Station Break - Broadcasting & Cable

Station Break

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A real news fight in Pittsburgh

A Pittsburgh anchor was taken off the air—though briefly—following allegations that she slapped a former colleague at a weekend party. WTAE-TV producer Roberta Peterson filed a police complaint against WPXI(TV)'s Gina Redmond, charging Redmond with striking her. The two were attending a going-away party for WPXI's Reg Chapman, who is moving to KSTP-TV Minneapolis.

Although the station thought it appropriate to keep Redmond off the air at first, by Tuesday, management said it had concluded after preliminary investigation that resolution was best left to the legal system and that Redmond would return to her duties Wednesday.

Goldberger out at KNTV San Jose

Bob Goldberger, who helped guide KNTV(TV) San Jose, Calif., from ABC affiliation through independent status to NBC affiliation and finally NBC ownership, is out at the station. He had remained after General Manager Bob Franklin and News Vice President Scott Diener—now at Belo's WHAS-TV Louisville, Ky.—had left. The station recently brought in new top management in Linda Sullivan, formerly general manager at WRC-TV Washington, and Jim Sanders, who had been news director at KNSD(TV) San Diego. Goldberger's replacement is likely to be at the assistant-news-director level, insiders said.

Another Swanson recruit...

Talent raids by the Viacom stations group continue. First, Dennis Swanson, new executive vice president of the group and former WNBC(TV) general manager, recruited Joe Ahern, of ABC's KGO-TV San Francisco, to run WBBM-TV Chicago.

Then, last week, Ahern hired Fran Preston away from rival ABC O&O WLS-TV Chicago for the new position of station manager. Preston had been at WLS-TV more than 20 years and was most recently director of programming and special projects. Both Swanson and Ahern are former WLS-TV general managers, and Preston had been the station's publicist for each.

...And even more

Portland, Ore., TV executive Ron Longinotti has been named vice president and general manager of Viacom's KPIX-TV San Francisco. The job has been open since Jerry Eaton retired in late January. Viacom executives cited the protracted vacancy to illustrate the talent dearth they hoped to reverse by hiring Swanson away from NBC.

Longinotti has been vice president and general manager at Belo-owned KGW(TV) Portland, Ore. "In just three years," Swanson said, "he led KGW ... to the top of the ratings in every local-news daypart, and he did it by emphasizing strong journalism and community service. The station won five Edward R. Murrow awards last year while also achieving the highest revenue share of the market despite a precipitous drop in advertising during last year's media recession."

Free airtime from Media General

Media General's 26 network affiliates will provide airtime for position statements by candidates in various statewide and federal races.

The two- to three-minute statements must air without aid of props, photos, videos or graphics (presumably ruling out Ross Perot) and will air during newscasts. The statements will run unedited but must meet broadcast standards, may not be false, and may not criticize or attack an opponent. "Anything obvious or extreme will hopefully set some alarms off," said Dan Bradley, vice president, news, for the broadcast division. The stations will also add context, if necessary, in follow-up reporting.

New posts for Pineda, McDonald, Trauschke

Univision Communications named Ramon Pineda vice president and general manager of four Arizona TV stations, including Univision station KFPH-TV and Telefutura station KTVW-TV both Phoenix. He will be based in Phoenix.

Fox Stations promoted Cheryl Kerns McDonald from general sales manager at WDAF-TV Kansas City, Mo., to vice president and general manager. She replaces Stan Knott, who's now at Fox's WOFL(TV) Orlando.

WESH(TV) Orlando, Fla., promoted Ed Trauschke from assistant news director to news director. He has been acting news director since Russ Kilgore left the station last month. Trauschke was a reporter and managing editor at the station before becoming assistant news director.

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