California Anchor Busted in Domestic Violence Incident

KBAK (Bakersfield) Anchor Kurt Rivera was arrested Sunday evening after deputies responded to an alarm call of a woman screaming she was being assaulted at a home in east Bakersfield, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrived at the scene and contacted Rivera and 36-year-old Mandy Morrow, who live together at the residence.

Deputies said Rivera and Morrow had physically assaulted each other, and Morrow told them Rivera then damaged the alarm keypad to prevent her from calling law enforcement. She said he also refused to allow her to leave the home.

Rivera was arrested for battery and false imprisonment and on suspicion of damaging a communication device to prevent a person from calling law enforcement for assistance. 

Morrow was arrested on suspicion of spousal battery, and both were booked into the downtown jail.

Rivera and Morrow were not listed as current jail inmates Monday afternoon.

Rivera joined KBAK Eyewitness News in June 2004 after working as an anchor/reporter at KGET Channel 17 in Bakersfield, according to his online bio. He began his journalism career as a news photographer at KESQ-TV in Palm Springs before joining KERO-TV in Bakersfield the following year.

Teresa Burgess, vice president and general manager of KBAK, did not return a call seeking comment. A message left at a phone number believed to be Rivera’s was not returned.

H/T The Bakersfield Californian 

Man Indicted in Robbery Attempt of Former CNN Anchor

An Albuquerque man accused of conspiring to rob two former CNN reporters at a motel was indicted by a Bernalillo Co. grand jury Monday on multiple felony charges.

Skyy Barrs, 30, was arrested July 9 and has now been indicted on two counts of kidnapping with a firearm, aggravated burglary, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted armed robbery, two counts of assault with intent to commit a violent felony, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Barrs's bond has been set at $500,000 cash only.

The July 9 arrest warrant for Barrs  says he and his girlfriend drove a Chevy Malibu to the Motel 6 on Albuquerque's west side late on the night of June 30. Surveillance footage shows Barrs, his girlfriend and a third person in the car after dropping Walton off.

An APD source told police Barrs and Walton were going to "hit a lick" – slang for committing a robbery – that night. Police say the source told them Barrs gave Walton the gun he used to try and rob de Caro and his wife, former CNN anchor Lynne Russell, that night.

The source also told police that Barrs used Walton "as one of his 'slaves', so [Barrs] sent [Walton] with the gun."

According to the arrest warrant, Barrs also went and picked up Walton briefly after he collapsed in the parking lot after being shot by de Caro three times. However, he then left him there and drove away.

A police search warrant on Walton's phone also showed that he and Barrs exchanged text messages from earlier that evening just after 9 p.m., and a missed call from Barrs at 11:35 p.m. that night.

The arrest warrant says that "Tomorio's death was caused by the actions of Skyy Barrs for planning to 'hit a lick' and providing Tomorio with a firearm. Tomorio and Skyy are both convicted felons."


TV News Hiring Grows (Barely) in 2014


The good news? There was more hiring in TV newsrooms last yet.

The bad news? It was only by 1%.

In a RTDNA survey, it shows that Total local TV news employment rose by 1.1% in 2014 -- adding 300 people. That puts total TV news staffing at 27,600.  And that puts the year in third place in overall local TV news employment behind 2012 and 2000. 

Generally, TV newsrooms keep growing in size ... but there aren't as many of them as in past years.  The 2014 growth didn't completely make up the 400 jobs lost in 2013, but it covers most of them.    Stations moved into news, and stations moved out ... and we enter 2015 down 2 from last year's 719 stations originating local news.  That puts us back to where we were in 2013, which was the eighth straight year of declines. 

The average TV station hired 6 replacements during 2014 and 1.3 new, additional positions.  Replacements are up half a person this year, while new hires are exactly the same as a year ago.

Which jobs get replaced in the newsroom most? Reporters and Producers.

Here are the top jobs that are replaced in the newsroom:

1. Reporters ... barely edging out #2.
2. Producers ... way ahead of #3. Both in the same spots as last year.
3. Anchors ... just ahead #4.
4. MMJs ... a bit ahead of #5.
5. Photographers ... just about double #6.
6. Weather ... modestly ahead of  #7.
7. Sports ... including, anchor, reporter and producer ... a little ahead of #8.
8. Video editor ... noticeably ahead of closely ranked #9 and #10.
9. Assignment editor/desk
10. Web/social media

Read more at RTDNA


Fox 5 (San Diego) Reporter Walter Morris overheard the audio technician playing The Whip/Nae Nae during a commercial break and he start dancing.

The crew back at the station made sure to hit record.

Yep, this happened on the FOX 5 morning show today#SOsandiego

Posted by Fox 5 San Diego on Monday, July 27, 2015

CNN Assignment Editor Has Gone Twitter Silent

One June 27th, CNN reported the exclusive story that an Isis flag was spotted at a London Gay Pride Parade.

The flag was covered in dildos and was not an ISIS flag at all. 

The story, that was not a story was broken by CNN International Assignment Editor Lucy Pawle.

It was one of the most embarrassing moments (but by far not the only one) for the Jeff Zucker regime at CNN.

Pawle went on Twitter the day of this embarrassment and tried to deny that she even reported the story. Unfortunately, in a world full of DVR's, that didn't work out very well. 

Last week, Jeff Zucker held a town hall meeting with the staff at CNN and was asked why the network never apologized  for the embarrassing mistake?

The CNN boss did admit that the dildo flag was an embarrassment to the network but insisted that there was nothing to merit an apology.


Your network gets a story DEAD WRONG and you don't believe there is any reason to correct it or apologize? 

As for Pawle, she has not posted a single tweet since that fateful dildo day.

Guess she is also taking the Jeff Zucker approach of not admitting to the mistake. 

Al Sharpton to Start Criticizing the Critics

MSNBC host Al Sharpton is setting up a website that will take aim at his critics.

Sharpton wants to “flip the script” with his site called The Shift Daily: the news source for today’s millennial activist.

And it seems like one of the first articles for his site is looking to save the damaged of his daughter, Dominique.

The site isn't finished yet, but Media Equalizer was able to sneak a peek at its current content and not only is their a glowing story about Sharpton's daughter, she also seems to be a writer for the site. 

Via Instagram, the National Action Network’s Rachel Noerd says that “for decades reporters & now bloggers have been writing about @real_sharpton & @nationalaction. Now NAN will flip the script & write about them. They say if you don’t define your reality, others will do it for you. It’s important to support community newspapers, blogs and media outlets that represent your needs & values.”

We can hardly wait until this site goes live. 

This should be some very entertaining fiction....ummmmm.... reading. 

Bob Iger Gives ABC a Shot in the Arm

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger is still bullish on ABC.

"ABC is still an important business for us," Iger told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "It's very healthy content creation business. Whether you are talking about the programming that we own and produce in prime time or ABC News, it's a profitable business. It's a business that we are proud to be in, and it's still in my heart."

Of course Iger has close ties to the TV side of the business. Before ascending the corporate ranks at Disney, Iger was chairman of the ABC Group and oversaw the broadcast television and station group.

He started at ABC in 1974, and his skill took him to the top of that network.

But Joe Kernen of "Squawk Box" responded by saying of ABC: "Shrinking, though, isn't it?"

Iger, however, still defended ABC. "Well, if you look at the size of the company, because the company has grown, particularly given the acquisitions and growth in international markets, you know, there are a few of our businesses that don't loom as large as they once did," Iger said. "But that doesn't mean they're not important."

ABC was the only major broadcast network up with the 18-to-49 age group last season. The network had new hits last fall with "How to Get Away With Murder" and "black-ish."

In news, "Good Morning America" remains the leader in early morning, and "ABC World News Tonight With David Muir" has grown this season. Diane Sawyer's interview with the future Caitlyn Jenner underscored that network news can still draw viewers. 

H/T Orlando Sentinel 

Signing Off in St. Louis

Longtime KMOV Reporter and Anchor Robin Smith says she is is retiring at the end of the month after four-decades on the are in St. Louis.

“Countless viewers have literally grown up trusting in Robin’s honesty, integrity and experience as she has brought the story of the St. Louis region home to you," Mike Murphy, the station's general manager, said in a statement. "She will be missed and we look forward to enjoying a big celebration come Friday.”

Smith currently reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts and anchors weekend mornings. Her long tenure at KMOV started in 1978 after working her way around the dial with stints at KSDK and KTVI. 

H/T St. Louis Post Dispatch

New Main Anchor Named at Miami Station

WSCV Telemundo 51 announced Fausto Malavé  is the station's new main Anchor.

 Malavé will co-anchor the 5:30, 6 and 11 pm weekday newscasts with Daisy Ballmajó. He replaces Ambrosio Hernández, who left the station in March.

Malavé stepped into the role on an interim basis and now the job is his.

He joined the station as a Reporter in 2007 and became weekend co-anchor in 2012.

Before moving to Miami, he worked in his native Venezuela as anchor of “Noticiero Estelar” and host of the political opinion show “Sin Reservas” on the Venevisión Network.

H/T Media Moves

Magic Photobomb

It seemed just too good to be true and it was.

Two Magicians photobombed the back of Sky News Reporter Ashish Joshi's live shot.

 It seemed as if it was going to go down as the best live photobomb ever on TV news. 

But then Sky News admitted they were in on it. The network and Joshi have confirmed that the report never aired on the network.


Here's the video anyway:

Longtime Chicago Weatherman is Seriously Ill

Longtime Chicago Weatherman Harry Volkman has been hospitalized.

WGN Weather Anchor Tom Skilling says that Volkman is seriously ill.

Skilling writes, "as anyone who’s had the pleasure of meeting or talking to Harry knows, he’s one of the nicest people who’s walked this planet and among his many his many, many qualities, has been a champion of so many young people and their careers in meteorology. "

Harry’s son Eddie posted the following on his Facebook page. Harry’s trademark smile is as warm as ever. Let’s all keep Harry in our thoughts and prayers.

Volkman has worked at every Chicago station expect WLS and is known as the first weatherman to issue a tornado warning.

He is 89 years old. 

Tampa Station Hires Social Media Savvy Anchor

WFTS in Tampa has named Laura Harris as its new 5:30 p.m. News Anchor to sit alongside veteran Brendan McLaughlin.

Harris currently solo hosts the WFTS's “The Now Tampa Bay” at 4 p.m.

She has been filling in on the 5:30 since longtime anchor Linda Hurtado left after the May book.  Today the station announced that Harris is getting the gig full time. 

“She’s one of the most natural television performers I’ve ever seen,” McLaughlin said. “It’s remarkable to watch her work. She anchors that [4 p.m.] hour by herself, works with or without a teleprompter, does live interviews, just makes it happen on the fly.”

The co-anchors appear to have formed a budding mutual admiration society.

“Brendan is the model for people like myself,” said the 29-year-old Harris of her partner, who is approaching his 21st anniversary as ABC Action News anchor. “Sitting next to a person like Brendan McLaughlin is truly an honor. I can learn so much.”

Harris was raised in Atlanta and worked as a morning anchor in Charleston, S.C. before joining WFTS three years ago. "The Now Tampa Bay" launched in September 2014.

Harris represents a new breed of TV news anchor in that she understands and embraces social media, and has a feel for adapting it to TV news.

H/T Biz Journals