If you’re like me, and find yourself tuning into Severe Weather Center 9 on Channel 9.2 during thunderstorms or bad weather, you’re going to be disappointed in this news. WFTV is removing the 24-hour radar and weather service from its digital subchannel, and replacing it with new Spanish-language channel MegaTV.
According to TV News Check, the deal was signed this week, and the new channel will launch on Monday, Jan. 28. “We are excited about our new partnership with MegaTV and pleased to be able to offer Hispanic viewers in Central Florida a fresh alternative, as a new and unique source of Spanish-language programming which includes terrific shows produced daily in Puerto Rico,” Miguel Rivera, WFTV’s station manager and general sales manager, told TV News Check. “Mega’s innovative brand of entertainment programing added to the credibility and resources of WFTV 9, the local television news leader is indeed a powerful combination.”
On Severe Weather Center 9, WFTV has posted a message saying the Doppler radar will be available on WFTV.com once it’s removed from channel 9.2.
The station posted a lot of old photos on a Facebook account, and there was a familiar face in the gallery showing station folks from 1977. It was longtime Orlando weatherman Danny Treanor. Before he came to Orlando’s WFTV-Channel 9 in 1978, Treanor was forecasting weather up in the panhandle. Check out a couple of pictures of Treanor and others on the WALA-TV news team in 1977 here.
WESH 2 anchor Martha Sugalski had some personal “live, local, late-breaking” news at her Seminole County home this morning when a bear broke into her screened-in pool enclosure.
“Woke up to a MASSIVE bear in our pool area who broke thru screen and was trying to get into cabinets. Don’t need coffee to wake up,” Sugalski tweeted today.
According to WESH.com, this is the sixth bear Sugalski has seen in her Seminole neighborhood in the past two months — more sightings than she has had in the previous six years at the home. It has been the summer of the bear on Orlando TV news, with bears showing up unexpectedly in several neighborhoods, in downtown Winter Park and even in downtown Orlando next to the 408.
WESH dispatched a crew to document the break-in and interviewed Sugalski’s husband.
It’s sort of an anchor exchange between WFTV and WFOR.
When WFTV took Benson off its 10 p.m. newscast on sister station WRDQ-27, his replacement was Jorge Estevez — who came back to Orlando from WFOR. Estevez left WFTV in 2006 to become morning anchor at WFOR. Small world, right?
In a move expected by many in the TV industry, WFTV has named Matt Parcell as news director — replacing Orlando TV legend Bob Jordan. Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reported that Parcell started his new role on Monday, after Jordan exited last Friday for his new gig at Seattle’s KOMO-CBS 7. Wrote Boedeker:
Parcell, who has been at WFTV since 1997, had been managing editor and Jordan’s No. 2. Parcell said viewers won’t see a change in the station’s approach. “We are about local news and investigative reporting,” Parcell said. “Channel 9 Eyewitness News — it’s not Bob Jordan’s news. Jordan guided us, but we use research. We take a broader look. It’s not top down. It’s a group effort.”
Meanwhile, former PBS station WMFE-24 finally has a new owner — the University of Central Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Federal Communications Commission gave approval for UCF to take over the WMFE license as part of a $3.3 million deal. The move will mean “WUCF TV” — the PBS channel that UCF runs with Brevard Community college on WBCC-TV 68, will be moving to Channel 24 — the longtime home of PBS in Central Florida. Read the full story here.
WESH-2 weekend meteorologist Malachi Rodgers looks like he’ll finally have some weekends off. NewsBlues.com reports Rodgers is heading home to South Carolina to be the new weekday morning meteorologist on WSPA-CBS 7 in Spartanburg. According to his bio on WESH.com, Rodgers’ hometown is Jonesville, S.C. He was “formerly a meteorologist at WIS-TV, WACH-TV, and WOLO-TV in Columbia, S.C., and WCCB-TV in Charlotte, N.C.,” his bio says. Rodgers joined WESH in October 2007.
Other changes in Orlando TV news…
Central Florida News 13 weekend anchor Adam Longo is heading out west, taking a weekend anchor and weekday reporter position at KPHO-CBS 5 in Phoenix, Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reports. Longo joined News 13 in 2009 after spending a year and a half at WKMG-Local 6, before being dropped by the station during a large-scale staff reduction. Long starts his new job on Aug. 27. …
NewsBlues.com says the man replacing Longo will be Joel Schipper, weekend anchor and reporter at WNDU-NBC 16 in South Bend, Ind. According to his station bio, “A native to the Midwest, Joel was born and raised near Grand Rapids, MI. He moved to Barry University in Miami, FL on an acting scholarship and finished his college career at Grand Valley State University in Michigan with a degree in broadcast journalism.” …
Fox 35 has hired a new weekend morning anchor and weekday reporter. NewsBlues.com says she’s Lauren Johnson, and she’s coming to Orlando from Fox O&O WHBQ-Fox 13 in Memphis. If her name sounds familiar, that’s because she previously worked in O-Town at News 13.