Miami Reporter Leaving for Beirut

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WSVN Reporter Kevin Ozebek is leaving the station to work for a small Arab network based in Beirut.

Ozebek's new gig will be as a Lebanon correspondent.

I don't know about you, but if I left South Florida, Beirut would not be at the top of the list as my next stop. 

But, Ozebek seems to love the place. One of his friends tells Gossip Extra the guy is so into Beirut that he vacations there. As a matter of fact, Ozebek was in Beirut in 2012 that he almost got caught in a car bomb explosion.

Sounds like a great vacation.

He has been with the Miami station since 2010. 

Meredith Atlanta Station Hires Another One

Meredith owned WGCL continues their hiring spree of on air talent.

The latest hire is  Kim Passoth, who will be joining the station as an Anchor/Reporter.  

“We’re looking forward to having Kim join our team as an Anchor/Reporter.  Besides her on-air reporting skills, she also brings a lot of social media experience to the station.” said CBS46 News Director Larry Perret.

Passoth comes to CBS46 from KOCO in Oklahoma City where she was a Reporter/Anchor for the last three years.  Prior to that she was a Reporter/Anchor at KIII in Corpus Christi.  She got her start at KFBB in Great Falls/Helena, MT.  

“I’m looking forward to making the move to Atlanta and getting started on-air as  well as using the CBS46 social platforms to help inform Atlanta viewers,” said Passoth.

Her first day will be May 18th.

In Wake of BriLie, Richard Engel Re-Reports on His Kidnapping

Back in 2012, NBC's Richard Engel and his crew were kidnapped in Syria.

Engel and five crew members were held captive by armed gunmen for five days while covering the country’s descent into civil war in late 2012.

After they were released, Engel reported on-air and elsewhere that he believed his captors were Shiite militiamen loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But, the New York Times recently uncovered information indicating that the kidnappers were not Shiite but actually part of a criminal gang with shifting allegiances.

Needless to says NBC is a bit gun-shy when it comes to their talent telling war stories.

So Engel took to NBC;s website to re-report on his kidnapping now that he has more information. 

Engel said the Times’ information prompted him and several NBC News producers to update the story. 

The Peacock is looking to recover from a series of reporting gaffes and the embarrassment of having to suspend its chief anchor, Brian Williams, for misrepresenting his own experiences during the Iraq War.

In Engel’s case, there is no suggestion that he and the others misrepresented any aspect of the incident. But new information indicates that the perpetrators went to great lengths to disguise themselves as Shiite militiamen amid the backdrop of political chaos in the nation.

Here is a link to Engel's update on the story.

H/T Variety 

Sharpton Continues to Dodge Taxman

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While millions of people hustled to the post office to pay their taxes yesterday, MSNBC's Al Sharpton did not seem too worried about it.

The NY Post says that Sharpton owes as much as $4.5 million in back taxes and penalties.

Dozens of pages of tax warrants and liens show that, at best, Sharpton has been deeply negligent, and at worst, he’s gaming the system. Which raises the question: Why does New York keep letting him get away with it?

Sharpton claims he’s stuck to the payment plan detailed in his settlement. But the government structures settlements so debtors can reduce and eventually eliminate tax debt.

A growing balance is a big red flag. A state official said failure to make payments on a settlement and late filings can result in additional penalties and interest. He also said failure to pay new taxes can add additional debt.

The post writes that for some reason, New York authorities don’t seem terribly interested in holding Sharpton accountable.

As a civil-rights activist, Sharpton has pushed for equality under the law. New York should offer some reassurances that it holds that same principle dear — especially where Sharpton is concerned.

Guess the rules are different for him. 

Traffic Report for My Hubby

Speaking of CNN Media Critic Brian Stelter....

While many New Yorkers were rushing to work this morning, CNN's Brian Stelter got a on air traffic report right from his house to CNN to help him.

Stelter's wife Jamie is the Traffic Reporter for NY1 and she included Brian's personal traffic update in her morning traffic update.

Must be nice.....

I guess the rest of the New Yorkers can go suck it.

Rick Sanchez and Kelly Mitchell Together Again

Former WSVN (Miami) Anchor's Rick Sanchez and Kelly Mitchell will be reunited on Monday morning.

Sanchez now hosts a radio show on WIOD in Miami and Mitchell, who recently parted ways with WLRN radio will be filling in for Jimmy Cefalo on WIOD.   Putting her and Sanchez on the same station.

Sanchez and Mitchell were co-anchors of WSVN in the 90's when the station was making waves with it's flashy newscast that were copied coast to coast. 

Since leaving radio, Mitchell been working with former Miami newscaster Brian Andrews in his media strategy and crisis communications business. 

You can listen Mitchell and Sanchez reunite on WIOD.com.

Seinfeld: Streaming Channel has Network Suits Worried

Web streaming channel Crackle announced that they are going to begin running on a constant stream of programming — like traditional TV — beginning next month.

One of their biggest stars is Jerry Seinfeld and he thinks the networks are scared of streaming channels like Crackle. 

He says the freedom of being away from regular TV and the streaming aspect are a good fit for him. 

"When you get to a certain point in the business, what a man is looking for in a network is the same as in his underwear. A little bit of support and a little bit of freedom," he said. "That’s exactly what Crackle offered… There’s nothing different about what we’re doing than what anyone else is doing on any media anywhere. TV networks are worried that you’ll figure out TV is over, and there’s nothing special about it."

As for streaming sites like YouTube?

Seinfeld is not a fan.

"The less the better," Seinfeld said when asked about less-professional content. "I don't want to see this crap. We have a giant garbage can called YouTube for user-generated content. We're trying to generate a little higher level. I think showbusiness is for talent, that's who should be in it. But let's keep it in its hierarchy. And I like being at the top of the pyramid."

Seinfeld said Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in which he does exactly what the title implies, with stars like Tina Fey and his old buddies Larry David and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, reached 100 million viewers this month.

And that is numbers that any network would gladly take.

H/T Hollywood Reporter 

Jenny McCarthy: ABC's 'The View' is Doomed

She might still be bitter that they fired her, but Jenny McCarthy thinks that ABC's The View is headed for the scrap heap.

The NY Daily News writes that McCarthy predicts “The View” is doomed if producers don’t stop acting like serial daters with an itchy Tinder finger.

The former co-host on the ABC daytime flagship, who told Confidenti@l the chatfest will be canceled within a year, says the problem is that confused higher-ups need to pick a formula and stick with it.

“I only say that (will happen) if they don’t stick to that idea — which is to allow something to simmer rather than transitioning so many different things, like, change a chair, change a table, change the background, change the people,” McCarthy told us.

“It’s like a serial dater. Stick with one boyfriend and don’t go on Tinder. Give that relationship all you’ve got and ride through the bumps and waves.”

Sounds like a few News Directors we know.

NY Reporter Headed to The A-T-L

News 12 (NY) MMJ Brittany Miller is leaving the Big Apple and headed to Hotlanta. 

Miller has joins WGCL as an MMJ Reporter next week..  

“We’re very excited to have Brittany joining the team.  She did some great work in New York City and we look forward to her bringing the same type of work to CBS46,” said CBS46 News Director Larry Perret.

“I’m very proud to be joining the news team at CBS46.  It’s an incredible opportunity in an incredible city, “said Miller.