Friday, December 30, 2005


You know, as bad as things may get in this market, I'm happy to say I don't work at WTEN in Albany, N.Y. This year was hell for their newsroom. Between the newsroom exodus and the pink slips, WTEN became known as the place where you can have your cake, as long as you keep it out of the newsroom.

And what horrible person could be manning the boat during this turmoil? Rene LaSpina.

She got her start in this business as a saleswoman at WNEP, where she rose through the ranks to become general manager. Her success can't be denied. But let's just say that reporters who were called to LaSpina's office made sure they had ample copies of their resume tape, just in case.

(She also hired Joe Snedeker. Good or bad? I'll leave that to you.)

Having kept WNEP far ahead of the competition, LaSpina headed west to Minnesota as GM for CBS owned-and-operated WCCO in Minneapolis. Like WNEP, this was a highly-rated station with a dedicated following. But lightning didn't strike twice for LaSpina. Instead, the ratings sank, newsroom morale hit an all-time low, and she even replaced a popular anchor who was on maternity leave. CBS eventually stepped in and fired LaSpina, and hand-picked partner-in-crime news director Maria Reitan quickly jumped ship.

With one newsroom decimated, LaSpina headed back east, where she now sits as GM at WTEN. Judging by how things are at the station, it's safe to say LaSpina can be described as the Grim Reaper of local news. So remember, if you find out she's the GM of your station, stock up on VHS tapes and postage.


I'm celebrating 2006 by taking some time off, but I'll still be checking the comment moderation queue, so you can still post. See you on Tuesday!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weren't she and Bob Woody an item? Enough said.

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She actually started her career in Radio Sales at 1320 WBQW (WSCR) in Scranton. She was once married to Bob Woody. She was just as loved at the Q from what I have been told.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think René "LaSpineless" LaSpina looks like a crampy "Mary Steenburgen". No offense meant to the beautiful and talented "Mary Steenburgen" intended.

9:43 PM  

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