Station Break


Triple threat

A Giant among Mets: Former NFL star/current CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms hosted WCBS-TV's Sports Rap Live
last week. The former Super Bowl MVP's stint included batting practice with the New York Mets.

Gottlieb to join Sinclair newsroom

Carl Gottlieb, who has been deputy director of the Washington-based Project for Excellence in Journalism for the past five years, will return to TV news as managing editor of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s new national newsroom at its Hunt Valley, Md., headquarters.

Before joining PEJ—where his primary responsibility was the annual report card on local TV news—Gottlieb was news director at Fox's WTTG(TV) Washington, Washington bureau chief for Tribune and an executive producer at Tribune's WPIX(TV) New York.

Headed by longtime WBFF(TV) Baltimore News Director Joe DeFeo, Sinclair's Hunt Valley effort is intended to provide news, weather and sports to stations in the 60-plus-station group currently lacking newscasts, Sinclair said.

The company has recruited about 25 staffers for its emerging Hunt Valley Central News project, including former WTTG anchor Morris Jones.

Capitol welcome

It's typical for a new GM at a network-owned or -affiliated station to meet with local officials. For NBC's new diversity head and WRC-TV Washington GM Michael Jack, that meant testifying at the FCC in his first week on the job.

The invitation had actually been extended to NBC to talk about diversity efforts prior to Jack's announced hiring last month, but, he said, it seemed like a good opportunity. He told the commission about the network's "best practices," which include NBC's associates and famed page programs, as well as its partnership in the Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media.

Jack succeeds Linda Sullivan, now GM of KNTV(TV) San Jose, Calif. WRC-TV celebrated its 55th anniversary last week with an enviable competitive record but faces strengthening competition. "Whether you're No. 1 or No. 2," he said, "you're always looking for growth."

Ticker talk

Those news tickers on all the national cable news nets could be coming to a TV station near you. AP has offered stations 10 topical tickers with thousands of headlines available 24 hours a day for on-air and online use. According to spokesman John Jones, AP had 15 calls about the service within an hour or two of its informing the stations of the service's availability last Wednesday. A couple have already signed up, he said.

Too good to miss

Although he had a great job in one of the country's most desirable markets, former KNSD(TV) San Diego News Director Jim Sanders said the opportunity to be VP for news at NBC's new O&O KNTV(TV) "would be too much fun to pass up. All I can do is go up and play my game and hope I score a few runs."

Sanders replaces Scott Diener, now with Belo's WHAS-TV Louisville, Ky. Bob Goldberger remains as KNTV news director. Assistant News Director Greg Dawson runs the news at KNSD for now and is a candidate to succeed Sanders.

Trio's first principles

Media General's Tampa, Fla., properties—the Tampa Tribune, and WFLA-TV—have drafted what they say is the first-ever converged statement of news-coverage principles.

The brief document pledges to provide timely, relevant news and "voice to the voiceless and reflect the full diversity of life in the Tampa Bay area," plus serve as community watchdogs, holding the "powerful accountable." But the pledge, says WFLA-TV News Director Forest Carr—who issued a similar Viewer's Bill of Rights as news director at KGUN(TV) Tucson, Ariz.—will be only as good the accountability. The document promises prompt correction of errors.

Seattle exit

KCPQ(TV) Seattle News Director Todd Mokhtari said last week he is leaving the station, although he's not sure where he'll be going. He says leaving, possibly by Labor Day, is his own idea. "I didn't want to start looking around the country and have it come back that I was in this newsroom or that newsroom. The worst thing that could happen is that I'll be out of work for a while."