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. …
If you were watching the cable or national networks’ coverage of this week’s Texas tornadoes, you might have spotted a couple of former Orlando newsers. Former WKMG morning meteorologist Larry Mowry was doing storm coverage on KTVT-CBS 11 in Read More
In the summer of surprising changes at WKMG Local 6 continued Tuesday with word that main 6 and 11 p.m. anchor Mike Garofalo has left the station.
This switch “started with Mike’s decision,” WKMG GM Skip Valet told Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker. Garofalo was married in October to a reporter at Post-Newsweek sister station WPLG-10 in Miami. Apparently the two decided they wanted to live in Miami.
Garofalo arrived at WKMG in December 2008 from KOAT in Albuquerque, where he worked with his now-wife. In Orlando, he’ll likely will be best remembered as the man who replaced longtime popular anchor Bob Frier on Channel 6′s anchor desk.
Garofalo’s replacement — at least for now — will be Erik von Ancken. He has the 6 and 11 p.m. co-anchor slot next to Lauren Rowe on an interim basis and is a candidate to take the job permanently. “I have a lot of confidence in Erik and want to give him a chance to do the job,” Valet told Boedeker.
In an odd arrangement, von Ancken was anchoring on Saturday evenings and Garofalo was anchoring Sunday evenings. Now that both are off the weekend shift, who’s going to anchor? WKMG said that task falls to Bridgett Williams, who arrives at Local 6 from WAGT, the NBC affiliate in Augusta, Ga.
Labor Day will mark the launch of WFTV’s 6:30 p.m. newscast on sister station WRDQ-TV 27. The new Eyewitness News at 6:30, anchored by Vanessa Welch and Josh Benson, will go head-to-head against WKMG-Local 6′s The 6 o’clock News with Lauren Rowe and Mike Garofalo. So Central Florida … which local newscast at 6:30 p.m. do you think will have the most viewers at the end of the month?
Local 6 has been doing news at 6:30 for more than year. Eyewitness News is Central Florida’s top-rated news, but will viewers who watch at 5, 5:30 or 6 follow the Channel 9 gang over to WRDQ at 6:30?
Former WKMG-Local 6 anchor Bob Frier, who recently signed with WOFL-Fox 35, will make his debut on his new station Dec. 14, according to station promos. Still no word on how the anchor duties at Fox 35 are going to be shuffled with Frier’s arrival. But it’s great that he will be back on TV — and may make the difference in pushing Fox 35 permanently ahead of WKMG in the early evening time slots where they square off. …
Holiday cheer, courtesy of Central Florida’s News Leader: When the City of Orlando said it would not have a Christmas tree this year due to budget cuts, WFTV-Channel 9 repsonded. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “A 31-foot blue spruce was donated by Warren Brown and Co., a tree farm, and the $6,800 cost of transporting it from North Carolina and installing it is being paid by AirTran Airways and WFTV.” Channel 9 is also a sponsor of the holiday Light Up UCF event. …
What will WFTV do when Oprah Winfrey ends her talk show in 2011? It’s probably too early to tell, but according to Broadcasting & Cable, most ABC O&O’s which air Oprah already know what they’re doing – more news. “According to many sources, executives at the ABC stations that serve as Oprah’s key station group have long said they will fill the time slots by expanding their local news. The ABC stations remain strong–even in today’s tough environment–and are news leaders,” B&C reported So, don’t be surprised to see WFTV’s Eyewitness News starting at 4 p.m. come September 2011. That’s still a long way off, and lots of things could happen, but that’s my bet. …
They’re hearing wedding bells over at WKMG. Local 6 evening anchor Mike Garofalo got hitched, and morning anchor Laura Diaz got engaged. Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reports that Garofalo married Sasha Andrade, a reporter at Post-Newsweek sister station WPLG-Local 10 in Miami. Boedeker says Diaz got engaged a month ago “to a WKMG colleague she identifies only as Mike.” Diaz told Boedeker, ”He’s in sales. He’s in the other world, what we call the dark side.”
It’s been a good, long while since I’ve blogged about anything. Buy my resolution for 2009 is to write more — so I’m getting an early start. Here’s some of the stuff that’s been going on recently in O-Town’s TV Land …
Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera has left WESH. Cabrera’s agent, Rob Jordan, told Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker, “He signed a confidentiality agreement and is not commenting. It was all very amicable.” According to Boedeker, WESH space reporter Dan Billow — who has a meteorology degree — may be helping out with the weather now that Channel 2 is down to just four mets. Cabrera had been with WESH since May 2006, but what’s next for him? Well, he is doing voiceover work. He has a Web site where you can hear some of his samples.
Is Bob Frier getting pushed out at WKMG? We hope not, but it sure looks suspicious over at Local 6. The station has brought in Mike Garofalo from KOAT in Albuquerque to anchor the 4 and 6 p.m. newscasts with Jacqueline London. Frier will now co-anchor the 5 and 11 p.m. shows with London, and Garofalo will report for the 11 p.m. show. There is an O-Town connection with Garofalo. Back in New Mexico, working with Garofalo at KOAT was former WOFL-Fox 35 anchor Shelly Ribando.
Do you realize that as we head into 2009, the only news director who started 2008 with an O-Town station and is finishing the year is WFTV’s Bob Jordan? Bob Longo at WESH is the newest ND in town, coming from WTAE in Pittsburgh to replace Barb Maushard, who took a corporate job with Hearst-Argyle. WOFL-Fox 35 brought in Gavin Maliska in November to replace Bob Clinkingbeard, and in February WKMG hired Steve Hyvonen from WEWS in Cleveland in replace Susan Forbes.