Fox 35 hires Maliska as new news director

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 Here’s your Friday Fast Five:

Gavin Maliska is the new news director for WOFL-Fox 35, according to NewsBlues. Maliska comes from Tribune-owned Fox affiliate WXIN in Indianapolis, where he was the ND. His Fox-heavy background includes being the deuce at WJBK in Detroit and managing editor at WFLD in Chicago. He also was managing editor for an internet sports company, and he was formerly the deputy business editor at the Chicago Sun-Times (got to like those newspaper guys!). …

Good news for Maliska is that the also-ran station he’s arriving to lead didn’t finish last in Tuesday night’s election coverage. According to Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker, WFTV led the local ratings race with an 11.1 rating, followed by WESH (8 rating), CNN (7), Fox News Channel (6.7), MSNBC (4.6), WOFL (3.8) and — ouch! — WKMG (3.8). That placed Local 6 ahead of only Central Florida News 13’s 1.9 rating. …

WKMG sports anchor “Ping” — aka David Pingalore — is playing sports instead of covering it this week. He’s playing as an amateur in Disney’s Children Miracle Network Classic tournament that started Thursday. According to the Sentinel’s Josh Robbins, Ping played college golf at Jacksonville University, lettering during the 1993-94 academic year.  “Just being out here on the driving range now, I feel the adrenaline,” Pingalore said before the event. “But I can only imagine Thursday. It’ll be the equivalent of six Mountain Dews.” Ping shot a 65 on the par 72 course and was tied for 51st place among the amateurs after the first round. Click here for the leaderboard. …

Don Smith is leaving WESH’s creative servics department to head West to Salt Lake City for a similar role with the ABC/CW duppoly. Smith came KHOU to WESH back in 2005, ane he helped change the station’s on-air look with some memorable campaigns. And he likes barbecue, so you know he’s a good guy. …

And finally, Andy Fisher — former general sales manager at WFTV — is retiring his post as president of Cox Television. Fisher has been with Cox for 24 years and he has been the company’s president since 2001.  Cox, of course, owns Channel 9.

 

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Roger Simmons has been blogging about Orlando television since 2001. You can email him at roger@rogersimmons.com