC’s Sarah Wallace, and WNBC’s Chris Glorioso.

WNBC’s Cat Greenleaf and Talk Stoop picked up the award for Best Interview/Discussion.

MSG Network topped all outlets with 14 winners. YES Network finished with 13.

Milestone Moment: WNBC’s Chuck Scarborough Marks 40 Years On Air

Chuck+ScarboroughAmerica was in the final throws of Watergate. It was March 25, 1974 when Chuck Scarborough debuted on WNBC. An anchor from the outset, Scarborough has weathered various co-anchor combinations, multiple news directors and a sale of the company.

Scarborough, 70, and WNBC would not participate in this piece, but this celebration of four decades on the air in New York goes on without the legendary anchorman.

He’s the longest serving anchor in New York behind only Rafael Pineda, who has been seen uninterrupted on Univision’s WXTV/Channel 41 since 1972.

Scarborough was hired to helm Channel 4’s new 5 p.m. edition of NewsCenter4. Ultimately, he was named lead anchor at 6 and 11 p.m.

He had his share of on-air partners from Pat Harper and John Hambrick, to Lynda Baquero and Jack Cafferty.

But, of course, he is most remembered for his time with Sue Simmons. Their 32-year tandem ended in June 2012. (See video clip below.)

Simmons recalls the night “Chuck and Sue” was born.

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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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Snowstorm Sneaks Up on Meteorologists

WPIX140119225808This time you can blame the messenger. The winter storm that is bearing down on New Yorkers, gave only 24 hours to prepare for the first flakes.

As the snow started falling this morning, it took until yesterday when computer models and meteorologists decided that this one would materialize in a big way.

On the 11 p.m. newscast Sunday night, Elise Finch on WCBS alluded to snow in her forecast. But she said that the latest model showed “some snow” primarily for Eastern Long Island and Central and Southern New Jersey, Tuesday into Wednesday.

At the same time, WABC’s Jeff Smith was leading his weather segment saying, “By Tuesday, will have some accumulating snow in parts of the area.” He added that New York City was on the storm’s fringe, and could see a dusting to an inch. Smith cautioned, “It wouldn’t take much of a jog to the north to get more snow right here in the city.”

WNBC’s Steve Villaneuva also was forecasting snow for south and east of NYC. Using the RPM model, he projected 3 inches for Barnegat, 1 1/2 inches for Asbury Park, and .7 inches in Hampton Bays. There was a 0–not a bullseye–for the snow amount expected in the five boroughs.

In a late edition of the WNYW 10 p.m. Sunday night, Audrey Puente was at the map.

She forecast 2-3 inches east of the city.

And then there’s Craig Allen. He saw the complexity of the storm. On WPIX, he ended the 10 p.m. broadcast by pointing to the potential for weather problems this week.

“There are so many maps out there that are just indicating the possibility for some snowfall. One says it could be a lot, another says it may not be a lot. This is the thing were going to go through, obviously, for the next several days.”

Allen put an “Uh Oh” under Tuesday in his five-day forecast, stating that there was definitely a chance for shovel-able snow south and east. But Allen was hedging his bets– not giving any accumulations until Monday morning– 4-8 inches in New York City.

Here are the 4th Annual Barmash Awards

Eyewitness News TeamThe holiday season isn’t over until we hand out the Barmash Awards. Our 4th annual list highlights the best TV news personalities of 2013 in New York.

The category of Best Anchor–a competitive group, to be sure. But our choice is WABC/Channel 7’s Bill Ritter. He is the most confident and has the best chemistry with his co-anchors.

Honorable Mention: WNBC’s David Ushery and WCBS’s Cindy Hsu. We didn’t make a separate anchor category for the weekenders. But Ushery and Hsu are no “second-class citizens,” holding their own with their weekday brethren.

Ushery and Hsu have many years of anchoring experience, and both have been passed over for a larger presence during the week. Ushery, though, has been a main fill-in for venerable Chuck Scarborough.  Plus, this election season, he was the host of WNBC’s debate programming.

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And the Winner Is…

Scott_StanfordWe’re about to turn the page on 2013. But before we do, it’s time to reveal the top media moments of the year.

It was a tight race, but Scott Stanford pulled away as your choice for outstanding New York media moment.

Stanford, who successfully made the switch from sports at WNBC to news anchor on WPIX, received 25 percent of the vote.

WWOR/Channel 9 dropping its nightly newscast was TunedIn readers number two pick with 19 percent of the vote.

The Rob Morrison saga, resigning from WCBS/Channel 2 following an alleged domestic violence issue was third, taking 15 percent.

WFAN ends its long relationship with the New York Mets was fourth with 11 percent of vote.

We got a handful of “write-ins,” including one person writing “The New York news landscape without Stan Brooks.” The WINS iconic reporter died earlier this month at 86.

Now let the best of 2014 begin, and Happy New Year!

Meteorologist John Marshall Resurfaces On WCBS

marshallYou didn’t drink too much eggnog–that was John Marshall making a return engagement on WCBS.

Marshall, most known to viewers for more than a decade as the weekend meteorologist on WNBC, joined the Channel 2 team in 2010. His weekend stint, though, ended only seven months later.

Now Marshall and WCBS get a “re-do,” thanks to weekend meteorologist Vanessa Murdock taking a maternity leave.

While Marshall doesn’t know if he’s in the long-term plans at Channel 2, he is just happy to get the call from the bullpen.

“[I’m] thrilled to be delivering the weather to the New York City tristate again, pitching in for the ‘deuce,'” Marshall tells Tuned In.

Marshall’s reconnection with WCBS was made possible by his former Channel 4 news director Dan Forman, now a managing editor on West 57th, who called to offer the freelance opportunity.

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