Andy Lack to Return to NBC News

What is old is new again....or at least is about to be. 

Word is that NBC News will announce by the end of the week that former NBC News President Andrew Lack will return to the Peacock.

There are two rumors floating around inside 30 Rock as to what Lack's job would be?

One has him replacing NBC News President Deborah Turness.

The second rumor, which sources tell FTVLive is likely, Lack will be overseeing NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.

That means he will replace Pat Fili-Krushel, the chairman of NBCUniversal News Group.

Sources tell FTVLive that Comcast/NBC suits started looking for a new leader after the Brian Williams scandal. Sources say that Comcast executives thought that NBC News embarrassed itself with how they handled the Williams saga and started looking for new leadership.

Insiders tell FTVLive that an announcement on Lack will likely come by the end of the week.

Stay tuned....  

O'Reilly's War Stories Helped Him Land Boston Gig

While Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has come under attack for his war stories from the Falklands War, it is those same stories that helped him land a job in Boston. 

The Boston Globe writes that O’Reilly’s reporting from a protest in Buenos Aires, 1,200 miles from military action on the Falkland Islands, impressed television executives in Boston enough to help him land a high-paying job at WHDH (WNEV at the time) later that year.

“We were looking at hundreds of audition tapes, and this one stood out for precisely that episode,” said Bill Applegate, then the station’s vice president of news.

Applegate and Nick Lawler, the Channel 7 news director in 1982, said that to the best of their recollection, the audition tape they received 33 years ago included clips of O’Reilly’s Falklands coverage and that his gritty on-the-ground reporting made the Boston University graduate seem like a perfect fit for the station.

O’Reilly had left CBS in a huff — upset that some of his footage from the demonstration in Buenos Aires had been commandeered for a report by veteran journalist Bob Schieffer — and Applegate and Lawler jumped at the chance to hire a reporter with network experience.

NY Anchor has the Back of Bounced Reporter

FTVLive told you FIRST that WABC had parted ways with longtime WABC Reporter Sarah Wallace. 

Wallace has been with the station since 1984 and was given a one line memo when she left the station. 

While it seems that management is no longer a fan of Wallace, that is not the case with her colleagues.

WPIX Anchor Kaity Tong took to social media to show her support for Wallace:

KOB Anchor's Email to the Staff After Returning from Suspension

FTVLive was FIRST to tell you about the KOB (Albuquerque) newsroom incident involving longtime Anchor Tom Joles, a Reporter and a Photographer.

After FTVLive's story, station management tried to downplay the incident, yet Joles was suspended for the entire week.

He returned to the newsroom yesterday and sent an internal email to the staff, obtained by FTVLive.

Joles took a swipe at station management for his suspension, saying, "I don’t think the punishment in my case fits the crime." Others inside the station would disagree and think that Joles should have been fired after the incident. 

Here is his email:

I want to start by saying , in my 35 years of journalism, I’ve never had a week like last week. It was humbling and humiliating to be sent home, and then have to watch from the sidelines for a week. What started out as a passionate discussion about good journalism disintegrated into an absurd and unnecessary shouting match. I take full responsibility for my role in that. I’ve always believed exceptional journalism is not a casual endeavor. It requires honest confrontation, a dogged search for the truth, an unending effort to be fair, and the non-stop questioning of every single thing we do in the newsroom. Last week I allowed my frustrations to get the best of me, which was stupid on my part. After reflecting on that incident, I now fear my singular search for exceptional journalism has hurt some of you. If that’s true, you have my sincere apologies. My main focus has always been to serve the viewer, but If I’ve wounded any of you in the process, then I have failed as a person-the only thing more important to me than being a journalist. While I can now see clearly where I’ve fallen short, I must say, I don’t think the punishment in my case fits the crime. That no longer matters. More than anything, I’m just happy to be back at work. As a station, we like to say we stand for New Mexico. To me, that’s the same as saying we fight for New Mexico. I’m not going to stop doing that. Life is too short and our chances to make a difference are gone before we know it. But with that said, I want to promise all of you, from here on out, I will try to wage a more sensitive fight, never forgetting we all have feelings, and those feelings need to be understood and respected.

Vince DeMentri is Out the Door in Springfield

6 days ago, FTVLive wrote, which central Illinois Anchor could be in hot water after being involved in a bar fight?

We wrote, "Sources say the Anchor, who has a bad boy past, got into a fight at a local bar with a station Reporter. Word is that booze was a factor and both the Reporter and Anchor left the bar before the cops arrived."

 FTVLive told you HR was investigating.

The Illinois Times reported yesterday that Vince DeMentri, anchorman for WICS television news, was reportedly involved in a physical altercation at Hooters in Springfield hours after Tuesday’s election.

The altercation reportedly involved DeMentri and Garrett Brnger, another Reporter for the station.

Sources tell FTVLive that DeMentri and Brnger are both gone from the station. 

“We don’t discuss personnel issues,” WICS GM Rick Lipps said in a common yet very ironic statement for a TV station. 

A 911 call obtained by The State Journal-Register through a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed an altercation at 12:32 a.m. Wednesday at Hooters between two men.

The recording shows that an employee called 911 about a fistfight, and that one of the men was bleeding from the nose. The two men left the restaurant and drove away while Springfield police were en route, one in a black BMW and the other in a black Jeep.

The descriptions matched vehicles driven by DeMentri and Brnger.

Dispatch records show Springfield police stopped the black Jeep at Dirksen Parkway and Ash Street. The driver told the officer he had fallen off a stool.

There are no written police reports about the incident naming DeMentri and Brnger, and the 911 call did not name the two TV personalities.

Deputy Chief Dan Mounce of the Springfield Police Department said reports are only taken if one of the parties involved wants one taken. Mounce declined to comment on the incident.

DeMentri has flamed out in New York, Philadelphia and now the small market of Springfield. 

If you ask us, you can stick a fork in his TV career, he's done. 

Sentencing for Former Philly Anchor

One time popular Philly Sports Anchor, now convicted scammer, Don Tollefson is going to have to wait a bit longer to see how long he will be behind bars. 

The sentencing hearing for Tollefson has been rescheduled for March 25.

Tollefson was originally set to learn his fate Tomorrow before Bucks County Court Judge Rea Boylan. But Robert Goldman, the court-appointed attorney who was assisting Tollefson in his defense, had a scheduling conflict.

Tollefson, once the highest-paid sportscaster in the region, was convicted in January of fleecing more than 200 people out of $300,000 in a scam involving travel-packages to sporting events.

Tollefson, who represented himself during the 11-day trial, turned down a plea deal that would have included about seven months in state prison and 14 months in drug-treatment programs.


Suspended Cleveland Anchor Returns

WJW Anchor Kristi Capel returned to the air Monday after serving a suspension for using the term "jigaboo" on air.

"Good morning, everyone, I'm Kristi Capel," were the familiar words heard as the newscast kicked off at 4:30.

Capel made no mention of her suspension or her racial insensitive comment from last week. Her co-Anchor Wayne Dawson also did not mention anything and the station declined to comment on Capel's return.

It's like it never even happened. 

Wonder if the Mayor of Cleveland made a similar comment, if the station would handle it the same way?

Just asking.... 

Changes Going Down at Phoenix Station

Phoenix sources tell FTVLive that KPNX Anchor/reporter Kim Covington has left the station to start an education consulting firm. 

We also hear that Consumer Reporter Veronica Sanchez is out the door to become a PIO at a local school district. 

And one of the station's best Photographers, Nick Perez is leaving to work for the show COPS. 

Insiders say, that leaves the station with about a dozen open positions that management is very slow to fill.

Word is that management has also said that they are moving to more of a digital push.  "Broadcasting comes 2nd, online first," says an insider to FTVLive. 

Many staffers feel the are stretched too thin and others are looking to leave the station.

Stay tuned.... 


Bumped Up in Louisville

Longtime WHAS (Louisville) Anchor Melissa Swan is losing her 11PM Anchor gig to Renee Murphy (pictured).

The station announced Monday that it has bumped Murphy up to the late Anchor gig and that Swan's role is changing.  

WHAS News Director David Seals says that Swan, who has been at WHAS for 30 years, will continue anchoring the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts and she will focus on the station's "On Your Side" stories, which focus on being an advocate for viewers.

Murphy will continue leading the station's iTeam investigative unit as well as anchoring the 5:30 p.m. newscast.

"We are fortunate that in Renee, we have the perfect journalist right in our newsroom with the integrity and drive to co-anchor our 11 p.m. newscast," said GM Linda Danna.

The change takes place on March 23rd. 

H/T Louisville Business First

Getting Out of the TV Business

WXMI (Grand Rapids) meteorologist Jon Shaner is leaving the station and the TV business altogether.  

After 8+ years at the station, Shaner is leaving for a real job. He will bethe marketing director for the Salvation Army's Kroc Center.

Shaner's final day on the air as morning meteorologist is Thursday.

The early hours played a role in his decision to leave the station and weather forecasting.

"I'm proud of what we've built at FOX 17. I've had more fun than anybody should at work," he said. "However, my schedule has put stress on me and my growing family. This was the best long-term decision for us."

WXMI News Director Brooks Blanton called Shaner "an amazing meteorologist and a key part of our morning team." But Blanton said he understands Shaner's decision.

"Jon's role as a husband and father come first, and we support his decision to take a job that offers a more predictable schedule for his family," Blanton said. "Although he'll be working outside the TV news business, Jon has offered to come back often and make guest appearances on our shows.

"Jon is, and always will be, part of the FOX 17 family," Blanton said. "The door is always open anytime he wants to come back to visit or work." 


Just Wow

If the cable news networks didn't think they had a credibility problem, maybe this will open their eyes.

Media Life Magazine conducted a poll to see who readers thought was most credible, Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC?

The results were embarrassing for cable news and MSNBC in particular. 

By a very slim margin, media buyers and planners think it’s CNN, with Fox News a close second. MSNBC is not even a consideration.

Asked which one of the three major cable news networks was most credible, the largest share of respondents, 36 percent, voted for CNN, which had long enjoyed the reputation as being the least biased of the three in its reporting.

FNC came in second with 32 percent.

But not all readers were impressed with the choices. A quarter said none of the cable news networks are credible.

And not even one respondent picked MSNBC.

In other words, CNN 36%, FNC 32% and MSNBC 0%

0%! Is anyone at NBC paying attention?