Tag Archives: WVIT

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.”

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.”

Naughton In New TV Show, Ling to Fox

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jo-ling-kent[1]WVIT reporter Jo Ling Kent is joining Fox Business Network, where she will be the New York-based reporter  covering breaking financial news and international market moves beginning May 1.

Congratulations are also in order for Max Group executive chefs Scott Miller, Hunter Morgan and Chris Torla who are featured in a new book titled “Best Chefs America.” Also to Tyler Anderson, chef/owner of  Millwright’s Restaurant & Tavern in Simsbury who  was also included in the book.

Former West Hartford resident, actor David Naughton will be featured in “Granite Flats,” a new weekly tv show premiering on April 7 at 8 p.m. on the BYUtv network.

naughtonThe eight-episode series is set in the 1962 Mountain West America at the height of the Cold War and designed to be a family-friendly program that tell the story of a recently widowed mother and her 10-year -old son who move from California to the rural town of Granite Flats, Colorado. Naughton plays the role of Dr. Millard Whittison.

known for his starring roles in the 1981 horror film, An American Werewolf in London, and the 1980 Walt Disney comedy, Midnight Madness.

Did you happen to catch the new CNBC show “Treasure Detectives” last week. Among the antique and memorabilia items featured on the “fake or real” reality show was s a cape that had belonged to singer James Brown and  purchased at a Dick Clark auction by former Connecticut night club owner Clem Bellairs who owned Cedar Brook Café in Westport.

NBC CT Doebler Headed To Chicago!

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NBC CT head David Doebler is moving on! This from TV Spy…

 

“David Doebler has been named president and general manager of WMAQ, the NBC-owned station in Chicago. His appointment is effective immediately, the station announced Tuesday.

It is a move within NBC for Doebler, who has been president and general manager of NBC-owned WVIT in Hartford-New Haven since 2005.

“David has done a great job strengthening the competitive position of NBC Connecticut,” NBC Owned Stations president Valari Staab said in a statement. “With his leadership abilities, local broadcast experience and record of success, I am confident he has the right skills to steer WMAQ as the station continues its forward progress.”

Before joining WVIT, Doebler was the president and general manager for WVTM in Birmingham, which was an NBC O&O during his time there. He has also worked as the vice president of creative services and sales for WNCN, the former NBC O&O in Raleigh-Durham.

“I could not be more honored to join WMAQ and to work with the very talented team at the station to continue the tremendous momentum in the market,” Doebler said.

Doebler replaces Larry Wert, who left WMAQ for Tribune last month.”

Former WVIT Spawns Another ET Host

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That’s Quinnipiac University’s John Morgan’s catchy quip regarding the announcement !

Former WVIT NBC Connecticut guy, CNN news and weather anchor Rob Marciano is leaving the cable channel to become the co-host of  “Entertainment Tonight” with Nancy O’Dell beginning in January.

You may remember that former WVIT’er Chris Wragge went on to be a correspondent for ET in the mid 1990s as part of his career climb.

Anyway,  “ET” had been seeking a new co-host since Mark Steines left last summer.

“I am honored to be joining the distinguished and talented team at ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ all of whom are the gold standard in entertainment journalism,” said Marciano in a prepared statement released to the press. “For over 30 years, ET has been a powerhouse in the entertainment industry and to be part of that blue chip franchise is a dream come true.”