More Troubles for Former Texas Anchor

Former KENS and KSAT (San Antonio) Anchor Karen Gallagher was arrested again.

Gallagher was busted late Wednesday evening on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

This is the second arrest in four years for Gallagher.

Gallagher was arrested in 2011 for prescription drug fraud.

According to her arrest affidavit for that arrest, Gallagher stole a prescription for Hydrocodone from a woman's party.

The arrest warrant went on to say that Gallagher called in a refill on the prescription and could be seen on surveillance video picking up the refill at the pharmacy.

Gallagher was given a $2,000 fine and probation after she pleaded no contest to two counts of obtaining drugs by theft.

According to the crash report for this latest arrest, a witness reported seeing Gallagher's vehicle speeding down Roger's Ranch before it lost control, jumped a median and hit a curb.

The report states Gallagher continued driving northbound in southbound lanes and hit a curb several times before sideswiping a car. She allegedly tried to continue driving the wrong way but the driver of the other car was able to grab Gallagher's keys from the ignition.

The investigating officer noted that Gallagher appeared disoriented, confused and smelled of alcohol.

Gallagher was a popular news anchor in the 1980s and 90s. Gallagher was booked into the Bexar County Jail. Her bond was set at $1,000.


What's the Future of "Person E"?


When Federal prosecutors indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah on charges on racketeering, they also claimed that "Person E" fraudulently sold her 1989 Porsche Carrera to a Florida-based lobbyist for $18,000.

"Person E" is WCAU Anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah and she is currently off the air while he husband deals with his legal issues. 

Chenault-Fattah has not been charged and in a letter to her newsroom yesterday, she claims the sale of her car was on the up and up. 

The Philly Daily News writes that Chenault-Fattah has gone on voluntary leave, an WCAU source told the Daily News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

WCAU spokeswoman Shawn Feddeman did not return calls seeking comment, but a station source said execs will be monitoring ratings with Chenault-Fattah off the desk and will have more information available next week. 

Chenault-Fattah claimed in the letter that she sold the car around January 2012 so that the proceeds could be used to purchase a $425,000 vacation home in the Poconos. "Two weeks before the close, the mortgage said a new law went into effect (this was Jan of 2012) and we were required to put $18,000 in reserve. It could not be a gift or a loan," she wrote.

"A family friend agreed to buy it last minute and we sold the car for its blue book value," she wrote. Herbert Vederman, a deputy mayor under former Mayor Ed Rendell who now lives in Palm Beach, Fla., wired the $18,000 to the Fattahs, the indictment alleges, and later received a bill of sale and title transfer.

Chenault-Fattah, however, held onto the Porsche, stored at their East Falls home. "The car stayed at our house (we have 3 garages and the friend lives in a apartment)," she wrote.

Chenault-Fattah claimed that she continued to pay insurance on the car and towed it in the spring so that it could be serviced. She wanted to keep the Porsche in "good shape" for the buy "since this transaction had happened so hastily in the dead of winter," she wrote.

The car, Chenault-Fattah added, "has remained undriven in our garage for 3 years now because on advice of counsel . . . we were instructed to do nothing with the car."

Except for that one time on Aug. 21, 2012, when former Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross reported that she was seen fueling up the Porsche Carrera convertible at the Sunoco station on Wissahickon Avenue and Rittenhouse Street in Germantown.

Scott Jones of Jacksonville, Fla., a former TV executive who started the website, said he didn't think her letter "was a good move."

Still, he added, "she wouldn't be the first person to try the case in the media. She definitely has an inside track, knowing how the media works."

In the meantime, be prepared for Chenault-Fattah-less newscasts at 4 and 6 p.m.

"NBC cannot let her go on TV while this thing is working its way in the courts," Jones said yesterday. "If she didn't take herself off the air, I'm positive that station management would have done it."

  • The anchor, who began at NBC10 in 1991, "can absolutely come back," he said. "If Brian Williams can tell a bold-faced lie on national news, she can absolutely come back."

Dick Cavett: Brian Williams Deserves a Second Chance

Dick Cavett has come out in support of lying NBC Anchor Brian Williams.

Of course, the kids are saying, "Dick who?"

Cavett used to host a late night talk show and he has seen his share of scandals.

But in the case of Brian Williams, Cavett thinks the fibbing NBC newsman should be forgiven. “We’re a country that gives people a second chance, and he had the manliness to say, ‘I did what I did, I’m sorry, it was dumb.’”

At a Wednesday premiere of “Best of Enemies,” the new doc about Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley’s televised debates in 1968, Cavett told Page Six of Williams, “Certainly, he should be back. There aren’t that many people around with his skill.”

We're Sorry


Two Network Reporters no longer face possible sanctions for violating media security rules at former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's arraignment last month in Chicago after their lawyers apologized at a closed-door meeting with a federal judge.

According to court orders posted online Thursday, U.S. District Chief Judge Ruben Castillo accepted the apologies and dismissed the contempt filings against Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, and Gabe Gutierrez, an Atlanta-based reporter for NBC Nightly News.

Castillo showed video clips of both reporters' violating decorum rules at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse lobby during the media frenzy at Hastert's first court appearance.

After viewing the videos, attorneys for both reporters admitted the violations and apologized to Castillo, according to the filing. Attorneys for both reporters noted they had never before covered court appearances in Chicago's federal courthouse and were unaware of the rules prohibiting interviews anywhere other than in a roped-off media bullpen in the lobby, the filing said.

Castillo accepted the apologies and dismissed the rules to show cause why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court, according to the filing.

H/T Chicago Tribune

Leaving The List

Word is that "The List" correspondent Brien McElhatten is headed back to WPTA in Fort Wayne, IN.

FTVLive hears that McElhatten will become the main anchor at the station, replacing longtime anchor Melissa Long who retires in December.

McElhatten spent about five years at KNXV (Phoenix) before moving over to "The List" in Phoenix. He used to be a MMJ for WPTA from 2008-2010. 

Louisville Station Hires Beauty Queen

WLKY announced that they have hired Miss Kentucky as their newest Reporter. 

Katie George will deliver her first story on this evening's newscast. 

Andrea Stahlman, WLKY's news director, said George came to WLKY qualified long before her pageant days. The Assumption graduate previously worked as a sports intern at the station.

"She's just very passionate and a super hard worker," Stahlman said. "She really wants to learn the business and already had a lot of natural talent, frankly."

Stahlman couldn't give away the topic of George's first story – "you'll have to see tomorrow (today)" – but said the senior setter will also head up a regular series called #GirlPower "about amazing young women."

Reporters at WLKY write their own stories and coordinate with a photographer to visualize them. George will work, essentially, whenever she's available.

"This is something she has wanted to do," Stahlman said. "It's not out of the realm of possibility she'll do some sports and other reporting once we get a feel for how her schedule will be. She's still a committed athlete and will be traveling, practicing and going to school."

George is a University of Louisville graduate student and star volleyball player on the school's team. 

H/T Louisville Courier Journal

Getting Out of the Business

Reporter Matt Blanchette has left WLNE in Providence, RI, and has announced he is leaving the television news business altogether.

Matt explained his decision to leave on his Facebook page:

"Today is my last day with ABC 6, and in the television industry. In many ways, it is a bittersweet day. I will actually miss the adrenaline of chasing down stories and local newsmakers. In my 3 years at ABC 6 I may be the only one to have anchored every single show (Morning, noon, 5, 6, 11 and weekend, plus sports). And I leave with quite a bit more gray hairs than when I started.

From the Nimrods to the Jayhawks, the Patriots to the Chiefs, Governors to Principals. Championships and scandals, awards and arrests. After a decade, I am leaving the television news industry.
I want to thank all the great people I have worked for and with in Marquette, MI, Wausau, WI, Topeka, KS and Providence, RI. I have met some unbelievable people and told some amazing stories. It’s been one hell of a ride.

After 10 years of long nights, early mornings and plenty of weekends, I have decided to make the move to a more stable career.

I started out as a kid in journalism school at Boston University, not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. The TV bug bit me, and I followed my dream. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. But as I get ready to marry to love of my life, I know the timing is right to make the move. I am very excited to start the next chapter in my life. I will remain in the Providence area, and look forward to seeing you all soon."

Matt joined WLNE in 2012 as the weekend sports anchor and reporter, and in 2014 was promoted to weekday morning news anchor. He was most recently a general assignment reporter, and while at WLNE has covered the sale of the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Aaron Hernandez trial, the Patriots run to the Super Bowl, and the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial.

His last day was Sunday and he hasn't yet said what he's going to do. 

Even money says it's something in PR. 

H/T New England One

New Reporter Hire in Chicago

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KOAT (Albuquerque) Reporter Laura Thoren is headed the Windy City.

A month from today, Thoren is joining WLS in Chicago as a per diem Reporter. 

“Laura is an aggressive reporter who is always looking to uncover the next big story,” Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director at ABC 7, said in a statement Thursday.

A Connecticut native and 2010 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Thoren was a reporter for News 12 Networks in New York before joining KOAT in January 2013.

H/T ChicagoLandRadioandMedia

MSNBC Nukes Daytime Programing

FTVLive told you months ago that MSNBC was going to pull the plug on The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner and The Ed Show.

Today, MSNBC boss Phil Griffin announced that is exactly what they are doing. 

 The struggling network is bringing back Chuck Todd to host a show and of course making room for lying Brian.

Brian Williams will play a big part of MSNBC's rebuilding.

Griffin did not mention BriLie in his memo, but you can expect that one soon.

Here is his memo to the staff:

I’m writing to share a number of changes we’re making as we build a new daytime lineup with the best live, breaking news coverage on television.

As of this Friday, “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” will air their final shows.

Alex Wagner will stay with MSNBC and play a key role in our political coverage as we head into the 2016 election. And Ari Melber will continue in his role as Chief Legal Correspondent. But we will be parting ways with some friends – Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will be leaving MSNBC. Please join me in thanking them for their numerous contributions over the past several years, and in wishing them great success.

Beginning in a few weeks, Chuck Todd will bring his unmatched brand of political insight and analysis back to MSNBC with a daily one-hour program. That show will air weekdays at 5pm.

In the coming weeks, as we complete our plans to create a new look and flow for our dayside programming, our 3pm to 6pm hours will begin the pivot towards live, breaking news coverage – with interim hosts from among our very talented ranks. And then, in September, we’ll unveil a 9am to 5pm schedule driven by dynamic coverage of breaking news events that are shaping the day.

Change can be hard. There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead.


Philly Anchor Reacts to Husband's Indictment in Letter to Her Station

Yesterday, FTVLive told you that WCAU Anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah's husband has been indicted on racketeering charges. 

This morning, FTVLive told you that Chenault-Fattah was off the air and while she was not charged by federal authorities, the longtime Anchor did not escape the U.S. attorney's charging document.

Labeled as "Person E" throughout the 85-page indictment, Chenault-Fattah, one of the station's most visible personalities and anchor of the 4 and 6 p.m. broadcasts, is portrayed as a participant in a scheme to falsely report the sale of her 1989 Porsche Carrera convertible to a lobbyist for $18,000.

Now Chenault-Fattah, has tried to explain her role in a letter forwarded to the station. Chenault-Fattah wrote in reference to the sale of her 1989 Porsche Carrera convertible, “both the indictment and media accounts are incorrect.”

Authorities said the scheme had the Fattahs pretending to sell the Porsche to Vederman for $18,000. The indictment states that money was used to help pay closing costs for the Fattahs’ $425,000 vacation home in the Poconos.

The Federal government says the sale was phony and the Fattahs never actually sold the car. According to the indictment, Chenault-Fattah continued to register the car in her name, pay for vehicle service and pay for the insurance.

In her letter, Chenault-Fattah writes, “…we starting (sic) purchasing a home in the Poconos in the winter of 2011. Two weeks before the close, the mortgage said a new law went into effect (this was Jan of 2012) and we were required to put $18,000 in reserve. It could not be a gift or a loan.

Knowing this and not having an extra $18,000, I decided to sell my second car- a Porsche. A family friend agreed to buy it last minute and we sold the car for its blue book value...a bill of sale and transfer of title were conveyed to the friend.”

In the letter, Chenault-Fattah goes on to explain why the car remains at the Fattahs’ Philadelphia home. “…the car stayed at our house (we have 3 garages and the friend lives in a apartment) , for a time I continued with insuring it since it was in our garage and wanted nothing to happen to it,

and I had it towed to be serviced in the spring because I wanted it to be in good shape for the friend since this transaction had happened so hastily in the dead of winter. It has remained undriven in our garage for 3 years now because on advice of counsel.... we were instructed to do nothing with the car.”

She added, “I know this was a legitimate sale but this not likely to go away anytime soon.”