Recent RogerSimmons.com Orlando TV News reports involving WKMG-Channel 6, the CBS affiliate for Central Florida. The station calls its newscasts Local 6 News. Channel 6 was the first TV station in Orlando and has previously used the call letters WDBO-TV (Way Down By Orlando) and WCPX
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 …
For nearly three years, WKMG-Local 6 has been the only major news outlet in Orlando not broadcasting its local news in high definition. That apparently changed this week.
Nearly six years after WFTV-Channel 9 became the first station in Florida to broadcast its news in high definition, Local 6 finally made the switch to HD in a low-key affair today.
WKMG has been broadcasting its news in the widescreen 16:9 format since 2008, but it didn’t immediately follow its rivals in upgrading to HD for its newscasts. WFTV launched HD in 2006, WESH 2 followed in 2007 and WOFL-Fox 35 in 2009. Several folks emailed me about the switch. I didn’t see where WKMG noted the change, but I did notice the graphics look better as well as the studio shots.
SAD NEWS FROM WESH:Linda Fern, 60, who had been with WESH 2 News for more than 27 years, was killed early Monday in a two-vehicle crash on I-4 in Volusia County.
“For many years, she was our go-to satellite truck operator and is best known by our reporters and photographers as the glue that made all those many satellite shots from all those storms and hurricanes work. She will be missed.”
The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash.
Former WKMG morning meteorologist Reynolds Wolf is out at CNN. TVSpy.com reported Wednesday that Wolf and fellow meteorologist Jacqui Jeras were let go.
Wolf joined CNN in 2006, shortly after leaving Local 6. TVSpy.com notes Wolf “specialized in reportage from dramatic weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. He was one of CNN’s most prominent correspondents during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in 2010.”
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.
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. …
You never know what — or who — you may find when channel surfing on a Sunday evening.
Switching between the NFL Sunday night game and the 10 p.m. news, I came across shopping channel QVC — and former WKMG-Local 6 anchor Shawn Killinger.
The former morning show host, who was in Orlando from 2002-05, was hawking a GPS. A quick check on the web found that she’s been with QVC since June 2007. The last I heard of Shawn was during her appearance on the Martha Stewart version of The Apprentice on NBC in 2005.