Shake Up Goes Down at The Weather Channel

Another day, another shake up at The Weather Channel.

The struggling network has been laying people off and making a number of other changes to help streamline the network that used to cover weather, but now fills much of it's time with reality shows.

TWC has named a new EP for the ratings challenged AMHQ with Sam Champion. FTVLive told you yesterday that Scott Warren Senior EP of AMHQ was shown the door. 

Also moving on is Jennifer Rigby, who oversaw live programing for the network.Riby is being kicked upstairs to some VP of nothing and will report directly to TWC boss David Clark.

Here is the internal memo sent to the staff from Nora Zimmett, SVP of Programing:

Today I am announcing some changes in the live TV organization. These changes are designed to streamline our organization and make us more effective in how we put weather and storytelling at the center of every aspect of live programming.

Effective immediately, Tom Lea will be taking on a new role as vice president of newsgathering. Over the past six years at The Weather Channel, Tom has developed and managed key talent on the desk and overseen coverage from Sandy to numerous tornado outbreaks and winter storms. He is the first to pitch in during breaking news, doing everything from calling potential guests to deploying crews to tornado-stricken regions. Tom will oversee all assignment editors, field reporters and live crews going forward. He will also oversee the ticker and Jim Proeller's video team.

Chris Samsury is taking on a newly created role as the vice president of talent. Chris has proven himself a strong leader of our on-camera experts and has won the respect and admiration of the network's meteorologists and producers. He will now be overseeing all of the OCMs in addition to our experts, as well as the makeup and scheduling teams.

Howard Sappington has been promoted to vice president of live programming. Howard has been with The  Weather Channel for nine years and during his tenure has ridden out and provided amazing coverage of tornadoes, hurricanes and winter weather. He has also created and produced long-form programming such as Cantore Stories and our recent string of successful top ten specials. As one of our strongest, most experienced storytellers, Howard will focus on reshaping our programming to focus on the weather stories that matter most to our audience.

Angie Massie has been promoted to senior executive producer overseeing our morning line-up, including AMHQ. Angie is a veteran show runner who has has created shows at CNN such as Rick's List and The Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin. Over the past year at TWC she has managed a complete overhaul of our local severe efforts and retooled our live weekend programming to make sure we're giving our audience the best forecasts and weather stories seven days a week.

Angie, Tom, Chris, and Howard will be our live programming leadership team and each of them will report directly to me.    

Jennifer Rigby will be leaving the live team and taking on a new role reporting directly to David Clark as VP, Special Projects. Jennifer has led the live organization through many changes over the past few years, and has always been there for this team even in its toughest moments. The entire organization is grateful for her enormous contributions.  

Also, as part of these changes, Scott Warren will be leaving the organization. I know I speak for everyone and especially the AMHQ team when I thank Scott for the energy and heart he brought to the launch of AMHQ. His efforts were a key factor in our being able to launch such an ambitious new morning show in just a few short months. Please join me in wishing him well in the future.

Thank you in advance for your help in making these transitions as smooth as possible. We are in a new phase of our development at TWC and change can create confusion and anxiety. I am available to talk to anyone who has concerns as we move toward becoming a better and stronger network.

Nora

Chuck Todd Gives New Meaning to Anchor Package

NBC's Chuck Todd has left the beltway and is driving in an RV across Iowa to "meet the votes."

The Meet The Press host did a live hit on the Today Show and many viewers took to Twitter to point out the fact, that the Beltway Boy wasn't wearing his Seatbelt.

Todd responded on Twitter by saying that, yes he is wearing his seatbelt and posted a picture to prove it.

In the picture, Todd included a picture of his....ummmm... package and the entire Internet threw up in their mouth.

Thanks Chuck. 

U-Verse Customers Get Strange Emergency Message

AT&T U-Verse customers in a number of markets got a very strange alert message on televisions.

The message, claiming to be an emergency alert issued by The White House, notified viewers that their programming was being re-directed to another channel. The alert is part of the EAN or Emergency Alert Notification. Engineers with WAGA in Atlanta say the alert can only be activated by the President in times of emergency. 

The Atlanta Fox Affiliate says their Newsroom received multiple calls from concerned customers this morning after an emergency message appeared on their screens. 

U-Verse says the message appeared on screens around Atlanta, Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. 

As of yet, no one knows the reason for the false message.

H/T WAGA

Why Stations Do This, We Have No Idea

Why the stations said "yes" we have no clue.

But TruTV is going to do another reality show depicting the day-to-day activities two small market newsrooms.

You might remember the awful reality show called "Breaking El Paso", well get ready for "Breaking Greenville."

For some reason WABG and WXVT told TruTV that they would participate in the circus.

Here is a promo for the show:

By the way, if you don't want to watch "Breaking Greenville" or "Breaking El Paso" on TruTV you can watching "Breaking Ebola" on the cable networks.

Just saying.... 

Girls Night Out? WTF?!

If you wondered why a station like WABG would participate in a reality show (see this story above) that will surely cause ridicule of their newsroom, maybe a look at one of their promos will help?

Here is a WABG promo for their Weekend Newscast, in which they call the newscast "Girls Night Out."

Really? Your Anchors are Girls?

Anchor Jasmine Anderson, Weather Anchor Brittani DuBose (who's name is spelled wrong in the promo) and Sports Anchor Christina Aguayo are shown in the promo for the weekend newscast.

No word on what the "Girls" think of their promo? Maybe when they are done playing with their Barbies, we'll ask them. 

Here's the promo:

Reporter that Asked Anderson Cooper for a Selfie is Fired

A Reporter that kept asking Anderson Cooper to take a picture with, has lost his job.

Vandon Gene, a Sun News Network Reporter was scolded by Cooper Wednesday after repeatedly asking the CNN anchor for a selfie near the Ottawa shooting scene.

The anchor refused, and told Gene to “have a little respect for what happened here today.”

“I will not take a photo with you on a day where someone was killed. It seems wildly inappropriate,” Cooper said during the exchange.

The Reporter then went on a Twitter rant against Cooper for not taking a picture with him. 

After it was all said and done, Gene did not get his picture with AC and he lost his job.

Sun News executive producer Matt Wolf apologized to the Cooper on behalf of the network, and announced Thursday that Gene doesn’t work for them anymore.

Gene then went on Twitter with this:

Here is video of Cooper responding to Gene's request for a photo:

CNN Anchor Says She's Sorry for Laughing at the Palin's

CNN Anchor Carol Costello got a good chuckle out of the Bristol Palin audio tape that was released.

But now Costello says she's sorry for laughing and making it fun of it. 

The audio was a Palin describing an alleged altercation at a party in Wasilla, Alaska. In the tape, Palin is heard describing what happened to her after she confronted someone she accused of pushing her sister. Palin drops a number of profanities on the tape. 

After the tape aired on CNN, Costello said “the long bleep was my favorite part.”

Now, after getting all kinds of criticism, Costello says she's sorry.

"Over the past few days I have been roundly criticized for joking about a brawl involving the Palin family. In retrospect, I deserve such criticism and would like to apologize," Costello said in a statement to Politico.

CNN has not commented on the matter. 

H/T Politico

Alaska TV Station Runs Wrong Political Ad

A controversial campaign ad that was pulled, still ended up airing on KTVA (Anchorage) and the station says it was their mistake. 

The ad for  U.S. Sen. Mark Begich had been pulled by his campaign because it had sparked outrage.

The AP says that Begich ran the commercial during Labor Day weekend. It attempted to portray Begich's Republican opponent, former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan, as soft on crime.

The commercial featured a man identified as a former Anchorage police officer standing outside the home where an elderly couple was beaten to death and a family member sexually abused in 2013. It ended with the man saying Sullivan shouldn't be a senator.

Sullivan responded with his own commercial, accusing Begich of trying to use the case for political gain.

The suspect wasn't named in Begich's ad, but Sullivan's commercials did when he said he "personally put criminals away for life, and that's exactly where Jerry Active belongs." Active is scheduled for trial the week of Dec. 8.

The ad was not supposed to air, but KTVA did air the spot in one of their newscasts. 

"One-hundred percent our error," said Andy Tierney, the national sales manager for CBS affiliate KTVA. Tierney said the commercial mix-up came as an operator put in the wrong code for a different Begich commercial into the station's computer system. The two ads have similar codes, and the wrong one was put in.

"It was complete operator error on our part," Tierney said. "The Begich campaign had nothing to do with it."

Of course, this is the same station where the "Fuck It" Reporter quit on air after she announced that she was the head of a Cannabis Club. Maybe she left some product back by where the commercials are loaded.

Just saying....

H/T HuffPo

Hartford Reporter Was A Love Child Before a Daughter

For nearly half of her life, she was known as Kara Hewes. But WFSB personality Kara Sundlun, knew that wasn't who she was.

In 1975, her then-expectant and unwed mother, Judy, was abandoned by Sundlun's biological father, the late former Rhode Island governor and wealthy businessman Bruce Sundlun.

Raised by her mother and adopted by her onetime stepfather, John Hewes, a 17-year-old Sundlun (she legally took her father's name after the reconciliation, ) who had struggled with her identity, a childhood suicide attempt and counseling, finally decided to legally and very publicly force her biological father to acknowledge her as his daughter and pay her college costs.

An out-of-court settlement started what would become a fairy tale-like story of a father and daughter reunited amidst a backdrop of Newport society, politics and celebrity. Sundlun's book "Finding Dad: From "Love Child" To Daughter" is the tale of a teenager's determination to establish a relationship with her father, and their eventual reconciliation and shared love and family. Featuring a forward by Sundlun friend, former WFSB personality and MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-anchor Mika Brzezinski, the book is scheduled to be released on Nov. 11, Veteran's Day, in part as a homage to Bruce Sundlun, a celebrated World War II bomber pilot who died in 2011. 

"People had suggested I write a book or have a movie made about our story. And inside, there was always a part of me that wanted to write it but I didn't know how I would find the time. But he was my dad and it was a story written for me and my dad. The intention was to let people know it is never too late to empower yourself, to make amends, to find forgiveness," said Sundlun. 

And of course, my book comes out in November ratings, who could have added.

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