Coming Home

LaSalle Blanks, a native of Fairfield, Connecticut, is joining WTNH from WVEC in Norfolk, Virginia.

Blanks has been at WVEC for 20 years mostly on the morning show, but has recently anchored the 4p.m. newscast. He tells the Virginian-Pilot he looks forward to returning to Connecticut to work at the station he watched growing up.

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.

Nyberg Hits 30

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Ann Nyberg, long-time News 8 anchor and friend of The Laurel, marked her 30 year anniversary with WTNH Monday.

She is one of the longest serving TV news anchors in Connecticut history. She noted the milestone on her Facebook page:

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Congratulations Ann.

Sherman’s Next Movie

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Former WTNH producer turned prolific author Casey Sherman has had another of his books turned into a movie.

Patriots Day tells the story about how Boston Police handled the investigation following the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. This is the second book by Sherman to be released as a movie in the last year. The Finest Hour was a film based on the story of a famous Coast Guard rescue.

Picozzi Steps Back

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Word from ESPN that Bob Picozzi has announced his semi-retirement after several years of doing SportsCenter updates for ESPN Radio.

Before ESPN, Picozzi was the sports director at News 8 and a play-by-play man for UConn women’s basketball on CPTV.

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Picozzi is giving up radio but will continue to do TV play-by-play.

Social Media

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News 8 in New Haven is getting some attention for making use of the new social media tool Instagram Stories to engage its audience all day long.

The new Instagram tool allows reporters to post all day long into a story stream that appears as a slideshow and disappears after 24 hours.

WTNH has been using the service for about a month and the station is hoping it can help grow viewership among women who are Instagram’s top users.

Kala Rama – ICYMI

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Another shift change for former WTNH news personality Kala Rama.

She’s being moved from the WPIX weekend shift to weekday mornings at 5a.m. for a re-vamped morning lead-in show.

The move is described in an internal WPIX memo as part of a group of “exciting changes” designed to “maximize..talent.”

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