Tag Archives: WPIX

Big Changes at WPIX; Chambers to Weekends, Stanford Back to News

Scott_StanfordIt’s time to play musical “anchor” chairs. WPIX is making major moves to its weekday morning show and weekend news programming starting Monday.

First off, Kori Chambers has been demoted to weekend nighttime anchor. The rumbles about his dismissal due to lack of chemistry with Sukanya Krishnan have been almost immediate since his arrival in 2013.

Its another news turn for longtime sports anchor Scott Stanford (left), who replaces Chambers. Stanford, whose teaming with Tamsen Fadal didn’t spark enough interest, has been an occasional fill-in opposite Krishnan, since the failed experiment.

Krishnan is the one constant in the ever-changing PIX morning landscape. In fact, by last count, that’s at least four partners she’s worked with on the sunrise newscast since joining the station in 2000.

kori-chambersWith Chambers (right) flying solo on the weekend, that means Kala Rama and Craig Treadway are being shuffled too. The team just started in January, and are now headed to a revamped 5 a.m. PIX Morning News lead-in. 

Rama, whose husband is WPIX morning reporter Anthony DiLorenzo, joined PIX this year from Channel 7, but Treadway is another PIX lifer, headed back to his morning roots.

Andy Adler takes the weeknight sports duties.

“It’s just another shift of chairs on the Titanic,” says a PIX insider. “The next move is obviously a change in management.”

Of course, Channel 11 has their own spin room in place.

Tuned In obtained the email News Director Amy Waldman sent to staff Wednesday.

“To maximize the talents of our news team, we are making some exciting changes in the news department.”

Waldman wrote that Chambers will handle political coverage during the weeknight newscasts. He’ll also work on special consumer reports.

Despite Waldman saying she’s excited about plans for the upcoming book, ratings have been regularly tanking across all dayparts.

Additionally, Dan Mannarino writes on his Facebook page that he’s switching from morning drive to night side reporting.

Shakeup Could Be in the Works at WPIX

AmyThe noose is tightening for management at WPIX. It’s only three months since the Tribune flagship added a 6:30 evening newscast. But it’s not too soon to realize it’s a disaster. The ratings for the Kaity Tong/Brenda Blackmon 30-minute broadcast, aside from the first week curiosity, are in the tank. Channel 11 performed better with Craig Ferguson‘s poorly received Celebrity Name Game in syndication, previously holding down the slot.

Multiple sources confirm to Tuned In that executives are upset with the PIX direction led by news director Amy Waldman (above) and GM Rich Graziano, who promoted her once Mark Effron was shown the door.

“Graziano was honest about why he greenlighted Waldman- her market knowledge” an insider admits. “But knowing how many live trucks your competition has does not make a news director. Now Graziano is tied to dismal ratings, low morale, and an unimpressive news director.”

Insiders say that Waldman, who took on the high profile positiion last April, will not survive beyond the May sweeps. But Graziano’s days could be numbered as well for orchestrating the creation of the 6:30 p.m. newscast.

Another indication that he may be on the hot seat, Tuned In has learned that Bart Feder, Tribune’s SVP of News will lead the search for Waldman’s replacement–not Graziano.

All of the backdoor maneuvering comes as Tribune is reportedly up for sale. What that could mean for WPIX remains a mystery.

Update from Feder:
“I am absolutely not engaged in a search for a new news director at WPIX, nor is anyone else. Amy Waldman is our news director. Period.” 

Emmy Night: Wragge, Fadal Among the Big Winners

B9lXa8FIYAAYH1T (1)Red carpet ready, the best local TV personalities are honored at 59th Annual New York Emmys.

WCBS takes home the trophy for top morning and noon broadcasts with Chris Wragge and Mary Calvi at the helm. Channel 2 traffic reporter Alex Denis wins in the first ever traffic/transportation category. Also at “the deuce,” Jessica Schneider is victorious in the Continuing Coverage category, her first individual Emmy award.

Winner of Best Evening Newscast is WXTV/Univision 41.

For the second time, WPIX’s Tamsen Fadal is named the Best Anchor. Her station also picks up the prize for breaking news.

WABC’s Rob Powers gets the trophy as top sports anchor, while Ian Eagle earns another Emmy for his Nets play-by-play work on the YES Network. SNY’s Keith Hernandez adds another piece of hardware to the mantel.

MSG Network tops all outlets with 14 winners. WNBC leads the over the air stations with 13.

WPIX Suspends Reporter for ‘Inappropriate’ Trump Tweet

new-ramos-headshotThe media onslaught is relentless when it comes to Donald Trump. However, WPIX’s Andrew Ramos crossed a journalistic line with The Donald.

Using Twitter got the Channel 11 reporter into trouble. Last month, multiple sources confirmed he used the 140 characters in a threatening tone, saying he’d like to punch the billionaire candidate.

That offensive tweet was deleted; however, Ramos did post to his Twitter account on December 9:

“I meant no harm in an earlier tweet & apologize to Donald Trump & those I offended. It was inappropriate as a journalist.”

The tweets are clearly part of business and not for pleasure. His profile points out that he’s a 4-time Emmy Award nominated reporter at PIX11.

Despite Ramos’ tail between the legs, WPIX suspended him for a couple of weeks. Tuned In has learned that Ramos returns to the station Monday. He took a planned end-of-year time off, helping to bury the story during the holidays.

A station spokesperson, though, refused to comment on the situation.

Higher-ups were apparently contemplating whether to bring Ramos back at all, but not news director Amy Waldman.

The lack of understanding on the use of social media by reporters is directly reflective of the lack of editorial judgment from newsroom management,” an insider tells Tuned In. “Waldman had no issue with it until her bosses were made aware of Ramos’ tweet.”

Photo courtesy: pix11.com

WPIX New Weekend Anchor Hired Away from Channel 7

RamaWeekends at WPIX will have a new look in the new year. As we previously reported, Channel 11 is moving Kaity Tong back to weeknights as part of an expanded early evening broadcast with WWOR castoff Brenda Blackmon.

Kala Rama (left) is making the switch from reporter at Eyewitness News, the market’s top station, to weekend co-anchor at PIX. She’ll be joined by a Channel 11 veteran Craig Treadway. Rama will return to the street three days during the week.

A Fairfield County native, Rama tells Tuned In that making it to the anchor desk has been a goal. “My dream has always been to report in New York City. I achieved that in 2015 at ABC7. And now, 2016 brings another accomplishment I’ve dreamed of for years.”

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WPIX Adds 6:30 p.m. Newscast to Schedule

WPIX151206220111You can call Kaity Tong (left) a WPIX survivor. She weathered the storm when she was relegated to weekends five years ago.

Now the 23-year PIX veteran is ready to start anew. She’ll co-anchor a new 6:30 p.m. weeknight broadcast starting next month. Another familiar face to viewers, Brenda Blackmon, is coming on board to join Tong on the 30-minute newscast.

Blackmon spent 23 years at WWOR until Fox canceled its 10 p.m. broadcast in 2013, which she anchored for many years with Harry Martin.

blackmon300“Brenda is one of the most recognizable and talented journalists in the market, and we are thrilled to pair New York news icons Brenda and Kaity at the anchor desk of PIX11’s newest newscast,” WPIX President/GM Rich Graziano said in a statement.

Tong has been a fan favorite during her time at PIX, especially since dealing with the station adversity. She responded to numerous congratulatory tweets. In one saying, “Cannot WAIT to sit beside Brenda.”

Tamsen Fadal and John Muller hold down the fort from 5-6:30 p.m., before returning after dinner break for the 10 p.m.

Channel 11 will have the only local option opposite the network’s big three newscasts.

We’re not sure what this means for the Craig Ferguson-hosted game show, Celebrity Name Game, currently occupying the 6:30 p.m. slot.

WPIX Anchor Tamsen Fadal Draws Ire of Viewers

tamsen3Instagram, Twitter, Facebook—take your pick. Social media platforms are here to stay. And, apparently, so is how the news personalities use it.

The millennials rule the world. You see people everywhere looking down at their smartphones while walking, or sadly even behind the wheel. You would think news organizations are above the fray.

We’ve seen a marriage in recent years between local news and social media. Reporters can promote a story with photos from a scene. Think of it as a director’s cut on a DVD or Blu-Ray, providing extra content for interested followers. The person in the field can even engage in an impromptu live chat before going on the air. It’s a win-win for the journalist, the audience, and of course, the station.

But too many times, it doesn’t work, and is actually being abused by the talent. Even when beneficial, how often are the reporters more concerned with getting that shot for their social media fans than working on the on-air package?

Then there are the anchors who have a different mindset. Several want to stay connected with their loyal base, to the point of writing about personal information. For example, a veteran morning anchor took to Twitter, posting a picture sitting in the ER in a leg cast; another gave a medical update or his injured eye.

“Is anything private?” questions a veteran broadcasting insider.

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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

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.

Source: WPIX ‘Worse’ Under News Director Amy Waldman

AmyWPIX has its news director in place, but they still have a major ratings problem. That’s not the only problem at the Tribune flagship.

When Amy Waldman officially took the reins, she gained support from numerous newsroom staffers.

However, multiple sources tell Tuned In that Waldman, the eight-year Channel 11 veteran, is losing her cred among the rank and file.

“She has two priorities: herself and what’s for lunch?” one PIX insider says.

While she has had conversations with employees since taking the managerial role, sources say Waldman isn’t actually listening to any of the staffers.

That style falls short compared to previous WPIX news directors. For example, insiders say Karen Scott listened to her group and “would try to rectify” any problems.

They say Bill Carey, a veteran news manager in New York and elsewhere, was straight-forward.

“With Bill we knew where we were headed,” a source says.

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