Year in review: A Look Back At 2011 At WKYC
As we prepare to wrap up 2011, the Director's Cut Blog would like to take a look back at some of the events here at Channel 3. The year was filled with plenty of changes, new faces, triumphs and goodbyes.
WKYC was once again the over the air television home of both the Cleveland Indians regular season and the Cleveland Browns preseason coverage. Although neither team lived up to expectations, the sports year was exciting with the uncertainly of a NFL and NBA lockout and down to the wire negotiations that saved both seasons.
The Ohio Lottery switched from WEWS to Channel 3 where the nightly drawings can now be seen right after the revamped edition of Channel 3 News @7 with anchors Chris Tye and Robin Swoboda who took over the show in March.
The station launched a new savings website called "Deal Chicken" where our viewers can save up to 90% off at local area restaurants and establishments. Unfortunately, our parent company Gannett also announced the end to our Moms Like Me.com and Metromix.com websites.
Our parent network NBC was officially taken over by Comcast in a merger than left long time leaders Jeff Zucker and Dick Ebersol without a role in the new company. NBC continued to struggle during the year with its primetime lineup that failed to impress many.
WKYC produced a local special for the hit television show, "The Voice," where talent from northern Ohio competed for a spot on our show. After narrowing our selections down to 10, these finalists competed for an all expense paid chance to audition for the national competition in Los Angeles. And, "Flash Mob" made its debut that focused on trends in social media and we aired a series of specials called "Cutting Edge" that focused on medical issues that mattered to our viewers.
2011 also saw the arrival our new WKYC Weather and News apps available for iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android users. Plus, WKYC elevated Betsy Kling to Chief Meteorologist.
We also learned that WKYC Sports Anchor Jim Donovan had been dealing with leukemia for the past 10 years and underwent a bone marrow transplant in June that kept him sidelined for several months. However, the voice of the Cleveland Browns was back in the booth for the regular season and is slowly recovering and resuming his anchoring duties on Channel 3 at 6, 7 & 11 PM. His story was a very personal one he openly shared with viewers and they responded with thousands of get well wishes and cards.
We said goodbye to some familar faces including WKYC evening anchor Romona Robinson, weekend anchor Jeff Maynor, meteorologist AJ Colby, and reporters Lynn Olzowy, Paul Thomas and Darrielle Snipes. And, we said farewell to Gannett CEO Craig Dubow who stepped down because of on-going health issues. Gracia Mortore took over the reigns of our company.
However, we also said hello to brand new faces including former CBS News Weekend anchor Russ Mitchell who will take over the 6 & 11 PM anchor desk and will serve as evening managing editor starting January 16th.
Pamela Osborne and Stephanie Coueignoux joined Channel 3 as mult-media journalists. And, Erin Kennedy was named weekday morning anchor along with Mark Nolan. She begins soon.
And behind the scenes, Brennan Donnellan joined WKYC News as Managing Editor of News & Digital Content.
And there were plenty of interesting news stories to cover from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on March 11th to the Cuyahga County Corruption story and Anthony Sowell trial. All of these stories can be searched on wkyc.com
So, we say "so long" to 2011 and "hello" to 2012 at Channel 3 where it promises to be an exciting year with the Summer Olympics coming this summer from London and a presidential election that will captivate the nation in the weeks leading up to November.
Happy New Year and thanks for reading the Director's Cut Blog and connecting to Channel 3, wkyc.com and on Facebook and Twitter.