Eileen Curran, the former reporter/fill-in anchor at WBZ and TV38, has resurfaced down the street at NECN. Curran, whose contract was not renewed by CBS after around a decade long stint at the duopoly in November, began appearing on the rapidly expanding regional news net today. Her first story, pertaining to sick dogs being brought to New England illegally, aired today. According to her Facebook page, she is freelancing with the network for the time being. (Hat-tip to btvn reader mike)
The story of her non-renewal by the CBS affil had been broken on our forums back in November. Eileen Curran had been with WBZ for around a decade, and had been anchoring weekends at WFXT before that. Incidentally, her now-husband Bob Halloran was a sports anchor/reporter there during her tenure at channel 25.
Our Weekend Video series kicks off with a promo from Orlando’s WKMG, featuring the soon-to-be-former-anchor Erick Weber. As we reported earlier, Weber will be headed to NECN to serve as newsreader on The Morning Show.
WFSB is finally making the high-definition transition. According to The Hartfordite and our friends at The Laurel, channel 3 has been in the process of updating its equipment and cameras. The station hopes to complete the transition by late spring or early summer. This announcement comes after a litany of minor changes have been made in preparation for the upgrade.
Crosstown rivals WTNH and WVIT are already broadcasting in high definition, but WFSB is still wildly successful in the ratings book without it.
Starting on March 14th, Fox 25 will begin airing a newscast at 6:30 p.m. The network owned-and-operated station announced today that it will expand its 6 p.m. newscast to one hour in order to compete more effectively against the big three network affiliates. As usual, the newscast will be anchored by Mark Ockerbloom and Maria Stephanos.
Fox 25 launched a 4:30 p.m. newscast in 2001, targeted toward a primarily female audience. However, by 2002, the newscast was bumped to 5:00 and had become more generic in its targeting. In September 2003, the newscast was expanded to a full hour and began using the same anchor team as the 10 p.m. show. In September 2009, the 5 p.m. newscast was dropped in favor of a thirty minute 6:00 broadcast.
Ratings monster TMZ on TV will move to 7:00, followed by The Simpsons at 7:30. Seinfeld has been bumped from the schedule completely and will no longer air on Fox 25. Update: TV38 will begin airing Seinfeld at 7 and 11 p.m. starting March 21st.
Fox 25 has been expanding its news output recently. In October 2010, Fox 25 Morning News was expanded by 90 minutes and now airs from 4:30 until 10 a.m. Also, the station added an 11 p.m. broadcast in 2007. However, it is the only Fox owned-and-operated station without a 5 p.m. newscast to accompany its 6 p.m. show, and one of three O&Os without a midday newscast.
WBZ-TV, once known to all as Eyewitness News, dominated the ratings in the 1970s and battled it out with WCVB’s NewsCenter5 for most of the 1980s. However, a 1993 decision to drop the longstanding moniker began a path of over a decade of decline for channel 4. However, the real decline is rooted in a 1995 affiliation change.
Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the Fox network, realized that the only way that his network would grow would be through acquiring the rights to broadcasting sports. After being rebuffed by the NFL in 1987, he was successful in acquiring the rights to broadcast games from the NFL’s NFC division in 1994. As a result, New World Communications, the owner of several large-market stations (including Boston’s own TV38), orchestrated a deal to switch the affiliations of its stations (mostly CBS-affiliates) to Fox. This sent shockwaves throughout the industry, prompting shakeups in over thirty media markets.
This large shakeup was a defining moment for WBZ. Hit the jump to read about how these changes hit home and how channel 4 responded.
Former Providence Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, Jr. announced his intentions to submit a counteroffer to Citadel Communications’ $4 million bid for WLNE. According to The Providence Journal, Paolino and a group of unspecified investors will submit a bid for the troubled ABC-affiliate. Under terms laid out by the stalking horse bidder, any counteroffer must exceed the original bid, plus add the $150,000 breakup fee, and be at least $50,000 higher than the stalking horse bid.
Any and all bidders have until March 18th to submit a bid, as the station will be auctioned off on March 22nd. The station’s current owner, Global Broadcasting, purchased channel 6 in 2007 for $14 million. The current bid of $4 million is described by Citadel CEO Phil Lombardo as “[being] the proper value.”
Melissa Mandak, the morning traffic reporter at Hartford’s WVIT (known on-air as NBC Connecticut,) announced on-air last week that she will be leaving the station. Our friends at The Laurel reported that Mandak will be leaving the station in order to take a job at Yale University in the health and fitness field.
Mandak, who joined channel 30 in July 2010 after a brief stint at New York’s fox-affil WNYW, had been crowned Miss Connecticut in 2005. No word yet on her last day at the station.
Taryn Winter Brill, co-host of NECN’s new morning broadcast The Morning Show, has reportedly left the station. In a memo issued by NECN, Winter Brill left the regional news network to be closer to her family in New York. In part, the memo read, “With the loss of her father in December, the past few months have been very difficult for Taryn Winter Brill and her family.”
Taryn Winter Brill made her own remarks, telling The Boston Herald, “given the circumstances, I feel it is best to be there for my family in New York at this time. I am grateful to NECN for granting my request and thank them for the opportunity to have been a part of the new morning show. I wish the show great success in the months and years ahead.”
The Morning Show on NECN debuted on Monday, January 17th with Winter Brill and Steve Aveson as co-hosts. Winter Brill has been off the air since February 3rd. Since that time, fellow NECN newcomer Bridget Blythe has been filling in for her. Sometime in March, former Orlando morning anchor Erick Weber will join the program as a newsreader. As for Winter Brill, her replacement has not yet been named.
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The NEWSE7EN clue was no match for the Best and Brightest of btvn it seems. While many guesses in the right direction were made by iWatch, Erik Davis, and AJ Buruca, only Owen Two nailed it down to a specific newscast. Perhaps this clue will keep everyone guessing until the next edition of Media Memories is unleashed on Tuesday?