French Takes Charlotte

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Former Fox 61 anchor Sarah French is taking over as the main anchor for WCNC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The move to Charlotte follows several years at WHDH in Boston. French made the announcement on social media Thursday:

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Graziano to WTNH

Happening Now!

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As followers of The Laurel’s Twitter feed were alerted this morning, former FOX61 and WPIX general manager Richard Graziano is returning to Connecticut to take over as vice president and GM of WTNH in New Haven.

The news was announced during a station meeting in New Haven Thursday morning. As you know, WTNH is now part of the Nexstar television group, the third largest in the country.

From Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent:

He said he intends to build on WTNH’s historic relationship with New Haven — it started here in 1948, the state’s first TV station — while also focusing on state politics in what promises to be a newsworthy year.

“Politics is a great sport in Connecticut,” he said. “I think it will pay dividends.”

This quote leads to immediate speculation about the possible return to the airwaves of CapitolReportTV, a half hour discussion program hosted by Tom Dudchik that ran previously on FOX61.

Post Election Watch

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Jackson, on the road.

In the aftermath of national elections there are always shake-ups (or re-assignments) in the news media world and the political world. We anticipate some changes for some news and political personalities with Connecticut ties.

Hallie Jackson. One of MSNBC’s campaign “road warriors” seems destined for a larger role with the network. The former WFSB reporter has been serving as a daytime anchor in the final weeks of the election and is a frequent guest on other MSNBC shows – a signal that management has taken notice. Her hustle for the story has even been featured in network promos. She was a standout player on the team.

Katy Tur. Worth mentioning not for her Connecticut ties, but for her bulldog coverage of the Trump campaign. She was often singled out by Trump for criticism and at least once had to be escorted by the Secret Service at a Trump rally for her own protection. She was plucked from a foreign posting to cover Trump and never expected to be on the campaign trail for a full 18 months. Now she may very well be assigned to cover the Trump White House. Back in June, someone created the hashtag #imwithtur in response to the Trump bullying.

Morning Joe. Criticized for enabling Trump, then ostracized by Trump for turning against him; Joe Scarborough of New Canaan and Mika Brzezinski – formerly of WFSB and Fox 61 – could re-emerge as a Trump media favorite. In recent weeks, Scarborough in particular, stubbornly insisted the race was not over even as the rest of the news media world was measuring the drapes for Hillary. Their show is still an “establishment” favorite in a world that has now been turned upside down.

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Hicks.

Hope Hicks. The rarely seen Greenwich resident has been Trump’s primary media liaison and could end up being the Huma Abedin of what will soon be called “Trump world” inside Washington, D.C.

Connecticut Media. With changes in the make-up of the state legislature coinciding with the national earthquake that occurred on Election Day and the coming gubernatorial election, there is a chance – a small chance – that Connecticut news media outlets may up their game when it comes to covering politics and government. One thing is certain about Tuesday’s results: Voters are fed up with the status quo from the media and government, they are looking for results and they are willing to punish those institutions that fail to perform to expectations.

New Set

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Fox 61 has a new set. The big reveal was Wednesday.

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Leann Hardin Saves Day

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Leann Hardin, the wife of Fox 61 anchor Brent Hardin, received a special award from the Avon school superintendent this week after she helped a boy who was choking on a piece of candy.

Leann performed the Heimlich Maneuver on the student dislodging the blockage.

Spanos Surfaces

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Follow up now on a story we told you about earlier this year…

Former Fox 61 reporter Angelica Spanos is back on the beat and on the air reporting for ABC NewsOne, the network’s affiliate news service. She is based in New York City.

H/T – New England One

Healthy Hancock

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Congratulations to former Fox 61 political reporter Rick Hancock who has taken charge of his health and lost more than 50 lbs. in the process.

The slimmer version is featured in a Facebook post marking his one year commitment to living healthier.

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