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Stone leaving, Rowe going solo…

(from – Personnel news from CBS affiliate WKMG-Channel 6: Energetic morning reporter J.R. Stone is leaving the station Jan. 27. He said he is finalizing plans to work in television in another market.

In an e-mail, Stone wrote: “While it is unfortunate that management and I could not reach an agreement to renew my contract and keep me at Local 6, I have enjoyed the staff and viewers here in Orlando immensely. I’ve had the opportunity to cover both news and sports, including such memorable stories as the Magic and their quest for a championship.”

News director Steve Hyvonen praised Stone. “He’s done a good job,” Hyvonen said. “He’s been a versatile reporter and photographer. He’s a hard-working, positive person to be around. He’ll be successful.”

Starting Monday, WKMG will rearrange its early evening news lineup. The 6 p.m. news will become a half-hour telecast. The “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” will return to the 6:30 p.m. time slot from 7 p.m. And WKMG will start a 7 p.m. newscast with Lauren Rowe as solo anchor…..Cont….


12 2010

“Twas the night before Christmas…” – 2010

12/24/10 – The is a story from 2009, that I decided to bring back for Christmas Eve 2010. Enjoy…

Repost – 12/24/09 – The Orlando Sentinel brings us a recital of “The Night Before Christmas” featuring Sentinel folks, local Orlando power holders and along with the likes of WESH’s Martha Sugalski, WKMG’s Lauren Rowe, WOFL’s Bob Frier, WFTV’s Tom Terry and CFN 13′s Danny Treanor. Watch below…enjoy!

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12 2010

Mother of the Year…

(from – WKMG-Channel 6 anchor Lauren Rowe has been picked Mother of the Year by Orlando Family Magazine.

The free publication started just last month, and it is being mailed to the Southwest and Downtown Orlando areas as well as Winter Park. Editor Margie Sloane said the magazine plans to feature Rowe on the cover of its May issue for Mother’s Day.

How did the magazine choose Rowe? “Being new kid on the block, we wanted to get a celebrity in the community,” Sloane said. “We wanted someone who had some name recognition and balanced her parenting and work life. We’ve watched Lauren. I think a lot of mothers can identify with her.”

Rowe announced the honor on TV Wednesday night….Cont….


12 2010

Garofalo out at WKMG…

(from - WKMG-Ch. 6 announced this afternoon that anchor Mike Garofalo has left the station, citing personal reasons.

The station will conduct a search for a replacement, but said that reporter-anchor Erik von Ancken is one of the top candidates. Starting today, he will co-anchor with Lauren Rowe at 6 and 11 p.m. until a final decision is made.

“I have a lot of confidence in Erik and want to give him a chance to do the job,” WKMG General Manager Skip Valet said.

This change “started with Mike’s decision,” Valet said. WKMG noted that Garofalo’s wife works as a reporter for sister station WPLG in Miami, that her family lives in South Florida and that the couple decided they wanted to make a life together there. Garofalo and Sasha Andrade were married in October. They met 4 and a half years ago when they were working at the same station in Albuquerque….Cont….


09 2010

WKMG/Rowe defend “Six Night”…

(from - WKMG-Channel 6 anchor Lauren Rowe defends that wacky “Next 6 Nights” spot that promoted her station’s 11 p.m. news. The CBS affiliate ran the promo frequently during the Super Bowl. “I’m acting,” Rowe said. “The moment I read it I started giggling. It’s very much the way I am. It was almost a parody of myself. It was part of the shtick.” Of course, some people think it’s all wrong for journalists to act. What does she say to that criticism? “It’s the Super Bowl. The commercials in the Super Bowl are a show in themselves,” she said. “They’re supposed to be a little over the top. Even Tim Tebow’s commercial had a funny side to it. What we were trying to do was get people’s attention with an over-the-top, humorous commercial.”….Cont….


02 2010

WKMG says “Six Night” is a success…

(from - How has the “Next 6 Nights” promotional campaign done for WKMG-Channel 6? “It’s a gigantic success,” WKMG General Manager Skip Valet said today. Anchor Lauren Rowe unveiled the promotional strategy during the Super Bowl. It was an interesting spot, with Rowe pretending to go off script during a scripted spot. That approach could start a debate: Is it right for a journalist to act? But WKMG is happy with the results. Rowe asked for e-mails from readers. She has received 700 and answered 300, Valet said. The station asked for reader suggestions. “They really like that we’ve asked them to join our conversation,” Valet said. “It’s an opportunity to discuss our news coverage.” Valet said the ratings payoff has been “terrific” and described WKMG as neck and neck with WFTV-Channel 9 at 11 o’clock in the 25-to-54 age group….Cont….


02 2010

WKMG: Please gives us a chance!

(from - Is a newscast the right place for a station to brag about its ratings? Maybe not, but that’s what WKMG-Channel 6 did last night in unveiling its “Next 6 Nights” promotional campaign. Anchor Lauren Rowe provided more detail about the promos that aired during the Super Bowl. She told viewers: “We invite you to watch our newscast over the next six nights. We know not everyone watches news all  of the time. If you have not watched us in a while, we think we’re worth a second look. In fact, you may not know it: Local 6 news at 11 is the most-watched news in Central Florida.” And, yes, WKMG did have the most-watched news at 11 p.m., according to the January ratings released last week. The CBS lineup is a big help to any affiliate at 11, and WKMG wanted to catch the attention of the Super Bowl audience.

Did that strategy work? Rowe invited viewers to write her with their observations about the newscast at And she said last night that she had received about 150 e-mails so far.


02 2010

‘Twas the night before Christmas…2009

The Orlando Sentinel brings us a recietal of “The Night Before Christmas” featuring Sentinel folks, local Orlando power holders and along with the likes of WESH’s Martha Sugalski, WKMG’s Lauren Rowe, WOFL’s Bob Frier, WFTV’s Tom Terry and CFN 13′s Danny Treanor. Watch below…enjoy!


12 2009

Changes in the weather at WKMG…

(from -?Fans of WKMG’s chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells (right #1) will have to catch him at 6 p.m. The station has installed meteorologist Troy Bridges (right #2) at 11 p.m. “We have a team of great meteorologists at WKMG,” station General Manager Skip Valet said. “I want to expose that team to as many viewers as possible, giving them a chance to know Troy.” Bridges should be helped by appearing on a newscast that follows popular CBS dramas at 10 p.m. and precedes the headline-making “Late Show With David Letterman.” Valet compared the change to one the CBS affiliate recently made in moving its anchorwomen: Lauren Rowe is now at 11, Laura Diaz is in the morning, and Jacqueline London is on the hour-long 6 p.m. news….Cont….


10 2009

What’s going on at WKMG?…

(from – It’s a tough time for media companies, and WKMG-Channel 6 has responded with cutbacks, changes and dropped newscasts. The on-air shifts can leave viewers bewildered. I’ll quote viewer Brooke, who wrote this morning that she was upset that her favorite anchor, Lauren Rowe, had been moved from morning to 11 p.m. “I don’t understand why you had to go and mess with a good thing,” Brooke wrote. “I have watched Local 6 since moving here in 2004, but I believe it is time for a change. All I can say is the management at Local 6 shot themselves in the foot with these bad decisions.” I gave the station’s take on the changes in an earlier blog. Here’s how I read some of the changes. …..Cont…..


09 2009