Welcome to the May Book

You know when ratings come around, TV stations get a little be crazy in their story selection.

Then there is stations like WTAE in Pittsburgh that go totally off the deep end. 

The station ran a story of a local woman that claims that the Virgin Mary is her first cousin 65 times removed.

How does she know this? Because she found out on ancestry.com.

Of course everything is true on the Internet. Right?

According to WTAE Mary Beth Webb, of Murrysville, said she began searching her ancestry in 2010 after years of "communicating" with her deceased mother, father and brother.

"I know a lot of people are skeptical and want proof and all that. I can only share what happened to me and hope they can learn from it," Webb said.

And thanks to WTAE and the we'll do anything for ratings attitude, Webb got the chance to share her story.

And somehow this is what constitutes news in Pittsburgh.

Click here to watch the story. 

Jeff Zucker: I Want People to Tell me I'm Wrong (UPDATED)

FTVLive told you back in January that CNN boss Jeff Zucker held a company wide town hall meeting for the entire staff at CNN.

When the town hall reached the question and answer part of the meeting, which Anderson Cooper moderated, the very first question asked was how does CNN stop all managers at the network from being afraid of Zucker?

Zucker, did not seem pleased with the first question, but claimed that he likes the staff that pushes back against him and tells him he's wrong.

Sure you do Jeff, sure you do.

Here is the video of that question being asked at the town hall meeting and Zucker's response.

Update: CNN forced the video to be pulled. Which if you ask us is a wrong thing to do.

Zucker said he likes when people tell him he's wrong....so he must be loving FTVLive right about now. 

Right Jeff? 

Anchoring from the Treadmill

Here we go!

The book is started and it is time for stations to pull out all the stunts to try and get viewers to watch their newscast.

WTXL in Columbia, SC has a tease on their Facebook page for the Noon newscast that promises it will not be "your normal newscast."

The video shows the Anchor on a treadmill in front of a desk with nothing on it.

Oh the suspense is killing me. 

New Graphics in New York

New York's struggling WPIX in New York introduced a new graphics and music package, just in time for the May book.

The new graphics are based mainly on an orange and blue theme. That also happens the team colors for the New York Mets, WPIX is the broadcast partner for the Mets.

Come to think of it, neither the Mets nor WPIX have had many winning seasons lately.

But we're sure that these new graphics will rocket the station to the top of the ratings this May. 

Here is video of the station's new open:

Shifting the Anchors at NBC O&O's

Zoraida Sambolin (pictured), who left her job as CNN morning news anchor last December to move back home to Chicago, is rejoining NBC-owned WMAQ.

Robert Feder says that Starting May 22, Sambolin will co-anchor “NBC 5 News Today” with Stefan Holt from 4:30 to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday.

She will replace Daniella Guzman, who is moving to KNBC, the NBC-owned station in Los Angeles, as anchor of a revamped “Today in L.A.” 

Guzman is replacing Michelle Valles, who replaced Alycia Lane.

Sources tell FTVLive that KNBC GM Steve Carlston was set on Valles as the Morning Anchor, but was over ruled when NBC O&O boss Valari Staab told him that Carlston was headed to LA. 

O-Town Reporter's Tweet Tips off Competitors?

A Wednesday morning tweet had journalists around town talking.

WFTV-Channel 9's Karla Ray wrote:

The Orlando Sentinel writes that we know that reporters like to tell us they were first: first with the story or first with the video or first at the accident scene.

But boasting via Twitter about your assignment: How wise is that?

Isn't that a tip to your competitors to join you at the assignment? Soon you won't be the only reporter sitting in at that federal trial.

But WFTV news director Matt Parcell dismissed the notion that WFTV might be putting itself at a competitive disadvantage with such tweets.

"No, we're a news organization, not just a TV station," he said. "Wherever the platform may be, that's where we're doing news."

One seasoned reporter scoffed that Parcell's reasoning made no sense. She wrote: "If I'm the only reporter at a trial or a crime scene, the last thing I'm going to do is let anyone else know I'm there. I'd rather maintain the exclusive."

Parcell weighed in on the fast-changing technology in news.

"We're in this new world of social and digital media and Facebook and Twitter and putting news out on these platforms," he said. "In 10 years, we're going to look back and say, 'This is what we should we have done.' We’re trying to figure it out. Keeping our viewers and readers informed during the day is important. They’re looking for us on all these platforms. We're trying to figure out how best to serve all these platforms."

O-Town Station Brings in the Big Guns for Weekend Mornings

The main Anchors at WFTV have been taking turns anchoring the weekend morning newscasts at the station.

FTVLive told you back in February that the station let weekend Morning Anchor Mark Joyella out of his contract. 

After Joyella departed, the station brought on some of its biggest weekday anchors to fill in.

Martie Salt, Greg Warmoth and Vanessa Welch from evening newscasts have taken the early, five-hour shifts.

Vanessa Echols and Jamie Holmes added early weekend to their early weekday duties.

Next up: Nancy Alvarez (pictured) this weekend, and Jorge Estevez the following weekend.

"We truly don't have any newscasts that we give short shrift to,"  WFTV news director Matt Parcell said Wednesday.

So when will WFTV name a replacement?

"We’re still looking. It's a significant spot," Parcell said. "You want to make sure you find the right person and find someone who has the potential to develop."

So when might that person be found?

Parcell said he should know in two weeks.

H/T Orlando Sentinel 

Olbermann: Watching MSNBC is Like Watching a Car Crash

Keith Olbermann (you remember him don't you?) claims that he never watches his former network MSNBC (we don't believe him). 

Yesterday on Twitter @Brian8473 not to be confused with @Brian8472 asked Olby "Do you ever look at the hot mess that is @msnbc and giggle?"

Olbermann responded "No. It's like watching friends in a crashing car w/a drunk driver"

Of course this begs the question, if Olbermann never watches MSNBC like he claims, then how does he know what it's like?

Just asking.... 

Anderson Cooper Slept Here

Here's your chance to sleep where CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper slept.

Cooper just listed one of two waterfront homes he owns in Quiogue, according to the website marketing the property.

Cooper is asking $2.999 million for the 2.4-acre property, which has a pool. (You can see the house here.) It contains a 3,654-square-foot cottage built in 1946 with two fireplaces that's located on Aspatuck Creek. It has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a half-bath.

There is also a pool house and a detached garage with guest quarters.

Real estate records show he paid $1.7 million for the property in 2012 from Betsy Schulberg, widow of Budd Schulberg, the Academy Award-winning writer of the screenplay "On the Waterfront."

The home has since been renovated with help from Cooper's mother, iconic designer Gloria Vanderbilt, and had been available for rent this summer as it had the season before.

Cooper also owns the home next door. 

So you and him can be neighbors. 

H/T Newsday

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