Tag Archives: wtnh

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.

Official Anchor Announcement At WTNH

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Anne-DarrenAli-ChrisIt must be anchor week at area television stations! This from WTNH, although we kind of knew it was coming!

“WTNH News 8 is proud to announce two new anchor teams. Anne Craig is now officially joining Darren Kramer as co-anchor of News 8 at 5 and News 8 at 11. With Anne’s move to nights, Ali Reed will now have a permanent seat at the Good Morning Connecticut anchor desk with Chris Velardi.

“We didn’t have to look far to find our two new co-anchors. Their new assignments will allow us to better serve the ever changing needs of our audience,” said Al Carl, News Director of WTNH News 8. “Anne’s time on the mornings showed us she would transition nicely to weeknights, and Ali is an excellent journalist who has already made herself a valuable member of the Good Morning Connecticut team.”

Craig has been filling-in on the nighttime anchor desk, since the departure of former News 8 anchor, Sonia Baghdady. Craig returned from maternity leave in November. She has been with News 8 since the fall of 2011 and has been the co-anchor of Good Morning Connecticut for two years.

Ali Reed moved to the Good Morning Connecticut anchor desk, while Craig was on maternity leave. Reed can now be seen sitting alongside the morning team of Chris Velardi, Gil Simmons and Teresa (LaBarbera) Dufour. Reed also joined News 8 in 2011, after stints at News 12 and Foxnews.com.”


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.

Baghdady Is Back!

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soniab It’s a new year, new job for former WTNH anchor Sonia Baghdady.

The  award-winning anchor has been hired  as a contributing host on a new show called “VLC” Veria Living Companion, a lifestyle, health and wellness show on Veria Living TV network.

The new lifestyle, health and wellness interactive daytime series premieres Monday at 11 a.m.  with additional 15-minute episodes during the day with viewers able to participate through Skype, phone and social media.

Baghdady, the founder of Style Confessions, a website offering women money-saving secrets on fashion, fitness, home décor, beauty, and more from stylish barganistas,  will be  VLC’s resident beauty, anti-aging and fashion coach.

And this is what the New York Post had to say about the new show.

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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LaBarbera/Dufour Wedding Pix Coming In

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Looks like the New Year’s Eve wedding oftb4 former WFSB and now WTNH traffic reporter etc. Teresa LaBarbera came off without a hitch  and with a lot of fun and good wishes.

LaBarbera is now officially Teresa tb2Dufour, taking the last name of new hubby Brandon Dufour. Here’s a quick look at some of the pictures posted so far!

And if it seemed some of the regulars were missing on your television station newscasts Tuesday night, it was probably because they were at the wedding and then the reception at the Palace Theater. The guest list included many local television personalities from several different stations!


2013. What A Java Year It Was!

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goodspeed5stage501capgrill1It’s a day of change, one year ends and the new calendar begins and for Java, 2013 was one packed with anniversary celebrations, new babies, power weddings, celebrity visits, new places to eat and old ones that closed and media comings and goings that kept the buzz factor high.

Anniversaries (and the celebratory galas that marked most of them) were the big news as some of the area’s most prominent arts venues and non-profits celebrated noteworthy milestones. Among them, the Goodspeed, CPTV and Hartford Stage marked “gold” with 50th anniversaries. Hartford Symphony Orchestra marked its 70th year while Mercy Housing celebrated its 30th and Infinity Hall (which opens a second location in Hartford in the spring) celebrates its fifth anniversary. When it came to eating, Carbone’s, an iconic landmark in Hartford’s South End marked its 75th anniversary and downtown’s Bin 228 marked 10 years in the business.

Speaking of food, the anxiously awaited Capital Grille arrived in Hartford and Salute’s Jimmy Cosgrove was named restaurateur of the year by the CT Restaurant Association. Manolo Blahnik execs George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis opened their chic Arethusa al Tavolo eatery in Bantam and Chris Prosperi moved his Metro Bis restaurant into the historic 1820 House in Simsbury. Dan Keller and Billy Carbone added to their dining dynasty, opening Sorella across the street from their DISH restaurant in downtown Hartford while West Hartford’s Dorjan Puka, well-known owner/chef, opened a second restaurant, Avert, just around the corner from his TREVA rsilo (2)estaurant there.

Gary Santorso of Silo restaurant family fame got back in the business after a brief hiatus, opening his own place, 150 Central in Bristol’s Forestville Center.

Well-known eateries, Rainforest Café at Westfarms Mall and Prospect Café in West Hartford closed, as did Mortensen’s, the family friendly haven on the Berlin Turnpike. Carmen Vacalebre also closed his Carmen Anthony’s Fishhouse on the turnpike.

Wedding bells were loud and impressive with some power couples hooking up during the year. Hartford Public Library’s President/CEO and Hartford Board of Education chairman Matt Poland and Cigna exec Jeff Capelle said “they did” at a ceremony at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The Hartford residence of wedding guests Gov. Dannel P. and Cathy Malloy served as the backdrop for the nuptials of former legislative heavyweight and now deputy OPM secretary for criminal justicelawlor (2), Mike Lawlor and David Zakur, as well as that of former Malloy political advisor Roy Occhiogrosso and Meagan Cowell.

Also saying “I do” in 2013 were FoxCT’s Rachel Frank and Laurie Perez and WTIC 96.5 FM radio’s Damon Scott.

And hours before a new year begins, WTNH personality Teresa LaBarbera plans to tie the knot with Brandon Dufour.

Babies made the news when Dr. William Petit and wife, Christine Petit, welcomed new son William Petit III into the world. WTNH anchor Anne Craig and her husband also welcomed a baby daughter while FoxCT’s  Rachel Lutzker and her husband welcomed a new son.

Tallison-demers-feat[1]here were lots of comings and goings on radio and TV during the year. Among them, WTNH’s Sonia Baghdady left that station as did Jamie Muro. WFSB’s Olessa Stepanova headed to Boston while former NBC CT/WVIT General Manager Dave Doebler headed to Chicago. WDRC FM’s Jerry Kristafer was shown the door but walked through another at WJMJ. WDRC AM’s Mary Jones retired and WRCH’s Allison Demers also left the business. Veteran radio personalities stepped up. Mary Scanlon joined WRCH and Kim Zachary joined WDRC. WCCC had a bit of a ruckus during the year with a change in music format and an unwilling departure by Mike Picozzi.

Truthhe stars hone bright in the area, the biggest and shiniest being Prince Harry’s spring trip to Greenwich where he played polo and hobnobbed with VIP guests at the Greenwich Polo Club. Project Runway’s Mondo Guerra, supermodel Kathy Ireland, sports greats Tim Wakefield and Tony Dorsett, and others including Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Justin Bieber, Jillian Michaels, Tabatha Coffey, Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen King, Jimmie Johnson, Nick Cannon and Steve Carell were all out and about the Hartford area, with some doing special guest shots at Bristol’s ESPN.

king1Hill-stead Museum’s Sue Sturtevant left the executive director’s job there and was replaced by Susan Ballek. Rob Ruggiero officially took over as producing artistic director at Theaterworks, while at Mark Twain House & Museum, Cindy Lovell took over as the new executive director. At the Bushnell, Mike Fresher left his COO job to take a post in San Antonio.

Connecticut had a couple of ‘beauty and brains’ firsts. West Hartford native Ashley Wilson became the state’s first Playboy centerfold in 2013.  Miss Connecticut, accountant and Glastonbury resident Erin Brady was crowned Miss Connecticut and went on to win the Miss USA pageant, a first for a Connecticut contestant. She represented the country at the Miss Universe pageant in Russia a few weeks ago, placing in the top 10 in the international competition.Erin Brady poses at a news conference after being crowned Miss USA 2013 in Las Vegas

When it came to reality shows, Connecticut did okay in 2013. The New Haven-based 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra did the state proud as it advanced on the “America’s Got Talent.” And East Hartford’s Ashlee Feliciano was equally impressive as one of contenders on “American Idol.”

One Last Big Wedding Of The Year Coming Up

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dufourWe’ve had some big weddings in and around the Hartford area this year.

There is just one more and that will undoubtedly be the last of 2013.

WTNH traffic reporter and CT Style co-host, Teresa LaBarbera and fiancé and businessman Brandon Dufour (he owns All-Star Driver, one of the state’s largest driving schools) are just days away from their lavish New Year’s Eve wedding in Waterbury.

It has been just over a year since the two became engaged and since then LaBarbera has made it another full-time job to make sure the wedding day is as perfect as possible.

“We are getting married at 6 p.m. in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury and the reception will be at The Palace Theater,” she reports. “It’s black tie for the guys, gowns for the women,” she said about the formal affair that will include about 265 guests.

Color scheme? Black and white with just touches of red, said LaBarbera, well-known now for her organizational skills when it comes to her wedding. And because the reception is in a theater, she is advising guests to be prepared for some costume changes and theatrics, including the bride and groom’s first dance (choreographed), as well as some special surprises at midnight.

Even though the traffic and lifestyle features are her strong suit, LaBarbera reports she has been added weather forecasting to her expertise, and other than some expected snow the day before New Year’s Eve, she expects it will be smooth sailing, or driving, to Waterbury on the day of the nuptials.

LaBarbera is mum on the gown but the honeymoon will be to The Grenadine Islands.

And one other thing…if you are planning to buy her anything monogrammed, those initials will be changing.

“I am taking Brendon’s last name, even for television,” said LaBarbera who will officially be Teresa Dufour on-air and off once the “I dos” are done.

“I come from a traditional family and taking his last name is part of that,” she said. “I can’t wait!”


New Weather Guy With Familiar Name At WTNH

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Justin Goldstein Storm Team 8 News 8 has a new Storm Team 8 guy, Justin Goldstein.

And while the name is the same, he is no relation to News 8’s longtime meteorologist, the late Mel Goldstein.

But the new Goldstein does know his weather well!

“Storm Team 8 is thrilled to announce the addition of Meteorologist Justin Goldstein to the weather team,” said Al Carl, News Director of News 8. “Justin holds his CBM seal and comes to us with more than a decade of experience including work in Detroit, Philadelphia and ABC News in New York.”

Justin will join Erin Logan on News 8’s weekend evening newscasts. He will also report on weather throughout the week for both News 8 and WXedge.com.

Before joining News 8, Justin could be found forecasting the weather in Philadelphia and working as a weather producer at ABC News. Prior to that, Justin worked at stations including News 12 Connecticut.

“I’m excited to head back to the state where my career started; just more experienced now,” said Goldstein. “The weather here can be challenging and interesting to forecast. I look forward to connecting with Connecticut viewers on-air and online.”

Justin is a native of Staten Island, New York. He is a graduate of Kean University in New Jersey.