Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WJZY names Houston executive to lead newsroom

Geoff Roth, a news executive with the Fox-owned station in Houston, will lead the development of a news operation for WJZY (Channel 46), which will begin carrying Fox programming Monday.

"Geoff is a solid journalist and news leader with a proven track record of innovation in news gathering and content presentation," said WJZY's general manager, Karen Adams, in making the announcement Tuesday. "Geoff is the perfect choice to lead FOX 46 Carolinas News."

Geoff Roth
WJZY was purchased by Fox Television Stations this year and the network will be moving its programming from longtime affiliate WCCB (Channel 18) effective 4 a.m. Monday, which is considered the beginning of the broadcast day. WJZY will continue to air a 10 p.m. newscast produced by WBTV (Channel 3) through the end of the year, and is expected to launch its own news department in January.

A 30-year veteran of TV news, Roth is executive producer for the Fox-owned station in Houston, KRIV (Channel 26). Before that, he taught journalism at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y., and worked as a news director in Fresno, Calif.; Fort Myers, Fla.; San Diego; Salt Lake City; and Richmond. He also worked at stations in Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami, Washington and Jacksonville, Fla.

His first job in TV was as a producer at CNN. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

In addition to building a news staff over the next six months, Roth will be involved in construction of a newsroom at the studios WJZY shares with sister station WMYT (Channel 55). Adams said this week that the stations will continue to operate out of the building on Performance Drive off I-85 in west Charlotte, and she does not expect to move to the former Speed channel complex that will house Fox Sports 1's cable channel beginning in August.

"Being able to build a next generation digital news operation from the ground up in a growing market like Charlotte is a unique opportunity," Roth said in a statement distributed by Fox. "I am looking forward to utilizing the latest technology across multiple platforms to keep our viewers constantly informed on relevant news of the day."

Fox Carolinas 46 will become the fifth Charlotte TV station with its own news operation.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

John Hancock gets a promotion at WBT

John Hancock, whose voice has been part of the soundtrack at WBT-AM (1110) for more than 20 years, is getting a promotion.

John Hancock
Beginning July 16, Hancock is moving from evenings to afternoon drive-time. He's swapping places with Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire, whose "Brad and Britt Show" will move to the 6 to 9 p.m. shift.

Hancock is one of Charlotte's most venerable radio personalities. He arrived at WBT in 1990 doing mornings. Then to afternoon drive in 1996. Then he left for an ill-fated morning stint at WEND ("End" 106.5), returning to WBT a week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

“Hancock has been a staple of WBT for years, earning him the title of Charlotte’s most beloved,” Rick Feinblatt, senior vice president of WBT and Greater Media Charlotte, said in announcing the move Tuesday.

"Hell has frozen over," said Hancock about his return to afternoons.

WBT has been roiling through afternoon hosts since the departure of Jason Lewis in 2006 with Jeff Katz, Tara Servatius and Vince Coakley all taking a shot until "Brad and Britt" launched last July.

Hancock's move was one of two high-visibility changes announced Tuesday in Charlotte radio. CBS Radio said that Phil Harris, who hosted middays on the old "Lite," will take over as morning host on WKQC-FM beginning July 1.

Harris will replace Todd Baker, who is going to CBS's KZZO-FM in Sacramento. Baker's last day on the air in Charlotte is Wednesday.