Tag Archives: television

Community Newspaper Holdings moving headquarters to Montgomery

Birmingham-based Community Newspaper Holdings is heading south. The newspaper publisher plans to relocate its headquarters from the Colonnade area to Montgomery’s new Retirement Systems of Alabama building in late 2011 or early 2012.

Community Newspaper HoldingsThe company, founded in 1997, owns 86 daily newspapers, 46 nondaily papers and four TV stations. In Alabama, it owns the News Courier in Athens and the Cullman Times.

RSA helps fund CNHI. According to the story, “The company will bring 70 high-paying jobs with salaries averaging $75,000 to the area.” Another report says that current employees will be offered the chance to move from Birmingham to Montgomery, and that replacements will be found for those not making the move.

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News + comedy = View of the City

A new Birmingham-focused news and comedy show debuted in April called “View of the City.” Hosted by comedian and artist Christopher Davis, the weekly half-hour satirical program features interviews, reports and miscellaneous segments on current events, newsmakers and oddities.

The program airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on Charter Cable channel 21 and online on the official site. But you can watch the first two episodes below.

Video: “View of the City,” April 25

Video: “View of the City,” May 2

Related stories:

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Alabama Public Television wins My Source education award

Alabama Public Television won a $3,000 My Source Education Innovation Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for “Flying Over Alabama: The Whooping Crane Story,” its online video on the migration of whooping cranes.

The award, one of 39 handed out in March in Washington to winning stations nationwide, recognizes public broadcasting stations that use pioneering approaches and emerging digital technologies to serve the educational needs of their communities on the air, online, at home and in the classroom.

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ABC 33/40′s Roy Hobbs arrested for drug possession

Station puts anchorman on temporary leave, hides bio on website

Roy Hobbs, ABC 33/40’s weekend anchorman, is on temporary leave. The reason? A run-in with the law. Twice.

His first encounter, date unknown, was when a Birmingham police officer found him in Woodlawn with a prostitute, suspended driver’s license and no proof of insurance. Hobbs was let off with a warning.

The second encounter, Friday night, ended with an arrest. Police say they found Hobbs with crack and a crack pipe. He was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. The arrest report also indicates he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

He was released Saturday morning on $800 bond.

Hobbs’ court date is May 10.

The station’s website removed him from the Talent Bios page, but has not removed his actual bio page. (Update: It has now been removed.)

Here’s his bio:

Roy Hobbs brings a wealth of experience to the weekend anchor desk at ABC 33/40. He is a veteran who has covered stories ranging from the Challenger disaster to the O.J. Simpson trial.

While Roy comes to Birmingham after a year as the morning anchor at the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, he has spent much of his career in the South and was eager to move to Birmingham. He previously anchored the No. 1  morning newscast during his three years in Nashville and he spent six years as the 5:00 anchor at the Fox affiliate in Atlanta. During that tenure, his newscast was one of the highest rated in the country.

Roy has received five Emmy Awards and numerous nominations.  He is a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists  and helped found the Houston chapter. He has also served as Vice President of the Nashville chapter and President of the Atlanta chapter.

In 2001 he joined a group of Black Journalists on a mission to Kenya to discuss freedom of the press at the invitation of East African Black Journalists and the Kenyan government.

Roy loves to be involved in the community by speaking to students at area schools as well as churches and other community groups. He has a large collection of comic books and records, enjoys movies and, of course, covering the news of the day.

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More coverage of  ABC 33/40.

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WERC, CBS 42 win six ABBYs each from Alabama Broadcasters Association

alabama broadcasters associationThe Alabama Broadcasters Association handed out its Best in Broadcasting Awards, or ABBYs. WERC (960 AM, 105.5 FM) and CBS 42 (WIAT) won six awards each at the fourth annual ceremony held on March 20.

Birmingham winners in bold.

Television

  • Judges Merit Award for Public Service Announcement: “Do Dah Day 2009,” WBRC
  • Public Service Announcement: “T-Town Paws,” WVUA
  • Promotion: “Best Things About Home,” WBMA
  • Commercial: “Father’s Day,” WBMA
  • Website: fox10tv.com, WALA
  • Local Programming: “Poison in the Air,” WIAT
  • Judges Merit Award for Reporter: Jonathan Hardison, WBRC
  • Reporter: Phillip Ohnemus, WIAT
  • Judges Merit Award for Sports Anchor: Adam Bagni, WNCF
  • Sports Anchor: Rick Karle, WBRC
  • Weather Anchor: James Spann, WBMA
  • News Anchor: Bob Grip, WALA
  • News Series: “Justice for Bridget,” WVUA
  • Judges Merit Award for Feature or Franchise: “Staying Above Water,” WIAT
  • Feature or Franchise: “County Road 12: Sammy the Cat,” WSFA
  • Spot News: “Mayor Langford Verdict,” WVTM
  • Regularly Scheduled Newscast: WIAT
  • Service Project: “One Class at a Time,” WIAT
  • Station of the Year: WIAT

Radio

PSA

  • Small Market: “Community Calendar,” WUAL-FM
  • Medium Market: “Breast Cancer,” WHLW-FM
  • Large Market: “97 Jamz Fall Festival,” WBHJ-FM

Promotion

  • Small Market: “Massacre on Meighan,” WKXX-FM
  • Medium Market: “Vintage Gospel,” WVAS-FM
  • Large Market: “Langford Coverage,” WERC-FM

Commercial

  • Small Market: “Dad’s BBQ,” WKXX-FM
  • Medium Market: “Rosie’s,” WXFL-FM
  • Large Market: “CB Roofing – Leaky Office,” WERC-FM

Web site

Sportscaster

  • Small Market: Brett Elmore, WJLX-AM
  • Medium Market: Rachine Francis, WVAS-FM
  • Large Market: Tom Morgan, WERC-FM

Reporter

  • Small Market: Brett Tannehill, WUAL-FM
  • Medium Market: Melanie Hogan, WVAS-FM
  • Large Market: Julius White, WBHK-FM

Personality or Team

  • Small Market: “The Chris Wright Show,” WFXO-FM
  • Medium Market: “Fletch of the Year,” WXFL-FM
  • Large Market: “Steve and Leah Show,” WERC-FM

Talk Show

  • Small Market: “Auburn/Opelika This Morning,” WANI-AM
  • Medium Market: “90.7 Perspectives,” WVAS-FM
  • Large Market: “Steve and Leah Show,” WERC-FM

Morning Show

  • Small Market: “Tige Rodgers Morning Show,” WMXA-FM
  • Medium Market: “Bubba & CJ Morning Show,” WBAM-FM
  • Large Market: “Buck Wilde Morning Show,” WBHJ-FM

Regularly Scheduled Newscast

  • Small Market: WHMA-FM
  • Medium Market: WVAS-FM
  • Large Market: WZZK-FM

Service Project

  • Small Market: “Kiwanis Radio Day,” WJLX-AM
  • Medium Market: “Charity Bowling,” WVAS-FM
  • Large Market: “Officer Davis,” WDXB-FM

Radio Station of the Year

  • WJLX-AM

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Alabama Associated Press 2009 broadcast award winners

The Alabama Associated Press 2009 broadcast award winners were announced last week.

Birmingham radio stations swept 14 of the 16 awards in their category, nine won by WBHM (90.3 FM). Birmingham TV stations took home 13 awards, with Fox 6 winning six awards.

AP News Cooperation award

Radio

  • WERC

Television

  • ABC 33/40
  • WHNT
  • WSFA

Radio

Note: All radio awards won by Birmingham stations, except for Nos. 7 and 15.

  1. Most Outstanding News Operation: WBHM
  2. Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast: WZZK, Don Dailey
  3. Extraordinary Coverage of a Scheduled Event: WBHM, Tanya Ott and Andrew Yeager, “Larry Langford Trial”
  4. Best Coverage of a Spot News Story: WERC, Neal Vickers
  5. Best General Sports: WBHM, Andrew Yeager and Tanya Ott, “Tide Flu” and “Greening the Green”
  6. Best Public Affairs/Documentary: WERC, “Strokes”
  7. Best Investigative Reporting: Alabama Public Radio, Brett Tannehill, “The Case of Bridget Lee”
  8. Best Hard-News Feature Story: WBHM, Tanya Ott
  9. Best Soft-News Feature Story: WBHM, Andrew Yeager, “Silly Bands”
  10. Best Reporter: WBHM, Andrew Yeager
  11. Best Anchor: WZZK, Don Dailey
  12. Best Commentator/Editorialist: WBHM, Marie Sutton, “Gay Marriage”
  13. Best Sports Reporter: WBHM, Andrew Yeager
  14. Best Sports Anchor: WERC, Tom Morgan
  15. Best Specialized Reporter: Alabama Public Radio, Alisa Beckwith-Ayilliath, “Health Coverage”
  16. Best Use of Tape: WBHM, Tanya Ott, “Grocery Auction”

WBHM posted its award-winning stories on its site.

Television

Note: Birmingham winners in bold.

1. Most Outstanding News Operation:

  • TV A: Fox 6 WBRC
  • TV AA: WHNT News 19
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4

2. Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast

  • TV A: CBS 42, 5 pm News
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Tiffany Golden, Preston Benson, Denise Vickers, David Williams
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV , Lynn Brooks, Terri Brewer, Wes Wyatt, Gary Harris, Jerome Davis, Jennifer Hamner, Jonathan Newman, Clare Stewart

3. Best Documentary

  • TV A: CBS 42, Cynthia Gould, Larry Ragan, Scott McDowell, John Johnson, Bill Payer, Bill Ballard, “Poison In The Air”
  • TV AA: WAFF 48, Jeff Castle, Kim Essex, Daniel Farmer, Kim Hester, Daniel Hopkin, Liz Hurley, Ben Isenhower, Amanda Jarrett, Blake Mann, Remeisha Shade, Mark Thornhill, Brad Travis, Todd Wade, “20 Years Later: The Twister That Changed It All”
  • TV AAA: WTVY, Denise Bradberry, “Surviving The Storm”

4. Best Series

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, Yenu Wodajo, Bruce Nix, and Bill Castle, “Jobless”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Carson Clark and David Wood, “Murder in the Snow”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Terri Brewer and Jerome Davis, “Justice for Bridget”

5. Best Investigative Reporting

  • TV A: Fox 6 WBRC, Ronda Robinson, “Davita Dialysis”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Wendy Halloran, Shane Hays, Denise Vickers, Joe Glotzbach, Jacob Greene, Breach of Trust”
  • TV AAA: WTVY-News 4, Skylar Zwick and Jason Wright, “Uninformed Security”

6. Best Spot News Story

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, Ainsley Bruister, Jon Pinnick, Melissa Riopka, Chris Reid, Bill Castle, Jerry Wade, Pam Huff, Tracy Haynes, Wyatt Caruthers, Teresa Tolson, Kim Roy, Angie Ephrom, “Officer Shot”
  • TV AA: WSFA 12 News, “May Montgomery Floods”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Alex Joseph, “Cows on Interstate”

7. Best Feature Story

  • TV A: WKRG, Alan Sealls, “Hurricane Fastball”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, David Wood and Dan Satterfield, “Dan in Space”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Terri Brewer abd Jerome Davis, “Behind the Badge: Self Defense”

8. Best Sports Story

  • TV A: WALA Fox 10, Cary Chow and Kevin Sullivan, “Taylor Haugen’s Legacy”
  • TV AA: WAFF, Scott Thiesen and Blake Mann, “Running Wild”
  • TV AAA: WTVY-News 4, Denise Bradberry and Chris Harris, “The Last Football Game at EHS”

9. Best Sports Feature

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, Jeff Speegle and Todd Dewey, “The Game Goes On”
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV, Dee Jackson, Stu McCann, and Stephen Carter, “The Game That Changed Auburn”
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Brad Sherwood, “Ultimate Frisbee”

10. Best Sports Program

  • TV A: Fox 6 WBRC, Rick Karle, Mike Dubberly, Brian Pope, Rob Davis, Fox 6 Photography Team, “Sideline 2009”
  • TV AA: WAFF-TV, Scott Thiesen, Carl Prather, Eric Sollman, WAFF Photography Staff, WAFF Production Staff, “Friday Night Fever”
  • TV AAA: WVUA TV , Gary Harris, Rodney Orr, John Huddleston, Todd Hoyer,Jonathan Newman, Jennifer Hamner, Scott Spence,Ron Hamner, Keith Dobbins, Lynn Brooks, “Tider Insider TV Recruiting Special”

11. Extraordinary Coverage of a Planned Event

  • T VA: Fox 6 WBRC, Scott Richards, Janet Hall, Jonathan Hardison, Ashley Nix, Anthony Moore, Jamie Johnston, Perry Dawson, Neal Posey, Lloyd Alford, “Larry Langford Guilty”
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Denise Vickers, David Williams, Jerry Hayes, Allison Duff, Tiffany Golden, Shane Hays, David Wood, Carson Clark, Andrew Wilkins, “Tornado 89: Then and Now”
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Lynn Brooks, Terry Saban, Keith Dobbins, Amy Eifler, Jennifer Hamner, Jonathan Newman, Scott Spence, Roy Clem, Clare Stewart, Terri Brewer, John Huddleston, “UA Homecoming Parade”

12. Victor Irving Best Staff Photography

  • TV A: WALA Fox 10, Kevin Sullivan, Rob Lehocky, Franz Barraza
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Gregg Stone, Shane Hays, David Wood, Andrew Wilkins
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Jerome Davis, Parrish Alleman, Todd Hoyer, John Huddleston, Alex Joseph

13. Best Web Journalism

  • TV A: CBS 42, Bill Payer and Chris Mitchell
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Claire Aiello
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Toygar Ayla, News 4 Staff

14. Best Reporter

  • TV A: WPMI, Andrea Ramey
  • TV AA: WSFA 12 News, Cody Holyoke
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV , Tyler Morton

15. Stan Tarilton Best Photographer

  • TV A: WALA Fox 10, Kevin Sullivan
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, David Wood
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Erica Proffer

16. Best News Anchor

  • TV A: WPMI, Greg Peterson
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV, Stefanie Hicks
  • TV AAA: WTVY News 4, Skylar Zwick

17. Best Weather Anchor

  • TV A: ABC 33/40, James Spann
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV , Chris Bailey
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Wes Wyatt

18. Best Sports Anchor

  • TV A: Fox 6, Rick Karle
  • TV AA: WAKA-TV, Dee Jackson
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Gary Harris

19. Best Specialized Reporter

  • TV A: Fox 6, Ronda Robinson
  • TV AA: WHNT-TV, Wendy Halloran
  • TV AAA: WVUA-TV, Terri Brewer

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Fox 6’s Bill Bolen retires

Anchorman Bill Bolen, a fixture in Birmingham television and radio for 56 years, signed off today after 41 years with Fox 6. The 81-year-old Selma native ended his long career on the morning show “Good Day Alabama.”

Gov. Riley declared today as “Bill Bolen Day.” Mayor William Bell presented him with a key to the city.

Bolen graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of arts degree in radio arts. He served in the Air Force and worked different positions in Birmingham radio, including at WSGN (610 AM). He started on television with CBS affiliate WBMG (now WIAT) in 1965, joining WBRC-6 in 1969.

General manager Lou Kirchen said [video]:

In a time, when we may believe that chivalry is dead, we only have to look at the life of Mr. Bolen to know that’s not so. He will be long remembered for his generous smile, his deep, warm voice, his sense of humor, his faith and its manifestation in his commitment to our community. We are really going to miss you Mr. B.

Bolen received the American Cancer Society’s Life Inspiration Award in 1997 after surviving his own bout with the disease.

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EXCLUSIVE: Bright House Networks ending public access channel

Bright House Channel 4“Dean and Company,” the quirky fixture of Birmingham cable, debuted its annual Christmas special earlier this week on Channel 4. That’s the Bright House public access channel.

But the channel itself is going off the air in 2010. On Jan. 1, Bright House Networks is moving public access programming to its “In Demand” channels for government, religion and sports. Those channels are in the digital tier.

Bright House NetworksWhen asked how many Bright House subscribers pay for basic cable vs. digital cable, a company official replied that he “didn’t know.” For comparison, competitor Time Warner Cable has 14.6 million basic cable subscribers and 8.8 million digital tier subscribers. Such a move could shrink the audience for public access programs by 60 percent or more.

The programming will continue to be available through the cable system’s “on demand” feature.

Among the programs affected are Birmingham city council meetings, “Birmingham Public Library Presents,” “Real Arts Birmingham,” “Moving Forward from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute” and “The Best of the Sidewalk Film Festival.”

Bright House is the sole cable operator for the City of Birmingham as well as other nearby cities.

Although cable companies are required by the federal government to carry public access channels, some markets have cut their channels because of low viewership or lax city requirements. Time Warner closed 12 Los Angeles public access studios providing programming for 11 channels in January.

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CBS 42 owner clears bankruptcy

cbs42-logoNew Vision Television, owner of CBS 42 (WIAT) in Birmingham, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month. We first reported the bankruptcy in July.

The company, based in Atlanta and Los Angeles, owns 14 stations nationwide.

“New Vision now has one of the strongest balance sheets in our sector,” Jason Elkin, CEO and founder of New Vision, said in a statement. “Being debt-free will enable us to invest in our people, our product and complementary acquisitions to drive New Vision forward, while our competitors continue to focus on daily liquidity and covenant compliance.”

New Vision made no job or benefit cuts linked to the reorganization, the company said.

Other local TV notes:

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EXCLUSIVE: Fox 6 has another round of layoffs, drops Saturday 5 p.m. newscast

Second round of cuts in 2009 for Raycom-owned station

Fox 6Media of Birmingham has learned that Fox 6 (WBRC) had another round of layoffs on Monday, eliminating several part-time positions and declining renewal on a few contracts, affecting marketing and editorial departments.

Fox 6 laid off 10 employees in February, adding to the dozens of TV jobs cut in Birmingham in 2009.

In addition, Fox 6 has eliminated the 5 p.m. Saturday newscast.

Montgomery-based Raycom Media owns the Birmingham Fox affiliate.

Station management did not respond to e-mailed questions.

Update 7/20: We were going to peg the number at 13 laid off, but we found out today that reporter and weekend morning anchorwoman Tiffany Bittner was let go today, bringing the total to 14 total.

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