Phil Amato to be back on the air in JAX…

(edited from ActionNewsJax.com) – Jim Zerwekh, vice president and general manager of Cox Media Group (CMG) Jacksonville Television announced today that Phil Amato will be joining the Action News team Monday November 3rd.

Amato comes to Action News from WTLV/WJXX First Coast News in Jacksonville where he was an anchor for more than 20 years. He will anchor CBS47 Action News from 5-7a.m. and FOX30 Action News from 5-9 a.m.

“We were given the opportunity to bring on a pillar of the Jacksonville journalism community and we couldn’t pass it up,” said Jim Zerwekh, vice president and general manager for WFOX-TV/WJAX-TV. “He is embedded in our community and knows what Jacksonville viewers expect in a newscast. We know he will bring those qualities to the CBS47/FOX30 Action News team.”….Cont….

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Larry Ridley promotes Budweiser on the side…

WESH sports director Larry Ridley has started doing other television work outside of WESH.

TV columnist Hal Boedeker writes that Ridley has appeared in a commercial for Bud Light.

Local industry observers tell Boedeker that this is the first time a local news person has appeared in a national commercial.

Apparently the management at WESH does not have complaints about Ridley’s new commercial endeavors, as he still remains on the air. However, WESH General Manager Jim Carter would not comment to the Sentinel about Ridley’s participation in the commercial.

Ridley joined WESH in 2012, coming from WHDH-TV in Boston.

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10 2014

Greg Angel departs WTXL…

WTXL morning anchor Greg Angel anchored his final newscast at the Tallahassee station this morning. Angel is leaving to join an unnamed West Palm Beach station.

Angel said to viewers on Facebook: I’ve come to a turn in the path that now has me going in a different direction. An exciting new direction.

It remains bittersweet to share that I am leaving WTXL for a great new opportunity with a television news station in West Palm Beach.

Angel joined WTXL in July of 2010 from the WPBN-TV as a reporter, but quickly ascended to the anchor desk, eventually becoming morning week day morning co-anchor.

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10 2014

Mark Douglas story makes NBC’s “Nightly News”…

WFLA reporter Mark Douglas received some national air time on the Wednesday night edition of NBC’s “Nightly News.” His story (seen here) about an airbag recall on his 2003 Honda Accord (from the “hot and humid” Tampa area) can be seen in the video below.

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10 2014

WFTS boots News Director and Assistant N/D….

(from BizJournals.com) – News Director Bill McFarland has been fired at ABC Action News in Tampa, according to a source inside the TV station who requested anonymity. Assistant News Director Michele Murray also was let go.

An internal email to staffers from WFTS-TV General Manager Nick Nicholson said that McFarland and Murray “were no longer with the television station. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

He later followed up with an email announcing a staff meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday “to discuss moving forward.”….Cont….

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Sources at WFTS and in the Scripps family of stations tell Florida News Center that the firings come after a long list of complaints from WFTS staff, to Scripps corporate against the former N/D, the A. N/D. and former station General Manager Rich Pegram.

As Florida News Center reported, GM Rich Pegram was let go from the station back in August, now just 2 months later the N/D and A. N/D are gone. WFTS insiders tell us that  Scripps corporate has been (“shockingly”) been listening to their complaints.

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