If you’re like me, and find yourself tuning into Severe Weather Center 9 on Channel 9.2 during thunderstorms or bad weather, you’re going to be disappointed in this news. WFTV is removing the 24-hour radar and weather service from its digital subchannel, and replacing it with new Spanish-language channel MegaTV.
According to TV News Check, the deal was signed this week, and the new channel will launch on Monday, Jan. 28. ”We are excited about our new partnership with MegaTV and pleased to be able to offer Hispanic viewers in Central Florida a fresh alternative, as a new and unique source of Spanish-language programming which includes terrific shows produced daily in Puerto Rico,” Miguel Rivera, WFTV’s station manager and general sales manager, told TV News Check. “Mega’s innovative brand of entertainment programing added to the credibility and resources of WFTV 9, the local television news leader is indeed a powerful combination.”
On Severe Weather Center 9, WFTV has posted a message saying the Doppler radar will be available on WFTV.com once it’s removed from channel 9.2.
Josh Benson, the one-time heir apparent to Bob Opsahl who became the odd-man out when WFTV decided to revamp its anchor lineup, is heading to Miami.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Benson will be the new morning anchor at CBS O&O WFOR. He begins Aug. 27.
It’s sort of an anchor exchange between WFTV and WFOR.
When WFTV took Benson off its 10 p.m. newscast on sister station WRDQ-27, his replacement was Jorge Estevez — who came back to Orlando from WFOR. Estevez left WFTV in 2006 to become morning anchor at WFOR. Small world, right?
Since leaving WFTV anchor desk, Benson has been exploring the world — traveling and blogging about what appears to be a fantastic trip to Europe, including France and Rome.
Another small world example: While visiting Trevi fountain in Rome, Benson and his family ran into Orlando attorney Mark Nejame — who provided commentary for WKMG during the Casey Anthony trial.
Some quick Orlando TV News updates …
In a move expected by many in the TV industry, WFTV has named Matt Parcell as news director — replacing Orlando TV legend Bob Jordan. Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reported that Parcell started his new role on Monday, after Jordan exited last Friday for his new gig at Seattle’s KOMO-CBS 7. Wrote Boedeker:
Parcell, who has been at WFTV since 1997, had been managing editor and Jordan’s No. 2. Parcell said viewers won’t see a change in the station’s approach. “We are about local news and investigative reporting,” Parcell said. “Channel 9 Eyewitness News — it’s not Bob Jordan’s news. Jordan guided us, but we use research. We take a broader look. It’s not top down. It’s a group effort.”
Meanwhile, former PBS station WMFE-24 finally has a new owner — the University of Central Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Federal Communications Commission gave approval for UCF to take over the WMFE license as part of a $3.3 million deal. The move will mean “WUCF TV” — the PBS channel that UCF runs with Brevard Community college on WBCC-TV 68, will be moving to Channel 24 — the longtime home of PBS in Central Florida. Read the full story here.
Apparently, Bob Jordan’s move to Seattle isn’t a done deal.
Today, NewsBlues.com offered this update on the WFTV news director’s career plans:
“Jordan, who turns 66 today, is considering the offer. Last week, he visited KIRO-7-CBS and even conducted a morning editorial meeting. Seattle is familiar territory. His daughter and grandkids live there, and he visits regularly. He was news director at Belo’s KING-5-NBC nearly 20 years ago. This week, Jordan and his wife are vacationing in Minnesota and have stayed below the radar while they try to figure out what to do next.”
Mike James, the NewsBlues.com founder and editor, was once WFTV’s sports director under Jordan, and likely has the inside scoop about his former boss.
As they say in TV, stay tuned…
Bob Jordan (Courtesy Orlando Sentinel)
Is longtime news director Bob Jordan leaving WFTV? That’s that insider website FTVLive.com is reporting.
“FTVLive FIRST told you days ago that WFTV (Orlando) News Director Bob Jordan was spotted interviewing at KIRO in Seattle. Now, Seattle insiders tell FTVLive that it is a “done deal” and that Jordan will be leaving O-Town and head to Seattle.”
Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker got a “no comment” from WFTV about the report. Jordan, according to his Twitter account, is currently vacationing in Minnesota and is making no mention of the reports.
Jordan has been at Channel 9 for the past 10 years — his third stint as news director at WFTV. He’s credited with providing stability to the station which had gone through five news directors in six years before his most recent arrival.
Why would Jordan leave now? Good question. He’s close to retirement age, and based on his previous Tweets, I believe he has family in the Seattle area. KIRO-CBS 7, like WFTV, is a Cox-owned station — so he gets to stay with this company. Seattle is familiar territory for Jordan, as he served as news director at KING-NBC 5 before heading to KCBS-2 in LA in the ’90s.
Back in Orlando, what’s left for Jordan? He’s built WFTV into a juggernaut (three times), but one that now is about to go through a series of transitions. Greg Warmoth is being eased into Bob Opsahl’s role as main anchor, there’s a new morning anchor team that’s been installed, too. And with Oprah gone, WESH-2 has been edging closer to Channel 9′s Eyewitness News in the early evening.
WESH 2 News' view -- courtesy of a DOT camera -- of the young bear falling out of a downtown Orlando tree on Friday evening.
It was breaking bear news you can use on Orlando’s big four TV news stations Friday night. WESH, WFTV, WKMG and WOFL all spent nearly the first 10 minutes of their 6 p.m. newscasts waiting for a young black bear to fall out of a tree. Holy, Goldilocks!
The bear was spotted in downtown Orlando near Orange Blossom Trail and State Road 408 around 12:30 p.m., according to the Orlando Sentinel. At 6 p.m., wildlife officials shot the bear with a tranquilizer gun. Some eight or nine minutes later, it came plunging out of its tree and into a net held by local law enforcement officials.
The bear reportedly appeared unhurt and will be relocated to the Ocala National Forest. (Local 6′s 7 p.m. news had its chopper show live coverage of pickup truck transporting the bear back to the forest.) Now, before we go back to regular programming, here’s your complete bear team coverage …