Station Break

Maybe it's the water

WLOX-TV Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss., will replace Miyoka Broussard—who left her main anchoring role in June after having a baby—by promoting two anchors already at the station. Trang Pham-Bui and Rebecca Powers will share the anchoring duties.

Though only DMA No. 157, the market has proved a good one for anchors. Top WNBC(TV) New York anchor Chuck Scarborough worked there more than a quarter-century ago, and Gurvir Dhindsa, now a top anchor at WUSA(TV) Washington, worked there for more than a decade. In addition, notes News Director Dave Vincent, former WLOX-TV sports and news reporter/anchor Robin Roberts—now part of the ABC network's morning team—still stops by on occasion.

Suspect caught in Berecky attack

A man with a history of violence against women was arrested and charged with attacking KDKA-TV Pittsburgh reporter Mary Berecky at a car wash.

Police credited tips from the public with leading them to John Wesley Bolam after wide distribution of composite sketches. He was arrested Sept. 6 and charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Police weren't sure whether the reporter was targeted or whether it had been a random attack, the station said. The station reported that Bolam's record shows he was arrested for rape in 1992 and sexually assaulted another woman while out on bail. Convicted of both crimes, he served eight years in prison and was released last year. A third conviction for a violent crime could make him eligible for life imprisonment.

Gubernatorial get

The news media were kept at a distance on Primary Day last week at a Towson, Md., polling place when a judge determined that TV cameras following gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Kennedy Townsend would be disruptive. Though derailed for a moment, the media managed to catch her within camera range as she cast her vote, according to WMAR-TV Baltimore. Democratic candidate Townsend, who easily won her primary, offered support for the cameras, contending that media access protects fair and open elections.

Hair rising

Princell Hair's star is still on the rise at the Viacom station group. He has been promoted from corporate news director to vice president for news by Group Executive Vice President Dennis Swanson. Hair was recruited to be corporate news director in 2001 by the group's executive vice president for news, Joel Cheatwood. He later took over as KCBS-TV Los Angeles news director.

Earlier this year, Hair was expected to run Viacom's Los Angeles duopoly news operation, but GM Don Corsini chose Nancy Bauer-Gonzales, who had been news director at market leader KNBC(TV) and with whom Corsini worked at KCAL(TV) Los Angeles. Viacom officials said at the time that Hair was highly regarded and they wanted to keep him in the group.

WMAQ-TV's Press dies

Val Press, 74, who began as a secretary with WMAQ-TV Chicago and became a newswriter and producer, died of lung cancer Sept. 11 at Northwestern Memorial hospital. She had been with the station 52 years, first as a secretary in the sales department and most recently as producer for Sunday-morning public-affairs show City Desk. Vice President for News Frank Whittaker, called Press "the heart and soul of this newsroom ... a true Chicago treasure." Anchor Warner Saunders, who said he'd known Press more than 30 years, added, "There is no one who has passed through this newsroom who wasn't touched by her spirit." Political editor Dick Kay called her "an institution."

Prazenica replaces Staab at WTVD

The ABC Stations Group has named Bernie Prazenica president and general manager of WTVD(TV) Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Prazenica, who had been director of sales at ABC's WPVI-TV Philadelphia since 1994, replaces Valari Dobson Staab, recently named president and GM of ABC-owned KGO-TV San Francisco.

'A consummate pro'

Twenty-four-year veteran KCBS-TV cameraman Larry Greene, killed Sept. 6 in a helicopter crash in the Persian Gulf, is remembered as "a consummate pro who loved taking on the tough assignments," KCBS-TV GM Don Corsini said last week. Greene died when the helicopter in which he was riding crashed into a Syrian freighter. He was aboard a Navy SH-60B Seahawk helicopter when a rotor blade accidentally hit the mast of the ship, sending the helicopter into the ocean 80 miles off the Iranian coast. Four sailors with Greene were injured. KCBS-TV will set up a scholarship fund for Greene's children.