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Published: Monday, 1/16/2006

Cummins, WTOL agree to one-year deal

Dan Cummins wants to follow the lead of his predecessor, Orris Tabner, who retired as sports director of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, in 1996 after 38 years at the station.

Cummins, in his 25th year at WTOL, recently signed a one-year contract.

Although the length of the contract is the shortest of his career, Cummins said no one should read anything into it. He said it has nothing to do with the one-week suspension he received in March for his demeanor during a 6:30 a.m. live shot from the Mid-American Conference basketball tournament in Cleveland.

Things have been great since then, he said. We had a really good meeting and talked about things we needed to talk about. To me, it s a dead issue.

Cummins said a possible factor in the contract being limited to one year (most of his previous contracts were for three years) is the pending ownership change at WTOL from Liberty Corp. to Raycom Media. WTOL news director Mitch Jacob said that s not the case, and it was station s decision to offer a one-year deal.

Management likes the job I do and the ratings are good, Cummins said, so I m not concerned.

Cummins, 51, is likely to have an increased workload this year. Last week, WTOL eliminated one of the three positions in the sports department, leaving Joe Rychnovsky without a job.

Rychnovsky, who worked at WTOL for nearly seven years, had high praise for Cummins and weekend sports anchor Gary Sensenstein.

I ve worked at five different stations and they are, by far, the best sports department I ve worked with, Rychnovsky said. There was no jealousy, no egos. I really felt, from the moment I started there, accepted. You don t expect that in television, which can be a cut-throat business.

IN MEMORIAM: WUPW-TV, Channel 36, opened last Monday s 4 and 10 p.m. newscasts with a 4 -minute video tribute to former news anchor Ryan Serber, who died of brain cancer at age 37. The package was, in a word, outstanding.

WEATHER OPENINGS: WTVG-TV, Channel 13, is advertising for a weekend meteorologist. Susan Ware, who currently works weekends, wants to work on a fill-in basis after her maternity leave, according to news director Brian Trauring.

Meanwhile, WTOL has been interviewing candidates for its two meteorologist openings one would replace Dave Carlson, who retired at the end of 2005, and the other is a new position.

MOVING ON: Angela Brown, who spent the past 4 years at WTOL, has been hired as a news reporter at WLWT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati.

NEW HIRE: Katarina Betyarska is to start today as a news reporter for WSPD-AM (1370). She previously worked at WIMA-AM (1150) in Lima. The Bulgaria native received a master s degree from Bowling Green State University, according to WSPD program director Brian Wilson.

Betyarska replaces Rob Wiercinski, who recently left the station. (Last week, Wiercinski began reporting for WTOL on a freelance basis.)

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