Tag Archives: WNBC

Freelance Reporter Ann Mercogliano Exiting WPIX

PIX11_LogoShe’s made the rounds in New York, but multiple sources say the versatile Ann Mercogliano is ending ties with WPIX. Tuned In has learned Mercogliano’s last day in Monday. We’re told Channel 7 will be her next stop.

Mercogliano, previously worked on WNBC, transitioning from soft pieces at LX New York (today’s New York Live) to harder reporting. She also had a brief stint at WCBS/Channel 2 before Channel 11 came knocking.

“I enjoyed working with her. I think it’s a shame that they’re letting her leave and never gave her a staff position.”

Mercogliano’s tenure at PIX lasted 2 1/2 years.

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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Michael Jack Successor Expected to be Named Monday

mj+new1WNBC is ready to hand over the reigns of power. Tuned In has learned that Channel 4 is holding a staff meeting at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

While details haven’t been revealed, it appears the newsroom will learn that WCAU President and GM Eric Lerner is succeeding Michael Jack in those roles.

At that same time, sources say NBC’s WCAU in Philadelphia has called its own full staff meeting.

Jack previously announced his Channel 4 retirement for June. He has been in charge of the NBC flagship station for five years.

During Jack’s tenure at 30 Rock, Comcast completed its purchase of General Electric, which was finalized in March 2013.

Under Jack’s leadership, there was tumult in the ratings. A handful of anchor changes dotted the landscape in the last few years and viewers needed a scorecard to know the talent.

Tom Llamas left for ABC News last year, causing Channel 4 to form a split newscast at 5 p.m. Speaking of split, the anchor team of Chuck Scarborough and Shiba Russell was broken up in early 2014. Russell, hired in the summer of 2012, was swapped with Sibila Vargas, who along with Rob Schmitt was brought in from KCBS in Los Angeles. Another anchor added to the roster was Stacey Bell, who joined WNBC on the weekend desk last year.

Jack’s WNBC bio indicates that he managed the local website nbcnewyork.com and additional platforms including taxis and PATH trains.

Lerner has been with WCAU for four years. Prior to that, he had a six-year stint as GM at KIRO, the CBS affiliate in Seattle.

Photo: nbcnewyork.com

WPIX Set to Promote Amy Waldman to News Director, Expand Evening Newscast

AmyThe ratings are improving at WPIX, but the internal strife is still present. Part of the problem, no one is officially steering the ship in the newsroom.

Tribune hadn’t named a successor to Mark Effron, who was bounced in October. But that is about to change. Amy Waldman (left), the station’s managing editor, who has primarily handled the day-to-day operations since Effron’s departure, will be the Channel 11 news director, Tuned In has learned.

VP/GM Rich Graziano addressed staffers in two separate meetings this week to announce the hire of new Senior VP of News, Bart Feder, a New York veteran, replacing Katherine Green.

Graziano was asked in the first meeting about the elephant in the room, the lack of a news director. He told the group that Vickie Burns is back in the building, but not in a managerial role. Graziano said Burns is a consultant, who will guide and mentor Waldman, who just needs some “tweaking.”

Burns ran newsrooms at WNBC and KNBC.

While not specifically addressing a promotion for Waldman, Graziano told employees that he’s stopped taking phone calls from people applying for the news director position.

 

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MSG Network and WPIX Top Emmy Award List

Tamsen ScottThe tuxes and gowns will flow with the champagne. But first, nominations for the New York Emmy Awards. MSG Network leads all outlets with 61 nods, while WPIX is best among broadcast TV with 54 nominations.

Some highlights:
Chris Wragge is in the Best News Anchor category. He’s joined by a trio of talent from WPIX, Sukanya Krishnan, last year’s winner Tamsen Fadal, and surprise nominee Scott Stanford (left).

Stanford is also in the running for Best Sports Anchor. He competes against former WNBC collegue Bruce Beck, MSG’s Al Trautwig and Bob Lorenz from the YES Network.

Wragge has a shot to take home multiple trophies. He’s among those vying for Best Live Reporter against Josh Einiger at WABC/Channel 7, Scott Rapoport from WCBS and WNYW’s Teresa Priolo.

WCBS’ Lonnie Quinn is the only person nominated from an English language station in New York City as Best Weather Anchor.

Despite no longer working at WPIX, Larry Mendte has a handful of chances to add hardware to the mantle. He’s nominated in the Best Political category opposite former Channel 11 cohort Mario Diaz and WCBS’ stalwart Marcia Kramer.

Mendte is batting another one-time PIXer, Lionel, as Best Commentator/Editorialist.

As for play-by-play, MSG’s Mike Breen has to beat three members of YES: Ian Eagle, Michael Kay, and Ryan Ruocco.

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Fond Memories of Veteran Radio Programmer, Kevin Metheny, But Not for Howard Stern

methenyTo millions of Howard Stern fans, Kevin Metheny will forever be “Pig Vomit,” his character
in the 1997 autobiographical film Private Parts, played by Paul Giamatti. (Stern called him “Pig Virus” in real life.)

While Metheny never worked in New York City after being fired from WNBC, he did build a deep resume as a go-to radio programmer in numerous markets.

Metheny died Friday night of a heart attack while on the job as operations manager at Cumulus’ KGO and KSFO in San Francisco.

Stern this week referred to his former boss as a “Nazi vampire.” Although he was sad to learn of Metheny’s death and that he leaves behind two daughters, Stern is not sure he “ever fully recovered” from the way Metheny ran WNBC.

Stern was hired as afternoon personality in 1982. Private Parts documents Stern’s journey to becoming New York’s top rated DJ.

In 2012, marking the 30th anniversary of Stern’s arrival, Metheny told me that the movie and book were not gospel.

“I think [there’s] a fair and appropriate amount of artists’ liberties taken with factual elasticity in order to make a more interesting project,” Metheny said.

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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.

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.