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Published: Monday, 2/6/2006

Radio reporter jumps to TV

Mitch Jacob, news director for WTOL-TV, Channel 11, had more than 50 applicants to choose from as he looked to fill a full-time reporting position.

He offered the job to someone who had no experience in television news.

But that candidate, Rob Wiercinski, had the most reporting experience. He spent a decade at WSPD-AM (1370).

Teaching someone television is the easy part, Jacob said. Teaching someone how to be a journalist is much more difficult.

More often than not, local stations hire reporters from outside the market. It takes them a few months to get acclimated to their beats. In Wiercinski, who is a Toledo native, WTOL gained a reporter who already is well-connected and has many sources within city hall, Jacob said.

Wiercinski said it has been a relatively smooth transition from radio to TV.

Obviously, there was some anxiety. But it s so far, so good, he said. I ve got a lot of learning to do. In television, you have more tools to tell the story. For me, the [challenge] is to use all of these tools effectively.

Jacob said: We are working on slowing his delivery down and writing to his video.

Tools like video and graphics aside, Wiercinski said there is another basic difference between radio and TV: And that s making sure I m properly shaved every day.

Wiercinski, 38, refused to discuss the reasons behind his departure from WSPD. He did say that working for the news/talk station was nothing but a positive experience for me.

After leaving WSPD in early January, he started working for WTOL on a freelance basis. Less than two weeks later, he became a full-time employee.

During his time at WSPD, Wiercinski was a co-worker of three people currently at WTOL news anchor Jerry Anderson, assistant news director Lou Hebert, and Andi Roman, executive producer of the station s morning newscast. (WTVG-TV, Channel 13, news anchor Lee Conklin is also a WSPD alumnus, but he never worked with Wiercinski.)

In addition, he crossed paths with many WTOL reporters through the years while covering stories for WSPD.

Because of the familiarity, Wiercinski said, everyone in the newsroom has been extremely supportive of the station s newest reporter.

I ll tell you, he said, getting hired at [Channel] 11, I almost feel like I won the lottery.

MORNING BLUES: Compared to the previous year, the number of people listening to morning-drive radio during Arbitron s fall survey dropped sharply. Stations in the Toledo market combined for 89,500 listeners during a typical 15-minute interval down from 96,700 in the fall of 2004.

NEW HIRE: Kylie Conway is to start today as a news reporter for WNWO-TV, Channel 24. The Indiana University graduate previously worked at WKAG-TV in Hopkinsville, Ky.

ADDED NEWSCAST: For the next three Saturdays, coinciding with the schedule of the Winter Olympics, WNWO will have a 7 p.m. newscast. The NBC affiliate will have its normal 6 p.m. newscast on Saturdays as well.



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