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Published: 10/20/2003

Ch. 24 hires weather anchor

Taking note of the Toledo media:

HEADED HOME: WNWO-TV, Channel 24, has hired Norm Van Ness as weather anchor for its morning newscast. Van Ness, a Gibsonburg native, previously worked as chief meteorologist for KETK-TV in Tyler, Texas. He replaces Kelli Durand, who left the station in September.

WNWO news director Lou Hebert said Van Ness has “good instincts and a strong on-air presence.”

Van Ness served in the Air Force after graduating from high school. Later, he earned a degree from Bowling Green State University. “While in college, I was bitten by the broadcasting bug,” Van Ness said in his bio posted on KETK's Web site. His first taste of broadcasting came via part-time jobs at WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and WSPD-AM (1370).

ADDED DUTIES: Terry Thill has been named managing editor of WTOL's 11 p.m. newscast. In his new role, Thill will “review all scripts in the newscast and work with reporters on their stories,” according to news director C.J. Beutien.

Beutien said the move is designed to take some of the burden off of the 11 p.m. producer, Al Mannes. WTOL recently formatted its newscasts, adding about two minutes of news. (Among other things, it shortened its weather segment by about 30 seconds.)

Thill, who joined the station in January, will continue to co-anchor the station's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Chrys Peterson.

NEW IDENTITY: WNRR-FM is no more. BAS Broadcasting, which recently purchased the station for $550,000, has changed the call letters, music format, and branding.

The new call letters: WOHF-FM. The new format: classic rock. The new branding: “92.1 The Wolf.”

After two-plus weeks of playing Christmas music, the changes were unveiled Saturday. Under its previous owner, the Bellevue, Ohio, station had a “contemporary hits” format.

STAYING PUT: WTVG-TV, Channel 13, news reporter Alexis Means has signed a contract extension, according to news director Brian Trauring. She has been at the station for two years.

DELAYED DEBUT: WTOL has yet to implement traffic reports on its morning newscast. The station had hoped to start the reports -- which will be supplied by Clear Channel's traffic division -- in early October. Beutien said everything is ready from his end, but he's waiting for Clear Channel to install the necessary equipment in the radio studios.

NEW PROGRAM: WGTE-TV, Channel 30, will unveil its latest Toledo Stories special on Oct. 30. Owens-Illinois: 100 Years “will give viewers an inside look at the Fortune 500 company that has called Toledo home for a century,” producer Greg Tye said. “WGTE had unlimited access to the O-I archives for this documentary.”

COUNTDOWN: The results of Arbitron's summer survey are expected to arrive at local radio stations before the end of the month. The 12-week ratings period ran from June 26 to Sept. 17. All signs point to WKKO-FM (99.9) being No. 1 for the 31st consecutive ratings period.



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