Thursday, July 29, 2010

Local TV Roundup: KNBC Names New News Director; KCET Pink Slips 13

KNBC Los Angeles has named new news director: Vickie Burns, who moves from WNBC New York.

Burns replaces Steve Lange, who resigned under fire in May.

Lange had been accused of trashing KNBC's journalistic standards in favor of adding fluff and entertainment to the mix -- including faked "news segments."

Burns appears to at least have a bit more news chops:

Burns will lead the day-to-day news operations of KNBC and will oversee content production and distribution across all digital platforms. Burns will start at the station on August 16th and will report directly to Robinson.

"Vickie is a seasoned journalist who has extensive experience running a newsroom," said Robinson. "She understands the needs of local news consumers and how to create quality content that can travel across multiple media platforms."

Burns joins KNBC from WNBC, NBC’s owned and operated station in New York, where she was Vice President of Content and Audience Development for NBC Local Media New York since 2009. In that capacity, Burns was responsible for developing strategy to build audiences across the station’s media platforms, including WNBC, NY Nonstop,, taxicabs and other out-of-home platforms at NBC Local Media New York.

From March 2008 to June 2009, Burns served as Vice President of News and Content for WNBC. During that time, Burns spearheaded the station’s transformation from a news operation into a comprehensive content center, producing news and information on multiple platforms. Additionally, she led her team in the launch of NY Nonstop, WNBC’s groundbreaking 24-hour digital news, information and lifestyle channel.

Prior to joining WNBC, Burns was the Vice President of News for WRC, the NBC owned and operated station in Washington, D.C., from September 2003 to March 2008, the #1 news station in the market.

Might this also mean KNBC will launch an "LA Nonstop" channel, much like WNBC's 24-hour "NY Nonstop"? We'll see.

Also in local L.A. TV news: PBS outlet KCET pink slips 13 employees, according to public broadcasting journal Current:

At an all-station meeting in Los Angeles Tuesday (July 27), KCET staffers were told that 13 employees are being laid off. Cuts come from across several departments, and at least one vice president is affected. In June 2009, KCET cut 12 full-time and part-time staffers and announced furloughs and pay cuts. The station also dropped its 45-year-old program guide that month, citing financial reasons.

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