Daily Archives: January 7, 2009

Turmoil and Tough Times at Tampa's WFTS

Eric Deggans at the St. Pete Times has more today on the departure of anchor Walt Maciborski at WFTS/Tampa, quoting the soon-to-be-former 5:30 anchor as saying he’s “a casualty of the economy, timing and ambition.”  Maciborski, 41, tells Deggans he’s headed to California with his family in the hopes of finding work.

FTS, the station that debuted with a motto of “Working Hard to Be Your Favorite,” has been working hard to cut costs, firing investigative reporter Matthew Schwartz, and turning top anchor Brendan McLaughlin’s half-hour public affairs program, “Flashpoint” into a five minute interview segment.  

FTS GM Rich Pegram tells Deggans it’s not just about the money, but about ratings, and that ABC Action News will expand its weekend morning coverage, though they’ll do so with one-man-bands in the field.  “We need to improve our position in the ratings, so there are changes that have been made and that will be made,” Pegram said.

The full story’s on Eric’s excellent TV

WFTS Photo

Brendan McLaughlin/WFTS Photo

blog, “The Feed.”

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Turmoil and Tough Times at Tampa’s WFTS

Eric Deggans at the St. Pete Times has more today on the departure of anchor Walt Maciborski at WFTS/Tampa, quoting the soon-to-be-former 5:30 anchor as saying he’s “a casualty of the economy, timing and ambition.”  Maciborski, 41, tells Deggans he’s headed to California with his family in the hopes of finding work.

FTS, the station that debuted with a motto of “Working Hard to Be Your Favorite,” has been working hard to cut costs, firing investigative reporter Matthew Schwartz, and turning top anchor Brendan McLaughlin’s half-hour public affairs program, “Flashpoint” into a five minute interview segment.  

FTS GM Rich Pegram tells Deggans it’s not just about the money, but about ratings, and that ABC Action News will expand its weekend morning coverage, though they’ll do so with one-man-bands in the field.  “We need to improve our position in the ratings, so there are changes that have been made and that will be made,” Pegram said.

The full story’s on Eric’s excellent TV

WFTS Photo

Brendan McLaughlin/WFTS Photo

blog, “The Feed.”

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WUSA/DC Decides to Sleep Late on Weekends

WUSA/DC, Gannett’s one-time powerhouse CBS station has, according to the Washington Post, decided to trim costs by eliminating weekend morning newscasts effective January 18th ( just in time to avoid covering the massive local story of Barack Obama’s inauguration!).  Filling those local news hours?  Care to venture a guess? Infomercials.  Ah, the sweet smell of pure profit.

WUSA GM Allan Horlick told the Post times are tight, and the station needs “to find new ways to connect with our viewers and our advertisers.”  The out-with-news-in-with-amazing-Ginsu-shows comes just weeks after WUSA announced it was cutting back on news crews by covering stories with one-man-bands.

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Latest Layoffs: Andrea Conklin Out at WFTV/Orlando

The Orlando Sentinel’s “TV Guy” Hal Boedeker reports

Andrea Conklin/WFTV Photo

Andrea Conklin/WFTV Photo

 

 

 

 today that reporter Andrea Conklin has left WFTV/Orlando.  Boedeker quotes News Director Bob Jordan as saying only that “she’s leaving us,” but reporting “several insiders” saying Conklin’s contract was not renewed.

Also at Channel 9, morning reporter Gustavo Almodovar has decided to give up the a.m. shift after six years, leaving WFTV for a media consulting gig at Florida Hospital outside Orlando.  Boedeker says the hospital created a position just for Almodovar.  “In these tough economic times, it’s a blessing to hear someone say we want to create something for you,” said Almodovar, a devout Seventh-day Adventist, who has a wife and two kids and told the paper he “couldn’t do that shift anymore” and had wanted out of the news biz since last March.

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Liveshot? Yes. Livetruck? Nope.

Skype

WTSP's Truck-Free Liveshot

ENG/SNG truck operators, listen up:  the times, they are a’changin’.  Poynter has a story today about a WTSP/Tampa liveshot from Ft. Lauderdale pulled off for about the cost of a phone call.  TSP didn’t roll the sat truck across Alligator Alley, they just sent reporter Janie Porter with a laptop and a Blackberry: 

“She didn’t have a big live truck accompanying her, or an engineer tuning in a shot or a photojournalist standing behind the camera and setting up lights.

Porter set up her own camera, opened her laptop, connected the camera to her computer, slipped a wireless connection card into her laptop, called up Skype and used her Blackberry to establish IFB (the device TV folks wear in their ears to hear the off-air signal). It all looked just great on air. ”

You can see the liveshot here.

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