The Monday Aftershock

As if our earlier item – with a whole laundry list of changes at local TV newsrooms – wasn’t enough…

SAM’S REPLACEMENT: With well-liked Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 VP/general manager Sam Rosenwasser no longer in the building at 3001 Euclid, we now know who’ll replace him.

We’ll turn to the company’s official press release:

SteveWeinsteinSteve Weinstein, an award-winning journalist and forward-looking leader, has been named vice president and general manager of WEWS in Cleveland, effective Jan. 12.

His career with The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) started more than a decade ago – first with WMAR in Baltimore, then as news director with KJRH in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and most recently as general manager of KERO/KZKC, the Scripps affiliate in Bakersfield, California.

In addition to working over a decade with the company, a combination of tech savvy and community (and business) involvement at his previous stops apparently made Weinstein the right fit in Cleveland:

“We have been impressed with how Steve can enter a market and immediately have a powerful and then lasting positive impact,” said Ed Fernandez, vice president and regional general manager for Scripps. “He has the innate ability to share his storytelling craft with journalists of all skills levels – from the greenest of producers to the most veteran of anchors. He has a leadership style that is approachable, encouraging and honest. He balances his expertise on the newsroom side with his keen sense to recognize business opportunities out in the community. His eagerness to integrate technology for both the sales side and news side of the business can only mean great things for Cleveland.”

Weinstein will find much familiar in Cleveland…from the “Scripps style” on and off air, to even the consumer reports provided by Scripps ABC affiliate WCPO/9’s John Materese.

He’s a former videographer turned news operations manager (WMAR/2 Baltimore), turned news director (KJRH/2 Tulsa) and then general manager (KERO/23 Bakersfield). Quoting him in the Scripps release again:

“Cleveland is a thriving city and WEWS has such a strong history of community service as the very first TV station in Ohio and Scripps’ first venture into TV broadcasting,” said Weinstein. “I look forward to working with a very talented staff that is committed to providing its audience with reliable and timely information on all platforms. I am equally eager to work with the business community to build strong relationships and identify ways in which WEWS can create customized opportunities for its growth and prosperity.”

Rosenwasser stepped down December 15th, citing his ongoing health problems, and the stability at WEWS after the appointment of a new news director (area native Jeff Harris from Scripps’ KMGH/7 Denver) and a new chief engineer.

As noted above, Weinstein starts at 3001 Euclid next Monday. And as per usual, he’ll spend parts of his first few days asking, “What’s an Ohio Media Watch?”…

19 NEEDS ND: We mentioned in the last item is that it appears that Raycom CBS/MyNet affiliate WOIO/19-WUAB/43 is ending its long-time news branding of “19 Action News”.

Whomever heads up the newsroom after that change will be someone other than Dan Salamone, the station’s longtime news director.

Word first came in the TV news industry E-mail letter sent out by Rick Gevers:

After nine years on the job, DAN SALAMONE told his staff today he’s leaving as News Director for WOIO/WUAB-TV in Cleveland at the end of the week. Dan says his decision to move on from this Raycom CBS/My Network duopoly came after a lot of reflection over the past month.

And here’s his entire memo to the staff at Reserve Square, courtesy of Mr. Gevers (PDF file here, text below):

It’s time to jump on the scooter and make new tracks.

With a lot of reflection this past month, I’ve decided it’s the right time to move on to a new challenge. It’s been my honor and privilege to work beside each of you for
the past nine years.

We have been through a lot together. We weathered through a terrible recession, focusing on digital content while still doing 8 hours of TV each day.

You have accomplished a lot, taking the 11pm newscast to number one against tough competitors. And the 4pm news is so successful that there are now two more competitors.

There are too many breaking news and weather stories to count, but the coverage of Gina, Amanda and Michele will always stand out.

I’m proud to have added Carl Monday and Romona Robinson to an already excellent staff, and having promoted many staffers into new roles allowing them to grow professionally.

This means more to me than awards, although we have had our share of those too.

You are all pros and I’m grateful for your hard work and resiliency. I will miss you all.

I am weighing a number of new opportunities and should make a decision soon.

My last day will be Friday, January 9. Sorry for the short notice but I already had a vacation scheduled on January 10.

Thanks again and continued success.


Plain Dealer TV writer Mark Dawidziak notes the other recent news director moves in the Cleveland market, which have affected all four news operations since 2012.

Salamone’s departure means that Channel 19 will be the fourth Cleveland affiliate station to have a new news director in little more than two years. Brennan Donnellan was named news director at Channel 3 in December 2012. Cleveland native Jeff Harris started as news director at WEWS Channel 5 in October. And Orange High School graduate Andy Fishman became news director at WJW Channel 8 in November.

Dawidziak didn’t mention the new assistant news director at WKYC, who until recently worked for the same company he does… former Ohio Media Group Editor in Chief/Director of Digital Operations Denise Polverine. We mentioned her move to 13th and Lakeside in our last update before the holiday break.

And Salamone joked with Dawidziak about one thing he’ll definitely be remembered for at Reserve Square:

Referring to the memo during a telephone interview, Salamone joked that he got through it “without using the word puppets.”

He was talking about how, in January 2012, Channel 19 grabbed national headlines by using puppets to re-enact testimony from the trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora. Cameras had been barred from the courtroom.

As we noted at the time, some journalists actually were OK with “The Puppet’s Court”…since it shone the spotlight on the lack of cameras being allowed in federal courtrooms.

Two years later, popular HBO host John Oliver offered up raw video of animals with fake paws standing in for U.S. Supreme Court justices…making the exact same point.

19actionnewslogo1A note here: we’re still hearing that Salamone’s replacement, whoever that is, won’t be leading the “19 Action News” newsroom.

If there was a TV station betting window at the Horseshoe or Hard Rock, we’d put a decent bet on “CBS 19 News” returning as the station’s news brand. We don’t know if Salamone’s departure will affect that timing…

AND CONFIRMED ALREADY: In our big item earlier today, we said that WOIO/WUAB reporter Ed Gallek was headed to Dick Goddard Way, to join his wife and other newsies at Tribune Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News”.

EdGallek19Indeed, he will be working alongside the former Peggy Sinkovich, “Fox 8 News” I-team reporter, says the PD’s Dawidziak:

Veteran Cleveland reporter Ed Gallek is moving from WOIO Channel 19 to WJW Channel 8. The hire was confirmed Monday, Jan. 5, by Gallek and Channel 8 news director Andy Fishman.

“This has nothing to do with any dissatisfaction at Channel 19,” Gallek said. “I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Channel 19. They’ve supported me during my stay here and couldn’t have been better. This was just a tremendous opportunity that came together at the right time.”

No, we don’t know if our item this morning prompted the call for confirmation (but, thanks, Mark!).

And yes, Dawidziak mentioned the family Gallek connection:

There is a personal, as well as a professional reason for making the move. His wife, Peggy Gallek, has been working at Channel 8 since September 2012. She changed her last name from Sinkovich to Gallek when they were married in October.

“They might be competing for good stories as co-workers here at the station, but not as competitors at different stations,” Fishman said. “I’ve go to believe this will make things easier at home.”

That’s confirmed by Ed Gallek in the PD article, which says his last day at Reserve Square (whatever the WOIO/WUAB news operation will be called by then) is January 27th.

Though he’ll head for Dick Goddard Way the very next day, he won’t be seen on “Fox 8 News” until summer, due to a six-month non-compete clause in his 19 contract.

Fox 8 ND Fishman says Ed Gallek will “contribute behind the scenes as best he can” until that time.

Our guess: he’ll be a big help to the established Gallek family member at WJW, Peggy…and they will collaborate both at work and at home…

AND A HELP WANTED AD: We have no idea if this Help Wanted ad posted as a comment to our “Happy Holidays” item really came from the keyboard of iHeart talk WTAM/1100 program director Ray Davis, but no matter, here’s the ad as posted:

Have a nose for news with broadcast experience? Newsradio WTAM 1100 has part-time anchor opening in its award-winning news department. E-mail demo and resume to [email protected].

Sure enough, the job is listed on the official iHeartMedia Careers site, and you can read about it and apply there.

And don’t be a stranger, Ray, if that is you. We honestly don’t bite. Well, not a lot…

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