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.
“Ping” was right. And, yes, that’s news. As WKMG sports anchor David Pingalore first reported Tuesday, former Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer accepted the head coaching job at The Ohio State University on Monday. While Ping said Meyer agreed to a 7-year, $40-million contract, USA Today says. “Meyer agreed to a six-year contract worth $4 million annually with retention bonuses for 2014, 2016 and 2018.” Local 6 was crowing about Ping’s scoop on Monday. Still waiting for this Ping scoop to happen. …
Following a 60 Minutes report on Sunday about homeless children in Central Florida, WKMG held a telethon on Monday. The station raised more than $19,000 and had additional offers of food and clothing. Nice job, Local 6. Read the full story here …
WKMG and WFTV weren’t able to agree on who won the demo crown for most viewers at 11 p.m. during the November sweeps — until now. Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reported Monday that in the fight for viewers in the 25-to-54 age group, Channel 9’s Eyewitness News averaged 29,000 viewers and WKMG’s Local 6 News had 28,300 — a difference of just 700 viewers. WFTV easily won in the household count in all newscasts. More November ratings results here. …
Former WKMG reporter Tarik Minor, now at WJXT-Channel 4 in Jacksonville, and wife Melanie Lawson are expecting a baby. Why is this news? Lawson, a morning anchor at the Jacksonville station, announced their happy news during a newscast on Friday. Click here for the video. …
An eagle-eyed Orlando TV news viewer sent us an email noting that WKMG did its Saturday night newscast “at a table in the newsroom.” Not sure what was up, but the Sixers were back at their regular anchor desk on Sunday night.
With college football in the midst of an expansion craze, WKMG Sports Director David “Ping” Pingalorehad a big scoop Wednesday: “multiple college football sources have said that the University of Central Florida and Memphis could be invited to join the Big East conference as soon as next week.”
Big East commissioner John Marinatto and other league officials told FanHouse that an Orlando TV report claiming the Memphis and the University of Central Florida would be invited to join the Big East as soon as next week is inaccurate. “Those reports are not true,” Marinatto told FanHouse Thursday.
This isn’t the first time Ping has gone out on a limb with a report. Back in December, he reported that Florida Gators football Coach Urban Meyer had a heart attack during mid-season — one health reason that may have led to the coach’s decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the team.
As a UCF grad and Knights fan, I hope Ping’s latest report proves to be true.
WKMG-Local 6 sports anchor David “Ping” Pingalore said Monday evening he stands behind his Saturday report that Florida Gators Coach Urban Meyer had a heart attack during mid-season — one health reason that may have led to the coach’s decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the team.
During WKMG’s “The 6 O’Clock News,” Pingalore reported live via phone from New Orleans, where the Gators are set to play Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. He elaborated on his Saturday report, saying Meyer himself told the Gators players he had a heart attack.
“On Saturday night I did report from a source that head coach Urban Meyer did tell the team sometime on Saturday that in mid-season he suffered a heart attack, and that source continues to stand by that story. We stand by that story,” Pingalore said. “Coach Meyer on Sunday denied any kind of rumor or fact or whatever it is that he suffered a heart attack. He said he did not suffer a heart attack. But our source inside that team meeting did say that Coach Meyer did tell the team he did suffer a heart attack. And Meyer, he kind of walked around a lot of those questions that were asked of him about his health [during Sunday’s news conference.]”
“Ping” has been right with other Gators scoops, so that’s why this claim is being taken seriously by many despite UF’s denials.
Also one other interesting note about the Urban Meyer saga: WOFL-Fox 35 — which got rid of its full-time sports anchors and segments awhile ago — is running promos touting that it was the only station in town to carry Meyer’s Sunday afternoon news conference.
The fine readers of Orlando Magazine have once again selected the choices for “Best of Orlando” in a number of categories. Alas, RogerSimmons.com didn’t place among best local Web sites this time, but here are the results for the television categories:
Best Local TV Station: (1) WFTV-Channel 9, (2) WESH-Channel 2, (3) WOFL-Channel 35
Best TV News Team: (1) WESH-Channel 2, (2) WFTV-Channel 9, (3) WKMG-Channel 6
Best TV Sportscaster: (1) Pat Clarke, WESH; (2) David Pingalore, WKMG; (3) TIE: Phil Burton, WFTV; Stuart Scott, ESPN
Best TV Forecaster: (1) Tom Terry, WFTV; (2) TIE: Tom Sorrells, WKMG; Danny Treanor, Central Florida News 13