That’s perhaps the best way to describe what happened Thursday at Amway Center when Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy — confirming a report by WKMG sports anchor David “Ping” Pingalore — said Dwight Howard asked the team to fire him. Van Gundy had just finished telling the assembled reporters that management told him Howard wanted him fired, when Howard walked up and put his arm around the coach.
Unaware of what Van Gundy had just told the media, Howard asked, “Is Dave Ping here today, the guy who started this BS?” Van Gundy then excused himself and left Howard to fend off questions. Watch the raw video from OrlandoSentinel.com
Channels 2 and 6 both led off their 6 p.m. newscasts with the less-than-Magic moment. “Ping” wasn’t in attendance for Van Gundy’s comments, but tweeted that he was eager to see Dwight after Thursday night’s Magic-Knicks game — a game the lackluster Orlando team lost by 16 points. Stay tuned — this saga isn’t over yet.
The changes keep coming at Channel 9, and there’s a familiar face returning to town. WFTV announced this week that former anchor Jorge Estevez will be back on the Eyewitness News anchor desk starting June 4.
Estevez left WFTV in 2006 for CBS O&O WFOR-4 in Miami. He’s coming back to Orlando to report for WFTV but also anchor on sister station WRDQ-27 with Vanessa Welch at 6:30 p.m. and Martie Salt at 10 p.m. He’s replacing Josh Benson, who will be leaving WFTV-WRDQ after veteran Greg Warmoth was elevated as “heir apparent” for Bob Opsahl’s anchor chair.
Video of Estevez’s most recent audition at WFTV appeared to accidentally make its way onto the Internet and was indexed by Google earlier this week. Oops. But that’s OK.
Estevez is already going out of his way to ingratiate himself to his new co-anchors, sending them flowers — based on a picture posted on Twitter on Thursday.
Popular former WFTV anchor Chris Egert, who left Channel 9 in 2007 to head to Cox sister station KIRO-CBS 7 in Seattle, is heading to Minneapolis. NewsBlues.com reports that Egert is making the move to care for his ailing father. On Thursday, Egert posted on his Facebook page that his last day as morning anchor at KIRO is Friday, and that he’ll start at KSTP-ABC 5 in Minneapolis on April 26. …
What’s the deal, you ask? I’ve been very busy with my real job and also took some vacation time. Plus, it was good to take a blogging break.
But now it’s back to chronicling the news that comes across your Orlando TV sets. Here’s one prime reason why I love to blog about Orlando TV news — and from one of the most entertaining Orlando news anchors on Twitter… Where else does this stuff happen?