Monthly Archives: April 2006

WKMG Dominates AP Awards

WKMG was the big winner when the 2006 Florida Associated Press Broadcasters awards were presented on Saturday night. Local 6 News won both first- and second-place awards in the Best TV Newscast and Individual Achievement categories, plus a first place in spot news.

The Jan. 11, 2005, WKMG newscast — featuring exclusive video of a fatal plane crash on Dubsdread Golf Course — was voted best newscast, edging another WKMG newscast from Aug. 2. Sky 6 pilot Dan McCarthy and photojournalist Chris Miller won the spot news category with the aerial video of the Dubsdread crash.

In the Individual Achievement competition, Tony Pipitone took first place with a composite of live, investigative and feature reports, while Local 6’s Erik von Ancken won the second-place award.

WFTV received a first-place award in Hard News Feature for Berndt Petersen’s "Lake County Cold Case." Channel 9 also picked up second-place awards for Sportscast, Public Affairs and Best Overall.

WESH received one award, for a Marc Rice photo essay with Kathy Marsh titled "The Chicken Man."

Orlando’s stations were competing in the AP’s large-market division, that also includes stations from Miami and Tampa.

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Marla is Back … And On Channel 6

Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel breaks the news that longtime Central Florida anchor Marla Weech is coming back to TV, this time on WKMG-Channel 6. The gig is listed as only temporary (for now), as she will join Local 6’s morning show to fill in for Mark McEwen as he recovers from his stroke.

Weech, who anchored at WFTV from the 1980s until 2003 when she was bounced to sister station WRDQ-Channel 27 to helm its 10 p.m. newscast, has anchored at Channel 6 before. She was the weekend anchor at then-WCPX (click for video) before joining WFTV as one of its lead anchors.

Maxwell reports that WKMG station manager Henry Maldonado said his decision bring in Weech once her non-compete clause with WFTV/WRDQ ended was an easy one. "I’ve always liked her," he said. "And she’s always been on the radar of viewers." Weech starts later this month.

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Personnel Changes Coming to WESH

You’ll likely be seeing some new faces on WESH soon, but the real question is whether these new faces will be replacing any existing ones at the station.

WESH is advertising for an evening news anchor and a meteorologist on its website. The anchor might be part of Channel 2’s plan to break its evening newscasts back into 30-minute blocks. Several months ago in a staff shakeup, WESH sent 5:30 anchor Raul Martinez to weekends and decided to package the 5 p.m. newscast as an hourlong show with Jim Payne and Wendy Chioji anchoring it as well as the 6 p.m. newscast.

As for the meteorologist, WESH has not yet filled its weekend morning weather slot, previously held by Marty Stebbins. This might be it, or is there another change in the weather coming? Stay tuned …

Orlando Sentinel good guy Scott Maxwell writes today about WOFL’s Jim Van Fleet — weatherman by day, country music sensation by night. Give it a read here.

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9 Reporter Washed Up? No, Just Wet

Yesterday, we reported how WFTV is having a contest to try to liven up its live shots. Well, now the subjects of the stories are doing their part to spice things up even in taped pieces.

WFTV reporter Leland Vittert was doing a story about local residents who are waiting for headstones for their departed loved ones to be delivered, and how the headstone maker has been very hard to contact. Vittert went to the last-known address of the headstone maker. He was greeted by having a pitcher of water thrown on him. Here’s the video from WFTV.

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