Overtime

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The late channel 3 reporter Brian Garnett once cracked up a gaggle of colleagues by saying one station he had worked for “really took care of its staff,” then, after a pause added, “They pay you $22,000 a year whether you need it or not.”

Garnett’s words came to mind this week when the Obama administration revised overtime pay rules. Any journalist assigned to an after hour stakeout has certainly wondered whether the duty qualified for overtime, or comp time, and after this week’s ruling the debate is on as to whether the new rules apply to journalists.

Lew Rome

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Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Lew Rome died Wednesday.

Long time Connecticut political reporters will remember him as a challenger to former Governor William O’Neill(D) in 1982. In the years since that campaign, Rome was known as a top lawyer/lobbyist in Hartford for the law firm of Rome McGuigan and the lobbying firm of Rome, Smith and Lutz.

We offer our condolences to the Rome family, his many friends and colleagues.

 

From The Wires

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Here’s a group of stories that caught our attention.

Early adopters of CNN will remember anchorwoman Lynne Russell.

She is a glamorous former CNN anchor who had an on-air look that seemed one part old Hollywood and one part secret agent. During the end of her tenure at CNN it was widely reported that she had a special interest in guns and security, including studies to be a private eye or a security guard. She once appeared on a late night talk show with a gun strapped to her thigh.

Last weekend, she and her former CNN/Navy Seal husband were involved in a shootout in a New Mexico Motel 6 with an armed intruder. Russell’s husband shot the man dead, but was wounded himself in the exchange of gunfire. Russell was not hurt and apparently did not fire any shots though her own revolver was on a nightstand.

This seems like a deal breaker…

Reports suggest ESPN2 is offering a contract extension to Keith Olbermann, but only if he’ll agree to end his practice of offering commentary. As Dan Rather might say, “the chance of that happening is the same as the chance of finding a stick with one end.” Think about it.

We are surprised to hear that the Newseum, in Washington, D.C., is in financial trouble and has considered some risky strategies in a search for a cash infusion. Even though it is surrounded by the many free Smithsonian museums, there are lines to get into the Newseum almost every day of the week.

Stoecker Lands In Boston

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Former NBC CT Troubleshooter Jeff Stoecker is reportedly joining WCVB in Boston.

He’ll be working at channel 5 as a freelance reporter. He left WVIT in February to pursue other opportunities. Before working in Hartford, Stoecker worked in Albany.

Reece Let Go In Philly

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Former popular NBC CT sportscaster Beasley Reece has been let go as sports anchor at KYW in Philadelphia where he’s been since 1998.

According to several reports, Reece and two other top on-air personalities, were given the hook just before the 5p.m. news Tuesday afternoon. So far there is no explanation for the changes other than references to “new management” at the CBS station.

Before his career in sportscasting, Reece played in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chris May, a KYW news anchor who once worked with WBZ in Boston was also let go in the clean sweep.

The Return

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We were pleased to get a report that former WTIC-AM news director Dana Whalen is back on the air in Hartford and delivering the news.

She is doing some work with WNPR over the summer as Harriet Jones(WNPR’s business reporter) takes a trip home to Scotland(in case you weren’t sure of the accent).

WNPR news director John Dankosky says he’s “thrilled to be working with one of Connecticut’s best and most experienced broadcasters.”

This scenario may have been predicted a few months back when Whalen’s position was eliminated at WTIC. Dankosky and WNPR afternoon host Colin McEnroe both offered high praise for Whalen publicly and McEnroe criticized the decision to let her go.

Photo: Only known image of Whalen on the Internet. The late Alan Sagal shared afternoon duties with her in the WTIC newsroom.

Block Change

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NPR has announced Melissa Block is leaving as one of the three hosts of All Things Considered to take on a new role as a special correspondent.

Now we have noticed in recent months how that title can be used by management to move an anchor off the desk and into no-man’s land, but in this case, after more than ten years with ATC and 30 with NPR, it appears Block is excited about the change and has some specific ideas for her new role. One of those ideas could result in a Block hosted podcast. Perhaps it would be known as a Blockcast.

Podcasting is an expansion platform for NPR, all things considered.

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