Friday, August 29, 2014

Health & Wellness Expo serves more than 15,000 in Northeast Ohio

The WKYC Health and Wellness Expo is back at the Cleveland Convention Center on Saturday, September 6th – bigger and better than ever.

Thousands of Northeast Ohio residents will get the opportunity to get free health screenings and learn important information about living a healthier lifestyle from over 120 exhibitors at the 40,000 square foot exhibit.

Visitors will enjoy presentations on three stages that will include health and wellness information, the latest trends in healthy cooking and exercise, tips for keeping your family safe and ways to help keep your family, your finances and your body all in working order.

WKYC personalities, including Russ Mitchell, Kris Pickel, Betsy Kling and many others will be on hand to greet Expo guests who will also be given the chance to try their hand at being a weather anchor or a sportscaster. This was a highlight at last year’s Expo as folks uploaded their “TV debut” to the WKYC Facebook page for all to see

A number of area non-profit organizations will also be in attendance including the Red Cross, United Way, The Gathering Place, Legal Aid, March of Dimes, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland and College Now.

Family fun is at a premium this year with plenty for the younger set including a rock wall, soccer field and golf area. Attendees also got a few lessons from our area safety forces. The Cleveland Police and Fire Department, the Westlake Police Department, the Mentor Fire Department, and the FBI provided hands on exhibits on everything from fire and water safety to crime prevention tools.

WKYC President and General Manager Brooke Spectorsky said, “We know you care about your family – and so do we. We created the Health and Wellness to provide an opportunity for our viewers and our community to learn more about ways to live a healthy lifestyle and to get acquainted with a host of professionals who will be there to help them accomplish that goal. We’ve worked to make the Expo informative, interactive, family friendly and free.”

For more information, go to

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WKYC's Hollie Giangreco Visits "Today" To Wish Roker A Happy 60th Birthday

Channel 3's Hollie Giangreco was live at the "Today" show set in New York City Wednesday morning to help the show wish a happy 60th birthday to weatherman Al Roker.

Roker, who worked for WKYC for five years in the late '70s and early '80s, sent his well wishes back to Cleveland, remarking that he misses the West Side Market.

Giangreco gave Roker a birthday present -- a Cleveland five-day forecast T-shirt mocking the city's vastly different weather from day to day.

Roker joked that he wasn't looking forward to the birthday but conceded "any anniversary you can spend about ground is a good thing.""And to have all these people come down … that's very, very nice," he said, joking with fans gathered on the plaza that he was old enough to be their grandfather.

Upon learning that anchors Russ Mitchell and Kris Pickel are in town as well, he couldn't help but crack a joke.

"You've got to relish a name like that," he said of Pickel.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Former Plain Dealer Columnist Margaret Bernstein Joins WKYC

Margaret Bernstein
Margaret Bernstein Joins WKYC As Director of Advocacy and Community Initiatives

“She’s an award-winning journalist, a high school mentor, a national Big Sister of the Year, and a passionate crusader for the people and communities of Northeast Ohio,” said VP and Station Manager Micki Byrnes. “Starting in September, she will also be the new Director of Advocacy and Community Initiatives for Channel 3 and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her.”

“This is simply the perfect opportunity for me. I deeply respect WKYC’s trailblazing work in community advocacy and want to help the station continue moving our community forward,” Margaret said. ”I firmly believe that people want more than just the news headlines – they want to know what they can do to make a positive difference. It’s up to us in the news media to shed light on the best ways for the public to get involved.”

For over 20 years, Margaret wrote for Ohio’s largest daily newspaper and as a Metro columnist she identified ways that readers could take action to improve Cleveland’s quality of life.

She is known for her solution-oriented writing, which has been honored nationally. In 2008, she received the National Association of Black Journalists' prestigious Community Service Award, and she was part of a team that was honored by Columbia University for its coverage of the Mount Pleasant section of Cleveland in a series titled "Can We Save Our Neighborhoods?" Her “Power of One” series also won two public service prizes.

In 2005, the famed “Three Doctors,” authors of The New York Times bestseller, "The Pact," chose Margaret to co-write their critically-acclaimed follow-up memoir, "The Bond: Three Young Men Learn to Forgive and Reconnect with their Fathers." Margaret is also well known as a major proponent of mentoring, having served as a Big Sister for many years and also as a key volunteer for the Urban Journalism Workshop for high school students. Most recently, her respected name has been associated with literacy efforts in Cleveland. She spent the past year creating a network of communities and parents that are embracing the grassroots Little Free Library movement.

Margaret lives in Cleveland Heights with her husband, Shaker Heights Chief Prosecutor C. Randolph Keller. They have two children, Randy and Alexandria.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

WKYC News & Notes: 8/14/14

By Frank Macek

It's time for another "behind the scenes" look at what's happening inside the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Channel 3 with air the 2nd Browns preseason game against the Washington Redskins this Monday night, August 18th. Our Pregame Huddle will air from 7-8p (directed by Frank Macek and produced by Jeff Yakawiak) followed by ESPN's national production on WKYC beginning at 8p.

Channel 3 News will also be live next Thursday, August 21st, at 6p and 7p from FirstEnergy Stadium to show you all the new improvements the stadium this year. Our entire WKYC evening anchor team will broadcast live from the stadium on both editions of Channel 3 News.

We are seeing plenty of new faces at Channel 3 this month. Let's get you caught up.

Jiselle Macalaguin is joining the WKYC digital team as a Digital Content Producer starting August 18th. Mack comes to use as Internet Managing Editor at WNWO/NBC 24 in Toledo.

Lexxi Gilles recently joined our team as an assignment editor/multimedia journalist and producer. Grilles just graduated from Kent State University and worked at Channel 3 News as an intern this past semester.
Claire Donovan
"Live on Liveside" executive producer Claire Donovan has new duties. Donovan is joining the weekend morning news team as producer of our expanded weekend morning news starting September 6th. She'll team up with current weekend morning producer Maggie Traynor to bring Northeast Ohio several more hours of news, weather and sports information every Saturday and Sunday.

Two of our station's employees have reached milestones this month. Sue Stachurski is celebrating 30 years at WKYC, while Vera Barile has reached 35 years. Both work in our business offices and have been mainstays of the station through several ownership changes from NBC to Multimedia to Gannett.

And our sales team has been busy welcoming three new faces. John Hollabaugh (an avid Director's Cut Blog reader), Eric Mohre and Jennifer Nopper have recently joined the team. Both Hollabaugh and Mohre will be selling our fabulous on-air and digital products, while Nopper will be our specialist for all digital products and specifically G/O Digital.

Finally, our congratulations to WKYC multimedia journalist A.J. Ross who is leaving us to join WABC-TV in New York City. Ross joined the Channel 3 News team in April 2013 after leaving her hometown station of WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh and the New Pittsburgh Courier newspaper where she was also a freelance reporter.

WKYC 2013 Health and Wellness Expo
Mark your calendars! The 2nd annual WKYC Health and Wellness Expo will be held on Saturday, September 6th from 10 am until 5 p.m.

The Cleveland Convention Center will come alive again this year with free health screenings, interactive exhibits and fun activities for the whole family.

This free event will include: Free health screenings, interactive family fun – a rock wall, cooking stage, soccer field and more, a chance to meet the WKYC-TV team. Plus, kids of all ages can try their hand at weather and sports anchoring!

Get more information about the event HERE:

Your Director's Cut Blogger will be at the event on Saturday, September 6th, from 2p to 5p at the on-air production center. Stop by and say hello!

That's the latest for now. Go Browns!

Follow Frank Macek on Twitter @frankmacekwkyc
Special to the Director's Cut Blog
Carl Icahn
By Gary Strauss, USA Today

Activist investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake in Gannett, saying the TV and newspaper company that publishes USA TODAY (and part company of WKYC-TV), is undervalued.

Icahn has amassed a stake in Gannett, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing Thursday. The filing says Gannett shares are undervalued and that value could be created by splitting the companies print and broadcasting divisions -- a move Gannett CEO Gracia Martore already announced Aug. 5.

The 13D filing says Icahn plans to "have discussions" with Gannett's management and board of directors "relating to the planned separation, corporate governance, capitalization and capital allocation."

Gannett shares were up 6.3% to $36.20 in after-hours trading, when the filing was disclosed.

Icahn was not available for comment. A spokeswoman said Icahn says the 13D-filing "speaks for itself."

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Gannett To Spin Off Publishing Business, Create New Broadcasting/Digital Company

Gannett Headquarters in McLean, Virginia
Here's part of today's exciting announcement from Gannett, owner of WKYC-TV...

McLean, VA, August 5, 2014 – Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) today announced its plan to create two publicly traded companies with scale: one exclusively focused on its Broadcasting and Digital businesses, and the other on its Publishing business. 

The planned separation of the Publishing business will be implemented through a tax-free distribution of Gannett’s Publishing assets to shareholders. The transaction will create two focused companies with increased opportunities to grow organically across all businesses as well as pursue strategic acquisitions.

Gannett has also signed a definitive agreement to acquire full ownership of, one of the leading digital companies in the automotive space. Under the agreement, Gannett will acquire the 73% interest it does not already own in Classified Ventures LLC, which owns, for $1.8 billion in cash.

Gracia Martore, president and chief executive officer, said, “The bold actions we are announcing today are significant next steps in our ongoing initiatives to increase shareholder value by building scale, increasing cash flow, sharpening management focus, and strengthening all of our businesses to compete effectively in today’s increasingly digital landscape. doubles our growing digital business, while our recent acquisitions of Belo and London Broadcasting doubled our broadcasting portfolio.

These acquisitions, combined with our successful initiatives over the past 2-1/2 years to strengthen our Publishing business, make this the right time for a separation into two market-leading companies.”

Martore continued, “These transformative transactions will give both the Publishing company and the Broadcasting and Digital company enhanced strategic, operating, financial, and regulatory flexibility to pursue growth and consolidation opportunities in their respective markets, while delivering strong cash flow to build further upon Gannett’s long-standing traditions of award-winning journalism and service to our local communities. We are creating two companies that will be among the largest and strongest in their peer groups, with increased abilities to focus resources on the most promising areas of their businesses.

At the same time, we expect to structure this transaction in a way that preserves core advertiser relationships and local marketing capabilities through permissible shared service agreements that will allow both companies to continue to benefit from cross-platform sales and content sharing opportunities. We believe separating these businesses will unlock shareholder value both in the near term and increasingly as they develop independently in the future.”

Marge Magner, chairman of the Board, said “Gannett has made huge strides in strengthening each of its businesses over the past few years, and the Board believes that the creation of two highly focused companies with enhanced financial and regulatory flexibility will accelerate growth and create additional value for our shareholders.”

Gannett believes the separation will result in material benefits to both companies, including:

· Creation of a stronger growth profile and a more competitive position for each company with enhanced management focus and resources more directly aligned with strategic priorities to drive innovation and value creation

· Optimization of capital structures based on the profitability, cash flow, and growth opportunities of each independent company

· Realization of more targeted investment opportunities for shareholders with trading valuations that more accurately reflect the distinctive characteristics of each business

· Opportunity to pursue value-enhancing acquisitions in each company with fewer regulatory obstacles

Gannett expects the Publishing business will be virtually debt-free after the separation, with all of Gannett’s existing debt retained by the Broadcasting and Digital company. Gannett anticipates the initial combined dividend of the two independent companies will not be less than Gannett’s current $0.20 per share quarterly cash dividend.

Gannett is acquiring full ownership of – a leading destination for online car shoppers providing credible and easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts – through the acquisition of the 73% equity interest in Classified Ventures LLC that it does not already own. allows consumers to search, compare and connect with sellers and dealers, and provides buyers with greater control over the shopping process. It is now the #2 auto-related site with approximately 30 million visits per month, and annual visits have grown at a rate of 17% for the last several years. Since its inception, has grown consistently, and today the site displays approximately 4.3 million new and used cars from nearly 20,000 dealers.

Acquiring all of further accelerates Gannett’s digital transformation and is consistent with the company’s focus on local media and marketing services. The automotive sector is the single largest and most important vertical for local advertising revenue, and is one of the few proven and established digital solutions of scale in this market. Gannett will enter into new 5-year affiliate agreements with the existing owner-affiliates of upon the closing date. The company expects the transaction to be accretive to free cash flow by approximately $0.43 per share and neutral to non-GAAP earnings per share in 2015, growing thereafter.

The transaction is expected to contribute approximately $155 million in annual incremental 2014 pro forma EBITDA to Gannett, which includes the impact of the new affiliate agreements.

The transaction price implies a multiple of 11.7x pro forma 2014 estimated incremental EBITDA. Based on the more favorable economics associated with the new affiliate agreements, as well as anticipated cost efficiencies, the company expects a pro forma 2015 estimated incremental EBITDA multiple of 9.2x. The company will maintain a strong balance sheet, with anticipated pro forma net leverage initially at approximately 2.8x, which will be reduced over time.

Gannett will finance the acquisition through cash on hand, the issuance of approximately $650-675 million in new senior notes and borrowings under the company’s revolving credit agreement.

New Broadcasting and Digital Company
Following the separation, Gannett’s Broadcasting and Digital company, which has yet to be named, will remain headquartered in McLean, Virginia, and will trade on the NYSE. Gracia Martore will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting and Digital company at that time.

The Broadcasting business, which includes 46 television stations the company owns or services, will be the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets. The company’s stations reach approximately one-third of all television households nationwide and represent the #1 NBC affiliate group, #1 CBS affiliate group and #4 ABC affiliate group (excluding owner-operators).

The Digital business will consist of several other well positioned and growing online companies in addition to The largest is CareerBuilder, a global leader in human capital solutions majority owned by Gannett, that provides services ranging from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. It is the largest online job site in the U.S., measured both by traffic and revenue, and has a presence in more than 60 markets worldwide.

Publishing Company

Following the separation, the Publishing company, which will retain the Gannett name, is expected to be listed for trading on the NYSE and will remain headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Robert J. Dickey, currently president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division, will become Chief Executive Officer of the Publishing company upon completion of the separation.
As the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, Gannett provides content through its flagship brand USA TODAY, a multi-platform news and information company that ranks #1 in combined print and digital circulation, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. It will also include 81 local U.S. daily publications as well as Newsquest, a leading regional community news provider in the U.K., with 17 daily paid-for titles and more than 200 weekly print products, magazines and trade publications.

The Publishing business will continue to build on its expanding digital presence, which includes digital products available on all platforms. The USA TODAY app is a top news app in the U.S. with more than 20 million downloads to date, and continues to be one of the most popular news sites in the country.