Tag Archives: WWOR

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.

Frank Cipolla Relives Best Moments for Autobiography

CIPOLLA 8x10 HEADSHOT 1-15Whether you know his work from name, voice, or face, chances are if you’ve been paying attention to New York news coverage in the last three decades you know Frank Cipolla.

His longevity and versatile reporting skills for radio and TV are the framework for his 2011 autobiography, It Shocked Even Us and More Crazy Stories Covering Local News. (Available directly through Cipolla’s website, itshockedevenus.com)

No need to be a war correspondent for anecdotes. Cipolla has tons, probably enough for another installment from his beat in the five boroughs and New Jersey. His time at WNBC is a favorite chapter worth the price of the book on its own. As a newscaster, Cipolla was on the front line for some of biggest egos in the business: Howard Stern, Don Imus and Soupy Sales.

Cipolla tells Tuned In it was equally stressful and hilarious.

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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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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.

Andy Adler Returns to New York as WPIX Morning Entertainment Reporter and Sports Anchor

adlerPopular sports anchor Andy Adler is city bound! She’s been named an entertainment reporter and sports anchor for the PIX Morning News. Adler starts April 7.

Adler had a “test run” on Channel 11 as a contributor during the station’s Super Bowl coverage.

“After working with Andy during Super Bowl week, we knew she would make a great addition to our team, her talents and energy are the perfect complement to PIX11’s Morning News,” Mark Effron, VP/News Director, said.

She gained a following at WNYW as a weekend sports anchor and co-host of Sports Extra. She was field reporter for the New York Giants pre and post-game shows on Channel 5 and served as traveling reporter for New York Jets games on WWOR.

Adler had been based in Los Angeles since 2010, where she most recently was the Los Angeles Lakers pre-and post-game host on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. In addition, she was a reporter and anchor at KNBC.

“Andy’s dynamic personality will be a great enhancement to the morning news team, and her extensive sports knowledge will be a catalyst for growth as we continue to develop PIX11’s newscasts and special sports coverage,” said Rich Graziano, President/GM, PIX11.

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!

It’s Official: Scott Stanford and Tamsen Fadal to Co-Anchor WPIX News at Night

Scott_StanfordWPIX has its evening anchor team in place. It’s a name that Tuned In told you exclusively last week was “95 percent” certain to get the gig. Scott Stanford will co-anchor the weeknight 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Tamsen Fadal beginning September 16.

Related: Scott Stanford is Almost a Certainty to Join Tamsen Fadal

Stanford has four New York Emmy Awards, but for sports anchoring. His personality has been on display as the weekend sports anchor at WNBC. Prior to his Channel 4 experience, viewers watched Stanford’s antics on WNYW and sister station WWOR. Stanford first gained a following as afternoon sports anchor on WCBS 880.

But his news experience is extremely thin. This year, Stanford began filling in as anchor on WNBC’s CoziTV (formerly New York Nonstop). No matter — news director Mark Effron is ready with his biggest hire since joining the station in April.

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New York Jocks React to Kidd Kraddick’s Untimely Death

KraddickRadio lost a legend over the weekend. David “Kidd” Kraddick was a staple of the Dallas airwaves for almost 30 years. He died Saturday at 53. New Yorkers finally got their chance to experience Kraddick’s morning show, when it was featured in Dish Nation, airs nightly on WWOR. The show includes WPLJ’s Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill. Kraddick and his morning team joined Dish Nation‘s second season in September 2012.

Although not heard in New York, his morning show was syndicated to other markets in the country a dozen years ago.

Local air personalities reacted to his passing.

WKTU morning host Paul “Cubby” Bryant told his followers on Twitter yesterday, “I’m simply stunned waking up to the news of the passing of Kidd Kraddick. We lost one of the great ones.”

Kraddick died in New Orleans at a golf tournament for his Kidd’s Kids, a non-profit group founded to sponsor trips for terminally ill children.

“[I] met him at a couple of conventions,”  WCBS-FM’s “Broadway” Bill Lee, tells Tuned In. “He was always ‘fact-finding’ and definitely a nice guy who took his career seriously. Truly sad, a guy with so much to give, gone so young.”

Photo: tvguide.com

Handful of WNYW Staffers Laid Off

Fox5Fox’s WNYW is the perpetual ratings champ with its 10 p.m. newscasts. But even Rupert Murdoch 21st Century Fox isn’t immune to belt-tightening.

Tuned In has learned that WNYW has laid off several behind-the-scenes staffers. We’re told that a “bunch” of engineers and videographers were bounced, cre4ating an uneasy feeling at the East 67th Street broadcast complex.

Once again, we were refused a comment by a Fox spokesperson.

“This wasn’t unexpected, but there were hopes [that] a last minute deal would be worked out to save some positions,” an insider says. “Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”

Earlier this month, Fox dramatically severed ties with local news at Secaucus-based WWOR, causing the company to get roundly criticized by many, including elected officials.

  • Related: FCC Investigates WWOR as Former Anchor Harry Martin Seeks “Mutual Agreement” with WNYW

Whether Fox will pay anchor WWOR anchor Harry Martin to remain with the company as a Channel 5 reporter is still unclear.

WWOR Catches WPIX at Ten P.M., Former WNBC News Director Vickie Burns on Scene at Channel 11

PIX11_LogoWPIX is now Chasing WWOR.

It’s only taken two weeks for oft-criticized Chasing New Jersey to clip Channel 11 at 10 p.m. Despite the lack of a local news presence in the Garden State, the TMZ-esque politically focused 30-minute show has caught on with enough viewers, even though it also has caught the ire of the FCC.

On Friday, the key demographic of adults 25 to 54 gave PIX a deeper bruise as WWOR tied the Tribune O&O at 10 p.m. The two broadcasts each registered a .4. Prior to the evening newscast being dismantled in Secaucus, Fox-owned WWOR registered a .1, while PIX notched a .5.

The dismal ratings apparently prompted Tribune to make a move. Multiple sources tell Tuned In that one-time WNBC news director Vickie Burns is now part of PIX. While her role with WPIX is not clear, we’ve learned that she’s been seen in the Channel 11 newsroom during anchor auditions. The station and Tribune would not confirm Burns has joined the station or the company.

“It’s evident by the ratings, the anchors on the desk aren’t getting it done,” an insider says. “It’s also evident that [Mark] Effron and [Eric] Meyrowitz may no longer have the final say in the newsroom.”

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