Tag Archives: nbc connecticut

TV Changes At CT Stations

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Former Connecticut tv personality Kathryn Hauser has left News 12 Connecticut to join Boston CBS owned station WBZ.

“Kathryn is an outstanding journalist with deep connections to the New England region, and will be a great addition to the ‘BZ News team,” said Mark Lund, president and GM of WBZ.

Hauser worked at the Connecticut station since 2009.

Alison Morris has left her anchor seat at FOX CT.alison_morris

She joined the Connecticut station in 2010.

And Jeff Valin, who was seen on FOX CT, WTNH and NBC Connecticut, has moved on to Ohio where he is weekend anchor at WBNS-10 in Columbus.

“New” Faces On/In Hartford TV, Movies, Restaurants

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There are some “new” faces around town if you have been tuned into tv or taking advantage of summer dining or entertainment.

Erin Brady poses at a news conference after being crowned Miss USA 2013 in Las VegasNBC Connecticut has brought royalty, so to speak, to its traffic report the pastHeidi-Voight[1] couple weeks. Former Miss Connecticut Heidi Voight and former Miss USA Erin Brady have been taking turns guiding motorists through the Connecticut streets and highways until a replacement is named for former traffic reporter, Kayla James.

That decision is expected shortly, according to vice president of news Matt Piacente,  but in the meantime, he has another staffing announcement as the political season heats up.

Max Reiss has been named the new political beat reporter and contributor to the “Decision 2014,” the station’s Sunday political program.

Reiss  has covered politics for the past four years at WSFA, and Raycom Media, in Montgomery, Alabama., Piacente reports. Reiss is also a New York native, and a graduate of the University of Missouri.

He starts August 25th

If you stopped by Max Downtown recently, you will notice a new, and really happy, face when you walk in the door.

max Rachel Lenda has been tapped as the new manager, replacing Duncan Hunter.

Smart, sassy and a really nice dresser,  (‘I have to keep up with Steverachel Abrams,’she notes) Lenda comes from  S&P Oyster Company in Mystic where she was the Director of Sales and Marketing. Prior to that, she was the Sales and Marketing manager for Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods.

And over at Grants there is a familiar face taking over general management duties there, as well.

Jim Kehoe, of Feng fame, has moved on to take over those duties at Billy Grant’s  place, while  Michelle Mc Mahon has returned as director of catering  and Joyce Raicik has been hired as director of operations.

And in the “famous and formerly of Connecticut” category, Kensington native Annemarie Griggs has received an Emmy nomination for her work as the visual effects producer on the Starz series, “Black Sales.” The Primetime Creative Arts Emmy ceremony will be held on Aug. 16.

And if you happen to be headed to the opening of the James Brown biopic, ‘Get On Up,’ watchgreer carefully, there’s a well-known former Hartford guy on the screen.

Well-known arts supporter and performer David Greer, has  a part in the movie that opens Friday about the “Godfather of Soul.”

“I appear in a scene with actor Jill Scott in the movie, ” Greer informed Java. ” I’m her character’s date to a JB performance at the Apollo theater in 1962. She dumps me for the “Godfather of Soul!”

Tarantal to Boston, Ripley to Tokyo

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erikaripley Some tv world blasts from the past updates:

Former WVIT NBC Connecticut reporter Erika Tarantal has joined Hearst’s ABC Boston affiliate WCVB as an anchor and reporter.

And former Fox Ct student news program reporter Will Ripley, a 1999 graduate of Manchester High School, has been named CNN’s Tokyo-based correspondent.

And speaking of tv,  current WFSB anchor Dennis House will celebrate his 50th birthdahouse (4)y helping  Interval House.

House actually turned 50 in December but will celebrate publicly  on Feb. 27 at the party which will be held at Hartford City Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Hartford non-profit that provides help to victims of domestic violence.

Tickets are $50. Information: 860-246-9149, extension 337.


New News VP At NBC Connecticut

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Matt Piacente, WVIT VP of NewsThere’s some new brass at NBC Connecticut in West Hartford. This is the announcement.


“NBC Connecticut / WVIT announced today that Matt Piacente will serve as the station’s Vice President of News, overseeing the news team for the NBC-owned station. Piacente joins the station from NBC 5 / WMAQ in Chicago.


For the past 15 years, Piacente has served as a newsroom leader at WMAQ in several roles, including Executive Producer of News and Special Projects and his most recent post as Manager of News and Content Development. In addition, he has held key producer positions at Chicago’s ABC7, WGN, and CLTV.


“Matt’s robust experience overseeing breaking news, investigative reports, election coverage and severe weather make him a perfect fit to lead the NBC Connecticut news team,” said Ric Harris, NBC Connecticut President and General Manager. “Our viewers look to us to be Connecticut’s first and best choice for local news across all platforms and we are confident that Matt’s vision and leadership will provide viewers exactly what they are looking for from NBC Connecticut.”


Piacente, a winner of 18 Chicago Midwest Emmy awards, replaces Mike St. Peter who recently was named General Manager of New England Cable News, also owned by NBCUniversal.


Piacente begins at NBC Connecticut on Monday, February 10th.”

‘Rudat’ Is Now ‘Lee,’ Change-Ups At WFSB

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rudatRemember tv personality Brandon Rudat who left NBC Connecticut a few years ago for the West Coast?

Well, he’s had a few gigs since then including one in Atlanta, and has now landed in Arizona with a new job and a new name.

According to TV Spy, Rudat is now at KTVK in Phoenix where he has taken the name, Brandon Lee.

According to the report, Lee is Brandon’s middle name and he has taken the new moniker “to honor his adopted family and keep a promise to his adopted father David Lee.”

Speaking of changes, WFSB has done some switching up when it comes to one of its weekendkimlucey reporters.

Former weekend anchor Tina Martin is now working four days a week in the early evening and 11 p.m. news while Kim Lucey has been moved over to the weekend morning anchor desk.

Good 2014 Start for Sally’s, Brady, Cusato, Chandler

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varanoA new year is off to a good start for Hartford’s Black-eyed Sally’s.
The popular restaurant is one of 13 from across the nation to be featured in the online site “Bluescentric” new 2014 calendar.

“We didn’t really know how it happened,” said James Varano about his popular barbecue/Cajun restaurant and rhythm and blues club taking the October spot on the calendar.

The picture features Ryan Hartt and the Blue Hearts during a performance at the Asylum Street club. “We didn’t know about it until Ryan posted it on the band’s Facebook page,” Varano said. “Imagine that right here in little ol’ Hartford.”
For calendar information go to bluescentric.com
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And there’s more Sally’s news, its new stage.

“There is not a bad seat in the house now,” said Varano about the new stage and music system that will make performing and listening a better than ever pleasure than ever in 2014.
If you headed down to Mohegan Sun to catch one of Prince’s performances, you may have seen more stars than you planned on.
According to The New York Post’s Page Six, Prince and singer/actress Jennifer Lopez were both there New Year’s Eve.
Prince was out and about after performing with Janelle Monae and his bands New Power Generation and 3rd Eye Girl. JLo, with her twins Emme and Max in tow, was there to take the youngsters to the Cirque Celebration at the Mohegan Sun Arena, according to The Post.
And now back to Facebook.
Former NBC Connecticut sportscaster John Chandler has given a shout out about his new sports gig at WNBC-TV in New York.

Former WTNH favorite Kristin Cusato is tweeting about her return to KUSI TV in San Diego. Cusato left the West Coast and came to WTNH in 2009 to care for her ill mother.
And, finally,  WKSS 95.7 FM has announced that morning show personality Brady has left the state to from the morning show is leaving to take a job at sister station WKSC in Chicago.

LaBarbera Becomes Mrs. Dufour

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dufour (2)Here are some more sneak peek pix of that New Year’s Eve wedding starring  former WFSB traffic reporter and now WTNH traffic reporter/ show host  Teresa LaBarbera, now know as Teresa Dufour .

She married All-Star business owner Brandon Dufour at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury. Once the “I dos” were done, it was on to the  black tie wedding reception with a 2013/2014 party vibe thrown in for good measure.

And among the long list of tv personalities at the bash, that included one awesome snowball photo 3fight at Waterbury’s Palace Theater, were WTNH’s Anne Craig and Gil Simmons, NBC Connecticut’s Darren Sweeney, WFSBers Jill Konopka, Irene O’Connor, Hena Daniels  and former WFSBers Jessica Schnieder and Heather Hegedus.

More pix here.

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A Party On Every Corner In Hartford, Including One For House

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house (3)There was no doubt it was the holiday season in Hartford Wednesday night.

Company parties were as popular as candy canes and tinsel at downtown restaurants.

Various organizations including NBC Connecticut and CT1 Media were celebrating the season at places including The Society Room  and Capital Grille, while the group from public relations company McDowell Jewett,  partied at Max Downtown.

And among the parties, there was one very private but noteworthy one over at Salute where WFSB anchor Dennis House and his immediate family, including mom (who coincidently, is also named Mary Ellen) were celebrating his 50th birthday.

“It’s been a good day,” said House who also dined with wife and co-worker Kara Sundlun and their two children.

House, who by the way, shares a natal day and a Dec. 18, 1963 birthday with a host of celebrities including Brad Pitt, will  be celebrating his half-century birthday  again at a bigger bash in the weeks ahead.

Happy Birthday!



TV/Radio Hello/Goodbye CT

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Lots of changes over the summer in local television and radio as people come and go.

Among those who have gone were NBC CT’s investigative team members Chris Coffey, now at WMAQ in Chicago and Monica Buchanan, named media relations manager at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

One of those positions has been filled by George Colli, formerly with Fox Ct.


Courtesy of WTNH

Meanwhile over at WTNH, news director Erik Schrader has been named president and general manager of KSNW in Wichita. Taking over his job at the New Haven-based station is Al Carl. Carl has been at WTNH for over a year and is has previous experience as an executive producer and assistant news director at several other stations.


Courtesy of WRCH

And in case you haven’t heard, Friday marks longtime morning show co-host Allison Demers last day on the job at WRCH-FM. Demers, who has been at CBS’s WRCH for 13 years and co-hosts the morning show “Allan, Mike and Allison” with Allan Campo and Mike Stacy, is stepping down to do “mommy” things, she said. An ordained minister in the First Assembly of God, Demers said she will continue her missionary work when she leaves the station.

“That’s it,” said Demers as she counts down her final hours. “I couldn’t wait for the day to come so I can have a normal life, but now I am overwhelmed. It’s bittersweet,” she said. “I will miss it, but will like not getting up early or driving in blizzards,” she said. “And I will miss Allan and Mike. I grew up with them.”

Steve Salhany, operations manager for CBS Radio’s four stations in the Hartford market (WTIC-AM, WTIC-FM, WRCH-FM and WZMX-FM), said Demers’ replacement is expected to be named in the next few weeks.

Russini Headed To Washington D.C.

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It’s hello and goodbye to a couple of Hartford- area tv personalities.

The goodbye is to NBC Connecticut’s Dianna Russini who is leaving the West Hartford-based station on May 24 and heading to WRC NBC4 in Washington, D.C.

“I’ll be a sports anchor and reporter,” said Russini who begins her duties at the NBC affiliate in early June. “It is a tremendous opportunity,” she said. “And there is no way I would have been able to get there without the people at NBC Connecticut.”

The “hello” is over at WTNH in New Haven where David Iversen has come on board as its new chief investigative reporter. Iverson previous worked at WOWK in Charleston, W.V.