Phoenix Reporter Off The Air to Try and Save Her Mother's Life

KPHO Anchor/Reporter Rebecca Thomas is going to be off air for the next 5 weeks or so, but for a very good reason.

Thomas is taking a leave of absence to try and help save her mother's life. On Tuesday, Thomas will have surgery to have one of her kidney's removed and donated to her mother.

Thomas says that her 62 year old mom is healthly, except that her kidney function has plummeted to 11-percent.

Thomas says her mom has an autoimmune disorder called Lupus (she has been in remission for 25-years) and it attacked her kidneys when she was in 20's - with severe scarring that reduced her kidney function and over the past 30 years she kidney's have declined to the point they have almost quit functioning. 

Thomas was tested and is "a match" for mom and is do thankful that she is. 

"I am very nervous about undergoing major surgery. But, the thought of losing my beautiful mother --prematurely -- is far more terrifying," she says.

Our thoughts go out to Rebecca Thomas and her mother and we hope and pray that all goes well.

Thomas is expected back on the air in April. 

 

Suspended Albuquerque Anchor to Return to the Air Tonight

After being suspended for a week, longtime KOB Anchor Tom Joles will return to the air tonight.

FTVLive FIRST reported that Joles was involved a newsroom altercation last Monday with longtime Reporter Stuart Dyson. Dyson was coming to the aide of a Reporter that Joles was dressing down in the newsroom. 

Station management sent Joles home for what they called a "cool down period."

“It’s over, it’s done, the book is closed,” GM Mike Burgess said about Joles return. 

Sources tell FTVLive that Dyson has also been suspended for his involvement in the fracas.

KOB Photographer Joseph Lynch was also involved, but station management denies that to be the case. Insiders tell FTVLive that Lynch was trying to keep Joles and Dyson apart and that another Anchor at the station pulled Lynch away. 

KOB management has down their best to downplay the situation and said that the incident was nothing more than a "heated discussion." Not often that a main Anchor is pulled off the air in ratings for a "heated discussion."

But hey, that's the station's story and they seem to be sticking with it. 

Louisville Sports Anchor Indicted in Fatal Hit and Run

FTVLive told you about the fatal accident that involved a Louisville station's news car back in January. 

Now, a grand jury indicted WHAS weekend Sports Anchor Jeff Woods on charges of failing to stop following an accident that killed a pedestrian.

A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Woods, who was driving a station news car on one count of failing to stop and render aid after the Jan. 23 accident.

Marriott Hotel employee Fontaine Jeffery, 58, was crossing at Jefferson and Second streets when she fell for an unknown reason as she was leaving work, according to Louisville Metro Police. Two vehicles hit Jeffery and she died that night at University of Louisville Hospital.

Witnesses told police the second vehicle was from WHAS and police impounded a station vehicle as part of the investigation.

"We've cooperated with the investigation from the beginning and will let the judicial process run its course," WHAS General Manager Linda Danna said in a statement sent to The Courier-Journal.

Failure to stop and render aid is a class D felony, punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.

Woods joined WHAS as the weekend Sports Anchor in May. He worked more than eight years at WBKO-TV in Bowling Green covering Western Kentucky University, his alma mater, before he was hired at WHAS.

H/T Courier-Journal.

Shirley You Can't Be Serious?

KTLA Reporter Eric Spillman was sent out on a very important assignment for the KTLA morning news.

He was asking people what color that stupid dress was?

Spillman thought he landed an exclusive with THE Shirley MacLaine. It was not Shirley MacLaine and Spillman never even knew it.

After finding out that it was not MacLaine, Spillman  admitted on Twitter that he had been fooled.  There goes the Emmy. 

Changing Channels

Adams Broadcast Consulting has been moving clients onto bigger and better jobs. Here are some of their recent placements"  

Kerry Barrett joins WNBC-TV in New York as a weekday morning breaking news anchor after leaving WTFX-TV in Philadelphia where she was a weekday morning anchor.

Katy Blakey returns home to Dallas as a weekend morning anchor at KXAS-TV from KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City where she was a weekday morning anchor.

Clark Fouraker also heads home to Jacksonville where he will be an Investigative Reporter for WTLV-TV.  He leaves WLTX-TV in Columbia, South Carolina where he was a weekend morning anchor and investigative reporter.

Mike LaCrosse is promoted to weekday morning anchor at WLNE-TV in Providence from weekend evening anchor.  This is the second promotion for Mike in six months.

Chris McKinnon is promoted to a staff reporter at WBZ-TV where he was working as a freelance reporter and will be filling in as weekday morning anchor for the next three months.

Anita Roman is promoted to weekend morning anchor at KSAZ-TV in Phoenix from a weekday morning reporter.

Congratulations to investigative reporters Wendy Halloran and Clark Fouraker for each winning the prestigious DuPont award!

Kerry, Katy, Clark, Mike, Chris, Anita and Wendy are represented by Dana Adams.  Adams Broadcast Consulting is a full service boutique agency.  Visit ABC on the web at www.adamsconsulting.tv.

 

USA Today: Fox News should Distance itself from Bill O'Reilly

While Fox News has stood firm in defending its star Bill O'Reilly, USA Today thinks the network should back off.

In an editorial, USA Today writes, "By journalism ethics, Fox should distance itself from its truth-challenged employee. But that's not likely to happen because for Fox and its fans, credibility is established by different means. Having common enemies matters more than factual detail. That's why Fox has left a canyon-wide gap between its standards and those of NBC."

The paper writes that, "But now O'Reilly stands exposed of the same kind of puffed-up truth-bending he so regularly derides on his show."

The editorial goes on to praise NBC for taking action against a lying Brian Williams and thinks that Fox News should do the same with O'Reilly.

Problem is, now that FNC has gone out of it's way to have O'Reilly's back, can they now turn 180 degrees?

It is likely that the network won't and it will be interesting if it has and long term effects.

Stay tuned.... 

Sleep Where Greta Slept

Fox News Anchor Greta Van Susteren is put her Maryland house on the market.

Van Susteren and her husband, trial lawyer John Coale, are selling their Annapolis home around the corner from the governor’s mansion for just over $1.8 million bucks. 

The Georgian-style five-bedroom home was built in 1776 and is in Annapolis’ historic district. Dubbed the “Griffith Worthington House,” it was once owned by the Worthingtons, one of Anne Arundel County’s first prominent families.

The sale is being handled by Kathleen Coale, the couple’s daughter-in-law.

H/T Washington Post

Sweeping Up in the Hampton Roads

It was a good Feb book for WAVY in Norfolk.

The station won all the main newscasts and was up 34% at 5PM and 22% at 6PM.

WVEC came in second, although they lost viewers from a year ago. WTKR was last, down 21% at 5PM from last year.

WAVY pulled double digits at 6PM with 10.4 rating and a 17 share, well ahead of WVEC's 7.7/13.

WAVY also won the 11PM was down sharply from last year when the station had Olympic coverage. WVEC remained in 2nd while WTKR brought up the rear. 

Shake Up Goes Down at Low Rated Toledo Station

Low rated WNWO (Toledo) has demoted morning Anchor Angi Gonzalez and moved  Midday Anchor-Producer Stefanie Martinez into her spot.

Gonzalez has been knocked down to an "MMJ," where she'll shoot, edit, and report her own stories for the weekday evening newscasts.

"It's all about putting the right people in the right place to make the most of our staff and to put the best newscast on the air," WNWO News Director Nicole Hahn said of the change.

"[Gonzalez will] be one of our main reporters on our evening news to beef up" the newscasts is how Hahn is trying to spin the demotion. 

This is not the first demotion for Gonzalez at the station. She was hired three years ago as WNWO's sole 6 and 11 p.m. news anchor, until Jim Blue joined her on the desk a year later. Gonzalez was moved to mornings with the hire of evening anchor Laura Emerson in August.

Gonzalez announced the news of her departure as morning anchor on Toledo’s NBC affiliate early Thursday via her Facebook and Twitter accounts.

"To all my Toledo area fans — I am sorry to say I will no longer be part of your mornings. I'm afraid I can't say more than that but I wanted you to be aware of why I'd no longer be behind the anchor desk. I am still trying to digest the news myself — but thank you ahead of time for your support. Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come."

WNWO has been a ratings laggard for years, behind WTOL and WTVG.

H/T Toledo Blade

SoFlo Reporter Getting Out of the Business

WWSB (Sarasota) Reporter Josh Taylor is leaving TV news to become a flack.

Taylor starts his job today as the new public information officer for the city of North Port. 

Taylor said he applied for the position soon after it was posted on Oct. 31, 2014. He noted that his new job will provide more stable hours for raising his two daughters.

“I decided it was a good opportunity,” he said. “As a reporter you never know where you’re going to be, what hours you’ll be working and when you’ll be home.”

“I want to help get information to the community as much as I can,” Taylor said. “I’m going there to work for the people.”

He will also be working for $63,800 a year. 

H/T Herald Tribune 

The Internal Memo Sent to WABC News Staff RE: Sarah Wallace

Earlier Today, FTVLive FIRST told you that longtime WABC Reporter Sarah Wallace was no longer with the station. 

As we told you Wallace came to WABC in 1984 as a consumer investigative reporter. Later she covered a variety of stories for Eyewitness News and was anchor of the weekend newscasts. 

She did some of the most memorable stories on the station and now that she's gone, she gets a single line goodbye from WABC News Director Camille Edwards.

Here is the internal memo, obtained by FTVLive.com

From: "Edwards, Camille D." 
Date: February 26, 2015 at 6:10:04 PM EST
To: #WABC-TV News 
Subject: Sarah Wallace

I wanted to let you know that Sarah Wallace is no longer with Eyewitness News. We want to thank Sarah for her many years of service and wish her the best.

 Camille Edwards

Vice President/News Director
WABC-TV | New York |