Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Look Back At 2012 At WKYC

By Frank Macek

Officially, the Director's Cut (and your blogger) is on vacation until the end of the year and will return shortly with a new year of behind the scenes coverage from Channel 3.

But to say 2012 was a long year is an understatement with exciting changes that brought plenty of new faces to Channel 3 News and a farewell to others who moved on in their television careers.

Let's take a look back at the year that was at WKYC...

In January, Channel 3 News welcomed former CBS News anchor Russ Mitchell who made his debut as the solo weeknight anchor and managing editor of Channel 3 News at 6 & 11 PM on January 15th. The following morning, Chris Tye and Erin Kennedy debuted as the new anchors of Channel 3 News Today (replacing Mark Nolan who left for WMJI radio)...with Robin Swoboda and Jim Donovan taking over as the new anchor team of Channel 3 News @7.

In February, "Good Company" said goodbye to longtime Cleveland television legend Fred Griffith who went into retirement on February 22nd after 50 years on-the-air at various television stations including at Channel 3. And who could forget the Chardon Shootings that occurred in our backyards on Monday, February 27th, leading to days of expanded news coverage.

In March, Kris Pickel was announced by WKYC President and General Manager Brooke Spectorsky as the new co-anchor of Channel 3 News at 6 & 11 PM with Russ Mitchell. Meanwhile, Eric Mansfield announced on March 21st that he would be leaving June 1st to take a new position at Kent State University.

In April, Russ Mitchell and Kris Pickel made their weeknight debut on Monday, April 2nd. Just a short time later, Lynna Lai was announced as new anchor of the weekend 6 & 11 PM editions of Channel 3 News where she joined the anchor desk on April 21st with Eric Mansfield. On April 19th, Rita Andolsen announced she would be stepping down at WKYC News Director to take a new position within the station as Director of Advocacy and Community Initiatives.

In May, another big new story broke of a terrorist plot to blow up the State Route 82 bridge in Brecksville on May 1st. On May 7th, Dan Haggerty joined the station as a freelance multi-media journalist.

In June, Sara Shookman joined the station and was assigned to report for the evening editions of Channel 3 News at 6, 7 &11 PM.

In July, Virgil Dominic is named WKYC Interim News Director. The station debuts a new set on July 27th at midnight as the 2012 Summer Olympic Games kicked off in London.

In August, the Olympics continued through the 12th with Chris Tye, Amanda Barren and Jennifer Lindgren reporting live from London through the day for an incredibly exciting two weeks of Olympics coverage including our popular Olympic Zone show every weeknight at 7:30 p.m. On Monday, August 13th, the new "Live on Lakeside" show debuted at 11 am, replacing "Good Company" with co-hosts Hollie Strano and Michael Cardamone. The show also replaced Channel 3 News at noon and runs from 11 am until 12:30 p.m., while the fourth hour of the "Today Show" moved to 10 a.m.

In September, all was strangely quiet.

In October, John Anderson was announced as returning to Cleveland as co-anchor and sports anchor of the weekend 6 & 11 PM news on October 1st. John's first newscast was October 27th with Lynna Lai. Also in October, former OSU coach Jim Tressel joined Channel 3 News @7 for his weekely a "Moment with Jim Tressel" feature.

In November, the big story was of course Election 2012 and what a night November 6th was with plenty of on-air and on-line coverage making Channel 3 and NBC the most watched coverage for the night.

And in December, Amanda Barren left Channel 3 News on December 6th to return to her former station as an anchor.  On December 18th, WKYC launched its new iPad app with cool features and live HD video of our newscasts to give viewers an even better way to "stay connected" to Channel 3 News 24/7. Brennan Donnellan is named WKYC News Director on December 21st, while Virgil Dominic returns to his position as a station consultant. And, rumors of a deal for Sportstime Ohio to be purchased by Fox Sports come true with an announcement of the sale on December 27th.

So, yes it has been a busy, but fun year at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center. Just as exciting are some changes coming in January as we prepare to launch a new graphics look that we'll share with you soon.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a newsy 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just In: Brennan Donnellan Named WKYC News Director

Brennan Donnellan
Award winning journalist Brennan Donnellan will begin a new role at the station beginning in January.

“I’m very happy to promote Brennan into the News Director position,’ stated Brooke Spectorsky, President and General Manager of WKYC. “While he’s only been at Channel 3 for 18 months, he’s been instrumental in launching our new anchor teams of Russ Mitchell and Kris Pickel, Chris Tye and Erin Kennedy, and Lynna Lai and John Anderson. He’s led our live coverage of major news events including the shootings in Chardon, the Presidential Election, Super Storm Sandy and others. He’s a forward thinking manager who expects the best from his team and fights for the resources to bring high quality newscasts to viewers in Northeast Ohio.”

An Ohio University graduate, Donnellan has held news management positions in Atlanta, Boston, and Cincinnati. “He also led a digital media team for two years, and understands the challenges and opportunities that producing content for various platforms entails,’ added Mr. Spectorsky.

Brennan will be replacing interim News Director Virgil Dominic.

Donnellan was previously the Director of Business Development for nSixty in Cincinnati, a digital media company that specializes in creating apps, video sharing and social networking systems. Prior to that he was News Director of WLWT-TV in Cincinnati.

A winner of six regional Emmys, Brennan and his family live in South Russell.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WKYC Launches New iPad App Tuesday

Get the news the way you want it with WKYC’s new iPad app, available beginning today, December 18, 2012. The app is more visual, has live HD video of newscasts, and our popular interactive radar.

The app has a sleek design, robust weather, news, sports, social interface and video content. It will also offer live HD video streaming of the station’s newscasts.

Features include:
  • Interactive radar, hourly extended and weekend forecasts
  • Interactive weather radar maps-in-motion
  • Social sharing ability to Facebook, Twitter and email
  • A video-centric content display
  • Extensive photo and video galleries
  • Selections for users to opt-in for breaking news, weather and/or general news alerts
  • Real time school closing information customized to the user’s favorite schools
  • Automatic desk clock mode featuring stunning imagery of Grand Rapids
“We know consumers want access to our content and newscasts whenever and wherever they are so providing great content on all platforms is a priority for us,” said Brooke Spectorsky, President and General Manager of WKYC. “The new app is a perfect companion to suit today’s multi-screen viewer.”

The App supports all generations of the iPad, including iPad Mini devices. Operating systems supported are IOS versions 4.x, 5.x and 6.x.