Tag Archives: WNYW

Hip-Hop ‘Empire’ Takes Over Fox 5 News Each Wednesday

WNYWIt’s another example of the troubling state of local news.

In an effort to promote the second season of Fox’s successful drama, Empire, based on the music industry, WNYW is unthinkably giving away its last 30 minutes following each episode. Anchors Steve Lacy and Dari Alexander host the After Empire party, complete with hip-hop themed performances and DJs spinning on the turntables. Even this week, just 24 hours after a cop was gunned down, wasn’t enough to alter their programming, although hosting duties went to entertainment reporter Simone Boyce.

Yes, a station’s late newscast (still has the Fox 5 graphic in the corner with time and temperature) airing live music. Ever heard of that one?

This makes sense on the morning newscast Good Day New York, especially in the lighter 9 a.m. hour where performers regularly take the stage.

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Update: Ann Mercogliano Joins Inside Edition

AnnMercogliano73013Ann Mercogliano, a versatile New York City reporter, is going national. She is now a member of Inside Edition. The newsmagazine is seen at 1:30 pm weekdays on WNYW/Channel 5.

Mercogliano quietly started last week as a freelancer, Tuned In has learned, while correspondent Megan Alexander is on maternity leave.

Mercogliano apparently told people last month she was exiting WPIX for a role at WABC/Channel 7, as we reported at the time.

With stints at WNBC and WCBS, along with Channel 11 gig, she became the Tim McCarver of local news. (McCarver, a longtime major leaguer, was a sportscaster on every major network.)

Mercogliano’s New York rise began in 2010 when she arrived at Channel 4.

Her reporting chops grew over the years, first with lighter fare, including a trip to London for the Royal Wedding, (which got the popular brunette an Emmy Award nomination), and how to stuff your Thanksgiving turkey. She was on the street for a many hard news stories since joining WPIX in 2013.

Photo: nycnewswomen.blogspot.com

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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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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Mark Effron Exits WPIX; Who’s Next as News Director?

PIX11_LogoThe winds of change are blowing through WPIX. News director Mark Effron was scheduled to leave the station October 31. But insiders say he officially exited Friday. We’re told Effron was primarily a figurehead since management made the decision to let him go, something Tuned In first told you last month.

The plan on paper was to have the new news director in place for a few weeks before Effron left. With his early, albeit, not surprising departure, station brass are forced to expedite their search.

We’re told two big name television programmers were approached to succeed Effron. But they balked. Kenny Plotnik, the longtime Channel 7 news director, ultimately ended his courtship by taking a VP role at New England Cable News in September.

More recently, Dianne Doctor‘s name surfaced as a possible replacement. Doctor is VP of the mythological newsroom at Fox’s WWOR. Insiders tell Tuned In that she also declined the offer.

Speaking of Fox, Emad Asghar is the WNYW assistant news director with ties to PIX. He was another person that was interviewed for the opening, and he was another individual who said no.

While the station has received dozens of resumes, it appears to be a two-horse race.

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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.

Strong July for WPIX at 5 p.m.

PIX11_LogoThere’s a respite from the turmoil at WPIX. In the all-important July sweeps period, WPIX claims victory in the crowded 5 p.m. race against rival WNYW/Channel 5 and WNBC. Tuned In would get spin from the other stations, but PIX typically is the only station to put such emphasis on the summertime, a time when viewership is drastically altered by vacations.

Regardless. when your management is getting scrutinized on a regular basis, any positive blip in the ratings is solid enough.

Just as John Muller returns to Channel 11, the early evening newscast he co-anchors with Tamsen Fadal makes another strong showing. WPIX is also proud of beating Fox 5 News at 5, anchored by Steve Lacy and Dari Alexander, in several key demos. They say it’s the first time outperforming the Fox O&O in three years, Adults 25-54, Women 25-54, and Adults 18-49. It also ended a three-year drought for WPIX against the folks at 30 Rock in the key demo: Adults 25-54.

The only thing worse than declaring an off-season victory is comparing results from last summer. However, the PIX Morning News was up 20 percent from last July in the Adults 25-54 groups. Summer or not, this marks the seventh consecutive sweep win for Channel 11 opposite CBS This Morning.

And in case you’re wondering, the PIX News at 10 made a 33 percent leap compared to July 2013. That stat is somewhat misleading since the station was still using one anchor. Scott Stanford didn’t join Fadal until September.

The next big question for WPIX is how will they fare in the November sweeps?

WNYW’s Greg Kelly Fawns and Flirts With Reporter in Bikini

GilliganGreg Kelly is getting lambasted online about his inappropriate behavior on a recent episode of WNYW’s Good Day New York. Despite his borderline awkward exchange with a bikini clad Anna Gilligan, the blame falls directly at station management’s feet.

Like him or not, Kelly was just being Kelly. We’ve seen these moments before; sometimes they appear contrived when his on-air mom Rosanna Scotto has to reign him in, if not scold him. This was one of those times.

Of course, Kelly isn’t six years old and should know the difference between a good boy and being a problem child.

Gilligan, the Good Day entertainment reporter, was live from Action Park for its reopening. She disrobed to show off her body as she took a swing across the new Tarzan ride.

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WNYW Revamps News Schedule for Summer

LacyThe latest musical chairs in the WNYW anchor desk is set to debut June 5. The summer schedule takes favorite Ernie Anastos to an even more reduced workload, TVSpy reports.

Anastos swaps face time with lead anchor Steve Lacy (left), meaning a valuable 30 minutes less per night for the veteran Anastos. Lacy moves to the 5 p.m. and remains on the 10 p.m., co-anchoring both newscasts with Dari Alexander. Anastos slips into the solo half hour 6 p.m. report.

Anastos, a fixture as a top anchor in New York for more than three decades, was bounced from the high profile 10 p.m. broadcast in the summer of 2012.

In addition, Channel 5 is planning to add hourly weekend news updates from 9 a.m. to noon.

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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