Tag Archives: Martha Sugalski

WESH anchors keep rolling in Celebrity Smackdown game

smack3The WESH duo of Jim Payne and Martha Sugalski dispatched WKMG’s main anchors to move into the third round of OrlandoSentinel.com’s Celebrity Smackdown game. Also advancing to face the Channel 2 Cinderellas — the anchors of WFTV’s top-rated Daybreak show, Greg Warmoth and Vanessa Echols. Earlier, Payne and Sugalski upset WFTV evening anchors Bob Opsahl and Martie Salt.

More on the other big O-Town TV matchup after the jump …

Continue reading WESH anchors keep rolling in Celebrity Smackdown game

WESH’s Payne-Sugalski about to knock off WFTV’s Opsahl-Salt?

We’re in the dog days of summer. The Casey Anthony case has cooled down, the tropics are relatively quiet, and other than the python-killing mania sweeping the state, there’s not much going on.

That’s why the folks in the Orlando Sentinel’s marketing department decided to shake up the summer a bit. They’ve produced an online contest to pick the most popular broadcasters in Orlando TV and radio. Called the Orlando Celebrity Smackdown, the summer sizzler is already pulling in thousands of online votes from Central Floridians. The contest is structured like a tournament, with matchups of broadcasters in each round. Winners from each week’s voting advance to the next round to face a new "challenger."

So far, the results on the TV side pretty much mirror what you would find in the Nielsen book — with one major exception. The No. 1- and No. 2-rated evening anchor teams are facing each other in the opening round: WFTV’s Bob Opsahl and Martie Salt against WESH’s Jim Payne and Martha Sugalski. Checking on the vote totals Thursday night, the WESH pair has more votes than the WFTV duo. I guess this would be akin to a No. 1 seed being knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, if the voting pattern holds.

The deadline for the first round of voting is midnight on Sunday. Round 2 will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. You can play and follow along here.

(Full disclosure: Yeah, it’s a silly, unscientific contest, but I do love the traffic this is generating for OrlandoSentinel.com.)


Continue reading WESH’s Payne-Sugalski about to knock off WFTV’s Opsahl-Salt?

Chijoi leaving WESH 2 News after 20 years

WESH veteran anchor Wendy Chioji — who celebrates her 20th anniversary with the station today — will leave Channel 2 at the end of the May sweeps. In a press release issued Thursday, WESH said Chioji’s decision to leave “was based on her personal interest in moving west and the opportunity to open a new business in Park City, Utah. She and two partners will launch a new Vision Quest cycling center in that city.”

“It’s a bittersweet time for me,” said Chioji. “I have loved living in Central Florida for 20 years. I’ve also learned that life cycles have an ending, and it’s time to end my life cycle at WESH. I am forever grateful to Hearst-Argyle and WESH for the amazing two decades-long run here. It has allowed me to work with the most talented people in the business and live in one of the greatest cities on earth. I am excited about my new adventure.”

It became apparent not too long ago that WESH was turning away from its iconic anchor when the station brought in Martha Sugalski to anchor the 11 p.m. news with Jim Payne. Despite WESH’s improved numbers at 11 p.m., Chioji remains popular.

How popular? News of Chioji’s departure was among the top stories on the OrlandoSentinel.com Web site, and a photo gallery of her career at WESH had more than 65,000 page views on the Sentinel Web site on Thursday. That’s really not surprising for someone who has been in viewers’ homes for 20 years, sharing personal information such as her battle with breast cancer.

“Wendy is a class act,” said WESH 2 News Director Barbara Maushard. “She will be greatly missed in the WESH 2 newsroom and in homes all around Central Florida.”

No decisions have been made regarding Chioji’s replacement or other anchor assignment changes at the station.

Continue reading Chijoi leaving WESH 2 News after 20 years

After 20 years, Wendy Chioji to leave WESH

WESH veteran anchor Wendy Chioji — who celebrates her 20th anniversary with the station today — will leave Channel 2 at the end of the May sweeps. In a press release issued Thursday, WESH said Chioji’s decision to leave “was based on her personal interest in moving west and the opportunity to open a new business in Park City, Utah. She and two partners will launch a new Vision Quest cycling center in that city.”

 “It’s a bittersweet time for me,” said Chioji. “I have loved living in Central Florida for 20 years. I’ve also learned that life cycles have an ending, and it’s time to end my life cycle at WESH. I am forever grateful to Hearst-Argyle and WESH for the amazing two decades-long run here. It has allowed me to work with the most talented people in the business and live in one of the greatest cities on earth. I am excited about my new adventure.”

 It became apparent not too long ago that WESH was turning away from its iconic anchor when the station brought in Martha Sugalski to anchor the 11 p.m. news with Jim Payne. Despite WESH’s improved numbers at 11 p.m., Chioji remains popular.

 How popular? News of Chioji’s departure was among the top stories on the OrlandoSentinel.com Web site, and a photo gallery of her career at WESH had more than 65,000 page views on the Sentinel Web site on Thursday. That’s really not surprising for someone who has been in viewers’ homes for 20 years, sharing personal information such as her battle with breast cancer.

 “Wendy is a class act,” said WESH 2 News Director Barbara Maushard. “She will be greatly missed in the WESH 2 newsroom and in homes all around Central Florida.”

 No decisions have been made regarding Chioji’s replacement or other anchor assignment changes at the station.

Continue reading After 20 years, Wendy Chioji to leave WESH

WESH prepares to swap anchors

Expect a complete makeover of Channel 2’s anchor assignments shortly, according to a WESH insider. Included will be a solo anchor shift at 6 p.m. for Wendy Chioji, a return to the 11 p.m. show by Jim Payne and a more prominent evening role for morning weather guy Tony Mainolfi.

I haven’t received confirmation yet, but here’s what the insider says the new assignments are:
  • 4-5 p.m. — Martha Sugalski and Chioji anchor
  • 5-6 p.m. — Payne and Sugalski anchor
  • 6-6:30 p.m. — Chioji anchors solo
  • 11-11:35 p.m. — Payne and Sugalski anchor
Payne and Sugalski have been anchoring the 4 p.m. show, Chioji and Raoul Martinez have been doing the the 5 p.m. with Payne and Chioji at 6 p.m. and Sugalski and Chioji at 11.

The anchor reassignments are due in some part to the hasty assignment of Martinez to anchor WESH’s new 7-9 a.m. newscast on CW18 with Eryka Washington.

What Mainolfi’s move to evenings mean for meteorologist Amy Sweezey remains to be seen.

Continue reading WESH prepares to swap anchors