Posts Tagged ‘WJHG’

New news director named at WJHG…

Gavin Maliska has been named the new news director at Panama City’s WJHG. Maliska fills the position that was left open by Mark Wildman, who was abruptly let go from WJHG in March this year.

Maliska was most recently news director for KECI/KCFW/KTVM, “NBC Montana.”  Followers of Florida News Center might remember him as the news director at Orlando’s WOFL, from 2008-2009. Stay tuned for further developments.


07 2011

Don’t ask for a raise, Gray dips in 1Q…

(from – Gray Television Inc. today announced results from operations for the three month period ended March 31, reporting that revenue decreased 1% from the year-earlier quarter to $69.7 million from $70.5 million.

The company said that the decrease was primarily due to decreased national and political advertising revenue, partially offset by increased local and internet advertising revenue and retransmission consent revenue. Political advertising revenue decreased due to decreased advertising from political candidates and special interest groups in the “off year” of the two year election cycle.

Net advertising revenue associated with the broadcast of the 2011 Super Bowl on its one primary Fox-affiliated channel and four secondary Fox channels approximated $200,000, which was a decrease from its approximated $900,000 earned in 2010 in connection with the broadcast of the 2010 Super Bowl on its 17 CBS affiliates….Cont….

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05 2011

WJHG News Director abruptly fired…

Sources tell Florida News Center that Gray Television has abruptly fired WJHG News Director, Mark Wildman. Multiple sources tell us that Wildman had several angry out bursts towards staff, during last weeks Friday morning newscasts. Wildman was relieved of his duties, yesterday during the 5pm newscast. No other reason was given for his sudden departure from the station.

As Florida News Center reported this past December (12/10), Wildman joined WJHG from Macon, GA’s WMGT-TV. He replaced former multitasking anchor/News Director Tom Lewis, who announced in back Sept (9/10) that he was stepping down as News Director to spend more time with his family. Lewis still remains the station’s primary anchor.

Stay tuned for further information.


03 2011

Ask for a raise, Gray up 48% in 4Q…

(from – Gray Television Inc. today announced that financial results for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, included revenue of $114.6 million, a 48% increase from $77.5 million in the same period of 2009, reflecting increases in political, local, and Internet advertising revenue, retransmission consent revenue and consulting revenue while national advertising revenue and production and other revenue decreased.

Local and Internet advertising revenue increased due to increased spending by advertisers in an improving economic environment.

National advertising revenue decreased due to large purchases of advertising time by political advertisers, which reduced advertising time available for other customers. Political advertising revenue increased due to increased advertising from political candidates and special interest groups in advance of elections in November 2010. Retransmission revenue increased due to the improved terms of Gray’s retransmission contracts compared to those in effect during the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2009….Cont….


03 2011

FNC Exclusive: Stormy weather at WJHG…

In legal documents obtained by Florida News Center, former WJHG morning/noon meteorologist Stacey Sawyer (Craven) alleges that WJHG/Gray Television subjected her to “unlawful sexual harassment, retaliated against her, and discriminated against her based on her pregnancy,” in a lawsuit submitted to United States District Court.

The lawsuit alleges that former WJHG chief meteorologist Jason Kelley subjected Sawyer to sexual harassment, including sexual comments on her appearance, the request of sexual favors, inappropriate touching and the sending of a full-frontal nude photograph of himself to Sawyer. The lawsuit also alleges that then, News Director/Anchor Tom Lewis, suggested that she “show more cleavage” and ignored Sawyer’s complaints about Kelley’s actions. General manager Kurt Molander also allegedly ignored Sawyer’s complaints about Kelley’s actions.

The allegations against Kelley are the most shocking. Sawyer alleges that Kelley said “he enjoyed performing oral sex on women”, asked Sawyer if she “enjoyed receiving oral sex”, and whether her husband performed oral sex on her. According to Sawyer, Kelley was aware that Sawyer’s husband was frequently out of town and  indicated that he and Sawyer could meet after their newscasts for sex. Sawyer also alleges that Kelley grabbed her buttocks shortly before she went on the air in 2008. The suit alleges that after Kelley took up a job at WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama, he was “believed to be having similar harassment issues.”

The legal documentation points out that Sawyer complied with Gray’s sexual harassment policy, in that she reported the behavior to Station Management (including News Director Tom Lewis, GM Kurt Molander and WCTV-TV GM Nick Waller) on at least seven separate occasions, following the first incident in July 2008.

Sawyer alleges that she was terminated at WJHG due to the complaints about her sexual harassment and her pregnancy.

According to documents filed to the Florida Unemployment Appeals Commission,  Sawyer resigned from WJHG two weeks before her contract was up, allegedly due to the stress the alleged sexual harassment was causing her. WJHG made an unconditional offer to have Sawyer (Craven) return to employment as a meteorologist but did not accept the offer, fearing that returning would cause stress which would complicate her pregnancy.

FNC made attempts to contact WJHG and others named in the law suit. We received no response. Stay tuned for further developments.

Sources: Case 5:11-cv-00029-RS (US District Court…Panama City)  —–   Case No. 1D10-3838 (FL Dist. 1 Ct)


02 2011

Panama City cameras roll during shooting…

Cameras from Panama City’s WMBB ABC 13 and WJHG NBC 7 continued to roll when a man took over a meeting of the Bay County School Board today.

The gunman, Clay Duke was upset with the School Board over the recent firing of his wife. Duke was shot by a security officer, after firing several rounds at the School Board members. He eventually used his last remaining bullet to take his own life.

WJHG chief photographer Zach Johnson managed to hit record on his camera before evacuating the room. Johnson recounted his experiences on WJHG on this evenings newscast. See that video here.

Here’s the raw, yet edited (despite WMBB saying this is unedited video) video:

Here’s the video of Duke shooting at School Board officials and being shot:

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12 2010

WJHG gets a new News Director…

Sources tell Florida News Center that a new News Director has been named, at Panama City’s WJHG. Mark Wildman will start his new duties on Monday Dec 6th. He was most recently a News Director at Macon, GA’s WMGT-TV.

Wildman replaces WJHG anchor and former News Director Tom Lewis. As Florida News Center reported back in September, Lewis decided to step down as the station’s News Director to spend more time with his family. Lewis remains the primary anchor at WJHG.


12 2010

Lewis is cutting back…

Sources tell Florida News Center that Tom Lewis is stepping down as News Director at Panama City’s WJHG. Lewis, has been the News Director, Executive Producer and the station’s primary anchor for the past several years. He will remain the primary anchor and executive producer.

Sources go on to say that Lewis’ decision to step down was his choice. The long hours managing and anchoring at WJHG, as well as hosting a local weekday radio morning show (on WPAP-FM 92.5) has become mentally and physically exhausting. He now wants to devote his duties more to the news side and less to management.

So far there’s no word on who will replace Lewis as News Director. He will stay on as News Director until a replacement can be found. Stay tuned for further updates.

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09 2010

Gray Television warns of default…

(edited from – Gray Television (owners of Tallahassee’s WCTV & Panama City’s WJHG) today warned that it would likely fall out of leverage compliance at the end of the month as it issued preliminary results for 4Q and full-year 2009.

“Based upon our financial projections as of the date of this press release, we do not expect to be in compliance with our leverage ratio as of March 31, 2010,” when Gray’s allowed leverage ratio drops from 8.75x to 7x.“We have commenced discussions with lenders under the senior credit facility to seek certain modifications to the terms of that credit facility, including the leverage ratio covenant,” Gray said.….Cont….


03 2010

Moving on up at WJHG…

UPDATE: Prann is joining the Atlanta bureau of Fox News, not WAGA-TV.

Sources tell Florida News Center that WJHG morning anchor Elizabeth Prann is leaving the Panama City station. She is headed to join Atlanta’s Fox O&O WAGA-TV. She leaves WJHG while not under contract (which expired back in 2009) and just as the station’s morning newscasts were gaining ground. Recent Panama City ratings show WJHG gaining and even head to head with competitor WMBB.

Sources also mention other changes at WJHG —– Morning and noon meteorologist Jim Loznicka earns the seal of Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society. —– Internet and special features producer Nicole Morten has been promoted to morning reporter. No word was given on a state date for her new duties. Stay tuned to Florida News Center for further information.


01 2010