Wednesday, October 19, 2016

10.19.16 Bee-otch of the Day: WOOD-TV

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Age: 68
Occupation: west Michigan's NBC affiliate
Last Seen: Grand Rapids, MI
Bee-otched For: fixing something that ain't broke

The world of TV news was shaken this week if you watch WOOD-TV 8 here in Grand Rapids.

First off, the station unleashed new intros for their newscasts which are well-done, IMO, complete with an orchestral version of the theme the station has used for years. The station even revealed a new graphics package.

But still, there's people who work at the station.

Recently, the station hired Teresa Weakley, who had been doing morning news at Buffalo's WIVB-TV, a CBS station. Rumor had it that she had a falling out with management, so she asked to be transferred to WOOD-TV, which is WIVB's sister. It's a good move on her part since Grand Rapids is a bigger TV market than Buffalo, plus her family's here.

Weakley, 32 is a young, bright anchor who does a decent job co-hosting the station's Daybreak, which airs 4:30-7 a.m. But, her hiring comes at a price for Daybreak's former co-anchor, Emily Linnert. According to sources, the 36-year-old has been distraught over the fact that she's down to hosting the station's hour-long newscast at noon, plus her new role as education reporter. As a matter of fact, her husband - a producer at WOOD-TV - jumped down the road to WZZM-13 because of Emily's alleged "demotion".

WOOD-TV is west Michigan's #1 news station, so why fix something that didn't need to be fixed? Look at Today in 1989: they replaced the homegrown Jane Pauley with the perkier Deborah Norville and stayed at #1 for news in the mornings. In the end, Norville is now the host of Inside Edition while Pauley stayed at NBC for Dateline and eventually jumped to CBS where she now hosts Sunday Morning.

But back to WOOD, the station has had a long-ass history of now renewing the contracts of their news folks. Just ask Susanne Geha, Larry Neinhaus and Jennifer Moss just to name a few. When they all left the hallowed halls of 120 College SE, it was a sad day for the station's fans. Some could boycott, but do they want their news from Kalamazoo (WWMT-3), a woman like Juliet Dragos with a fake smile (WZZM-13) or news from Fox News (WXMI-17)? WOOD-TV is the lesser of all the evils, believe it or not since they are more professional.

In Emily's case, I know how it feels to be bumped by another worker. It's happened to me a few times. All I can say is that I'm happy that I now work for a company that's given me huge raises in the past four years. Since the economy is now pretty good, if they treated me like shit, I'd be out of there in a few weeks.

Let's bear in mind too that WOOD's parent company, Media General is being sold to Nexstar. Apparently, they're just trying to look good for the deal.

It's too bad Emily Linnert had to take one for the team.

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