Station Break

Weather lifted, anchor dropped

Longtime San Antonio meteorologist Albert Flores is out at KENS-TV following disclosure that he plagiarized information from other weather sources in a column he had been writing as part of an arrangement between his station and the San Antonio Express-News.

KENS-TV General Manager Bob McGann said the station was unable to resolve differences with Flores but would not comment further, saying it was a personnel matter. The station had earlier noted Flores's 30 years of service and told the newspaper he would remain.

The day before the newspaper announced it was dropping his column due to plagiarism, News Director Tom Doerr appeared on air to disclose that Flores had misappropriated others' work and apologized to the paper and its readers. The paper and station will continue their arrangement. Flores said he meant no harm but found the column's demands overwhelming.

Meanwhile, the station promoted morning weatherman Bill Taylor—also a columnist—to replace Flores on the evening newscasts and said it will conduct a nationwide search to replace Taylor.

POL pans pastry piece

A prosecutor investigating WTMJ-TV Milwaukee's story about a bingo party at a facility for the mentally disabled at which a gubernatorial campaign may have paid for some votes with quarters and pastries said no charges would be filed.

Special prosecutor Ted Kmiec III said he found no evidence of impropriety that would lead to a conviction. Democrat candidate Jim Doyle, who won the governorship last week, took the absence of charges as exoneration. The station and his opponents were chided for what Doyle's campaign called false accusations—even accusing reporter Scott Friedman of trying to pin a negative story on the Doyle campaign.

Friedman called such accusations "outrageous and absolutely wrong. We don't operate that way." The station continued to stand by the story and expressed disappointment "that both gubernatorial campaigns seem to be trying to draw this television station into their political exchange."

On the mend

Veteran Scranton Times
TV reporter Rich Mates reports he is now home, recovering from brain surgery late last month. Mates had "deep brain stimulation" at the Cleveland Clinic to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and is expected to be recuperating for about six weeks. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1996.

Eye openings

All roads still lead to and from the CBS station group: R. Paul Fry, running Belo's Seattle-based NorthWest Cable News since 1999, has been named president and GM of KGW(TV) Portland, Ore. Fry replaces Ron Longinotti, who became general manager at CBS-owned KPIX-TV San Francisco.

WNBC(TV) New York promoted evening-news executive producer Mike Fitzsimmons to assistant news director. He replaces Joel Goldberg, who left to become director of station operations at CBS flagship WCBS-TV.

High-powered low-power station

Salcedo Martínez and Eduardo López, producers of Línea Directa, a public-affairs series on low-power Telemundo affil WZDC Washington, were awarded $130,000 by the Ford Foundation in its Leadership for a Changing World program, the only broadcasters to be so honored. The program "recognizes 20 leaders and leadership groups not broadly known beyond their immediate community or field."

Línea Directa, targeting the Latino community, has dealt with such subjects as predatory lending practices, domestic violence, education, depression and teenage pregnancy. Since 2000, EVS has teamed with NBC-owned WRC-TV Washington (NBC also owns Telemundo), which provides technical and studio support.

Out of hiding

KGO-TV San Francisco reporter Dan Noyes relaxes with Anna and Emily Nunez. The girls had been living in hiding for months with a group that supported their mother's efforts to keep the girls from their father, whom the mother had accused of abuse. Members of the group arranged during overnight talks to deliver the girls to KGO-TV after Noyes reported last week that the head of the support group was himself a convicted child molester. Noyes said the Nunez girls happily returned to their father, who has convinced authorities that he is not a danger to his daughters. Their mother is in police custody, and Noyes reported last week that she had tried to hire someone to kill her ex-husband.