Archive for the ‘Revolving Door’ Category

Denver Media Watch 8.7.11: Channel 9 Goes Spanish, Chanel 2 Gets a Makeover, and More
August 7, 2011


For the loyal readers of this blog (but let’s be honest, there aren’t that many), don’t worry— I haven’t left Denver for Cleveland. I’m still here, and while I’m at it, here are some of the major movements in the Denver media market that have happened in the last few weeks:

  • 9News en Español: KUSA-Channel 9 announced last week that it will begin producing news in Spanish for KDEN-TV Channel 25, Denver’s NBC-owned Telemundo affiliate. The newscasts will air weekdays at 5:30pm and 10pm beginning in October.
  • KWGN and KDVR’s Marriage is Breaking News to Some: The Colorado Independent reports on a media watchdog group who is attacking duopolies such as KDVR and KWGN among many others around the country for cutting costs and resources while setting “record profits” for parent media companies, according to SaveTheNews. The watchdog group and the Independent’s article both present some truths and insights into local journalism that have been reported for years: resources, profits, and staff are shrinking while the quality of the product is deteriorating. Every newsroom in the country, if not the world, is facing the same challenge of doing more with less. In terms of local TV, stations have been consolidating all across the country, and in the specific case of KDVR and KWGN, I doubt anybody in Denver doesn’t know that the two stations are now a combined entity, and the local marketing agreement between the two stations was orchestrated in 2008 in the midst of KWGN’s parent company the Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy ever in the media industry. It is rather disingenuous for SaveTheNews to say that media companies responsible for local TV station consolidation are setting “record profits” when using KWGN and KDVR as the poster child of their political action campaign. This entire thing reads like a news article from 2008, and it seems unlikely that anything can be done about the painful but necessary consolidation in the media industry that has been occurring for years.
  • Ding-Dong, the Deuce is Dead: KWGN-Channel 2, formerly known as the Deuce, has officially buried the branding campaign that led them to become the laughingstock of town. The station is now branded as “Colorado’s Own Channel 2” and includes a new logo that is reminiscent of the swooshy yellow 2 logo of the 1990s. The new graphics package, set design, and refreshed website heavily play off scenic Colorado landscapes. The redesign was executed by KDVR and KWGN’s in-house creative team led by Creative Services Director Erik Candiani.
  • There’s No Such Thing as Too Much of a Good Thing: The Denver Post’s Dusty Saunders reports that KUSA-9News and KCNC-CBS4 are competing for as much Denver Broncos coverage and tie-ins as possible. After last year’s winning season, what more do Denver TV viewers want than that? Snark aside, 9News, now the official station of the Broncos, will produce a bevy of Broncos-related programs across Channel 9 and KTVD-Channel 20 as well as all preseason games. CBS4 is clinging on to its “Broncos Insiders” branding, producing almost as many programs as KUSA despite having limited access to the team. CBS4 will, however, broadcast most of the regular season Broncos games on the CBS network.
  • Familiar Face: sportscaster Marc Soicher and older brother of KUSA-Channel 9 sportscaster Drew Soicher has been hired by KDVR-Fox 31 and KWGN-Channel 2. Marc Soicher last appeared in Denver television on KWGN as a weekend sports anchor. He was laid off in 2008 in a series of budget cuts that eventually led to KWGN’s merger with KDVR. And we’ve come full circle…
  • Local Boy Does Good: The Huffington Post highlights KDVR/KWGN political reporter Eli Stokols on how he is perhaps now the most prominent reporter in Denver television covering the state legislature and local politics especially following the departure of KCNC-CBS4’s Raj Chohan and KUSA-9News’ Adam Schrager.
  • Weekend Shuffle: Following Deborah Takahara’s promotion to weeknight anchor of KWGN’s 7pm program and KDVR’s 10pm program alongside Jeremy Hubbard, Nina Sparano has become the weekend anchor on KDVR. KDVR’s weekend broadcasts have been solo-anchored by Takahara for nearly two years following Leland Vittert’s promotion to Fox News Channel (I guess that’s a promotion), but Julie Hayden, Tammy Vigil, and Eli Stokols have joined Sparano in co-anchoring the weekend broadcasts in recent weeks.
  • More local news on KTVD: KTVD-Channel 20 has been producing a quasi-newscast for the past year weekdays at 11am called “Daily Connection”, an experimental format led by NBCUniversal. The content of the newscast is mostly assembled in New York using national news packages and then sent to affiliates, but in recent weeks, KTVD’s version of “Daily Connection” appears to have been replaced by a general local news format and is now branded as “9News at 11am”. Seeing that the “Daily Connection” format is being discontinued for midday news by NBC-owned stations, it appears that the change is permanent. (Hat tip to Paul)
  • Developments in KMGH’s Sale: More prospective buyers are in the works for KMGH-Channel 7 and its sister stations. Look for a special report on KMGH’s sale tomorrow on Denver Media Watch.

Chris Tanaka Leaves KDVR
May 27, 2011

According to KDVR-Fox 31 Denver, Chris Tanaka, the smiling, dimpled sports anchor and director at the station, has left for his native Hawaii, where he will hold the same position at Raycom stations KGMB/KHNL/KFVE. This has also been reported in the Star Advertiser.

Todd Romero, whom you may remember as a longtime sports anchor on KUSA-Channel 9 and a presenter on WWE SmackDown, anchored the sports tonight on KWGN/KDVR and was warmly welcomed by his former colleague, Ron Zappolo. It is unknown whether Romero is Tanaka’s full-time replacement or if Zubin Mehenti or Josina Anderson, the other sports anchors currently at the station, will take Tanaka’s place.

Tanaka had been with KDVR since December 2003.

Kellie MacMullan to Leave Denver for Sacramento
May 19, 2011

Kellie MacMullan, currently the sole anchor of KWGN’s 7pm newscast, is leaving her native Colorado for NBC-affiliated and Hearst-owned station KCRA in Sacramento. Here’s more from the Sacramento Bee:

“KCRA is very excited to have found someone with Kellie’s journalistic excellence and anchoring experience to join our award-winning team,” said Anzio Williams, KCRA’s news director. “She will be a valuable leader in our newsroom and someone our viewers will quickly come to trust and respect.”

“I’m very grateful to KCRA 3 for this unbelievable opportunity,” MacMullan said. “I can’t wait to be a part of the best news team in Sacramento.”

MacMullan joined KWGN in 2007 as anchor of the 9pm news with Ernie Bjorkman. Following KWGN’s merger with KDVR and rebrand, MacMullan launched the 7pm news and has been anchor ever since.

It is unknown whether or not her departure is related to the recent announcement that ABC News anchor and former KDVR anchor Jeremy Hubbard is returning to Denver and will anchor the 7pm and 10pm news on KWGN and KDVR.

MacMullan joins KCRA June 27th. It is unknown when she will leave KWGN.

Crystal Egger Joins the Weather Channel, Part VIII
September 17, 2010

I really don’t have much interest in this story myself because, said bluntly, there isn’t one, but I cannot believe the amount of traffic this blog has gotten from people scouring the internet for information on the whereabouts of former KDVR meteorologist Crystal Egger. For all of you people, Crystal made her debut on the Weather Channel this week, and if there’s a will, there’s a video of it on YouTube.

This will be my last post about Crystal Egger. I promise.

KMGH Hires New Meteorologist
September 7, 2010

I received an e-mail about this story several weeks ago, but for one reason or another, it simply fell through the cracks, so I apologize for getting to this late. With that said…

Photo from to the Orlando Sentinel, WFTV’s  Matt Makens has been hired as a weekend evening meteorologist at KMGH-Channel 7 here in Denver. This is confusing because KMGH hasn’t said anything about this, and also because Corey Christiansen is already working the weekend evening shift. The only explanation for this move that I can reason is that Makens is replacing Richard Ortner. It’s also rather unusual that Makens isn’t signing off from WFTV until Thanksgiving, meaning that he won’t even appear on Channel 7 until very late this year or early next.

Here’s more:

The Emmy-winning weather anchor, who is 30, is leaving Orlando to go home to Denver and work for ABC affiliate KMGH later this year. Probable last days at ABC affiliate WFTV: Thanksgiving weekend.

“It’s a promotion in my career,” Makens says. “It’s a huge promotion in my personal life.” His parents and sister live in Denver, and his fiancee’s family is close to the area.

He will continue to work weekend nights in Denver, but there’s another big draw in Denver: the chance to work with mentor Mike Nelson. “He’s just a great, great meteorologist with a great reputation in the business,” Makens says.