Regional Roundup

By Kristin Bender

Mike Nicco is on his way to Kansas City. The longtime KGO-TV ABC7 meteorologist is leaving the Bay Area to become the chief meteorologist at KSHB, the NBC affiliate in Kansas City. The switch is a homecoming for Nicco, who was born in Kansas City and raised in Missouri. After 15 years at KGO, Nicco and his family are saying goodbye to the Bay Area and their long-time home in Danville to head to the Midwest.

Los Angeles’ KABC-TV weekend anchor Veronica Miracle is making a Northern California homecoming. She’s headed to San Francisco to work as a correspondent for CNN. Prior to her position in L.A., she was an anchor and reporter for KFSN-TV ABC30 in Fresno.

Jon Manzi was hired as the new vice president and general manager for the KRCR/KAEF Chico-Redding and  Eureka markets. Manzi most recently was VP-GM of Sinclair’s KSAS and KMTW Wichita, Kan.

Former KRON 4 executive producer Chris Archer, has accepted a new job with Atlanta-based Gray Television. Archer is the company’s new vice president of research and consulting. Archer’s new position with Gray Television is part of the company’s January 2023 launch of its new in-house division to provide news research and news consulting services for all its television stations.

By Toby Momtaz
Chapter Industry Relations Chair

San Francisco / Northern California Chapter – The Diversity Media Zoom Roundtable was held on October 3rd with multicultural attendees representing LGBTQ, South Asian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Filipino media outlets as well as members of Pacific Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain Southwest, Chicago/Midwest, and Lone Star NATAS Chapters. The roundtable communicated San Francisco/Northern California Chapter’s strive for inclusivity as it serves media outlets and storytellers creating content for diverse audiences throughout the region. To achieve this goal, the Membership Committee’s Diversity arm aims to develop programs, activities, and benefits that ensure all members feel engaged, supported, and valued by the organization. Watch the recording of the Diversity Media Zoom Roundtable below (86 Minutes):


Sacramento – KCRA Reporter/Weekend Anchor Leticia Ordaz has authored her second bilingual children’s picture book. As a Latina mother of two Spanish-speaking boys, Ordaz sees the importance of having more culturally diverse books for them and other children to choose from. Ordaz published her first book featuring Latinx characters in 2019. That book titled The Adventures of Mr. Macaw won four International Latino Book Awards in September 2020. This fall, Ordaz will release her second book titled That Girl on TV Could be Me! The Journey of a Latina News Anchor. In this book Ordaz re-counts her own life story about a shy, small-town girl from an immigrant family dreaming of becoming a TV newscaster who inspires the next generation to aim high and represent their community. The book which contains colorful illustrations, featuring both English and Spanish on every page is available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Fresno – KFSN ABC30 Action News welcomes Brittany Jacob as their new Weekend Evening Anchor and Reporter. Jacob moved to Fresno from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where she was an Evening Weekend Anchor and Southern Illinois Bureau Chief and Reporter. Jacob who grew up in Houston, Texas, is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC, and a member of National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Jacob loves theatre, cooking, traveling and experiencing new cultures and foods; and her favorite activities include visiting wineries, yoga, and spending time with her family.

Oakland – Photographer Stan Pechner from STANOVISION was assigned to shoot postcard scenes of Oakland and San Francisco to be showcased during the ESPN broadcast Oakland A’s game two in the best-of-three series with the Chicago White Sox. Pechner knew covering this playoff game would be like none other, because of COVID-19. As Pechner approached the Coliseum during the second inning of the playoff game, there were no cars in the parking lot, but he could hear fans cheering from his vehicle. After passing through COVID security mandates and heading down the ramp to the first level where the roar of the crowd was coming from, Pechner could only see white cardboard shapes in the seats. As he stood there the crack of the bat rung in Pechner’s ears louder than he’d ever heard it before. The Oakland A’s Marcus Semien had batted the ball to deep center for a home run! The crowd noise got louder as Semien rounded first but the white shapes in the seats were not moving or standing up to cheer for the home team. Pechner says: “The recorded cheering and sound of Krazy George’s drumbeats coming out of the speakers around the stadium and seeing Semien cross home plate and air high-fiving and elbow bumping his teammates was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen in twenty years of covering professional sports.” 2020 has been a year in all of our careers that we won’t soon forget. For Pechner, it’s been the year that changed the way he covers sporting events, and the year he saw an MLB playoff game without fans and the only cheering was in the dugout.

Sacramento – The Capitol City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a queer order of Nuns devoted to community service, ministry and outreach promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment have proclaimed our Chapter Board Member Joyce Mitchell as Saint Emmy Way Our Lady with the Golden Mic in recognition of her long-time fight against HIV/AIDS. In 1995, Mitchell co-founded the Capital City AIDS Fund (CCAF) – a non-profit organization that provides community education and resources as well as college scholarships for young people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Since its inception CCAF has raised and donated over $3 million for Sacramento area HIV/AIDS services. See the three minute video below:


San Francisco / Northern California Chapter – The 2020 student scholarship recipients were recognized at the Gold & Silver Circle Induction Ceremony on October 24th. A total of $15,000 in scholarships were awarded to the following undergraduate and graduate college students:

Peter J. Marino, Jr. Memorial Production Scholarship:
Ido Bartana, San Francisco State University

Rigo Chacon Scholarship:
Austin Castro, San Francisco State University

Sheldon “Shelly” Fay Memorial Videography Scholarship:
James L. Clark, City College of San Francisco

Miss Nancy Besst Memorial Graduate Production Scholarship:
Aurora Brachman, Stanford University

Linda Giannecchini Memorial Professional Development Scholarship:
Sabereh Mohammad Kashi, Berkeley City College



The TV Academy Fund Inc. is a  501(c)(3) charity tax ID # 94-3172275
To help with the chapter Scholarship Fund make your donations here.

Hawaii – Hawaii News Now welcomes the addition of two new members to their news team.

Multimedia Journalist, Jolanie Martinez, was born in Honolulu and raised in Wahiawa. Martinez attended Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, along with a minor in criminal justice. Her first reporting position was at KGBT4 in the Rio Grande Valley. After nearly three years in south Texas, Martinez is excited to be back home in the Aloha State.


Weekend Anchor for Hawaii News Now and also a Reporter for Hawaii News Now Sunrise, Casey Lund graduated with a degree in Radio, TV and Digital Media from the University of Idaho, and got his first news reporting job at KRTV 12 in Boise, Idaho. After that, Lund was bureau chief and legislative reporter for WAND-TV in Springfield, Illinois, and later a reporter at  KXLY’s Good Morning Northwest. Lund started at Hawaii News Now as a photographer and was recently named as the new weekend anchor.

San Francisco – ABC7 – These are the faces of evacuees. Another small story among thousands during the Glass Fire in Sonoma County last month. ABC7’s Wayne Freedman always carries a small camera to capture such moments. When he came across Shelley Schubert and her two children, they had just returned from their evacuated home to grab a few more items. With new flames bearing down, they knew they had possibly seen it for the last time. Freedman says: “You don’t need to see their mouths to see what they’re going through and their stress – the mother, her daughter, or her son – it’s all in the eyes.” The Schuberts’ home survived.

San Francisco – ABC7Stephanie Sierra‘s investigative documentary “Hiding in Plain Sight” is honored with two national 2020 Edward R. Murrow Awards in News Documentary and News Series categories. The story incorporates a year-long investigation into illicit massage parlors in Colorado that resulted in six women being rescued from human trafficking operations across the state. You can watch Sierra’s award winning investigative documentary here.

Bay Area – KGO Emmy® award winning videographer Randy Davis, a member of the Silver Circle, class of 2016, has retired. Davis who is best known for innovative shots and compassion was part of the ABC7 family since he was a teenager. His late father, Steve Davis, was an anchor and reporter at the time. Davis began his career as a freelancer and was eventually hired by the Bay Area ABC station in 1982 and covered every major story since then. Davis spent the last years of his career at KGO East Bay Bureau. Davis and his family now live in Truckee, California.

toby kvie sac


Toby Momtaz is a Producer at KVIE, the PBS affiliate in Sacramento, California


Monthly Tidbits From Our Chapter’s Markets

NATAS welcomes contributions to the Regional Roundup from all Chapter markets. To be included, please contact Toby Momtaz at

Back to the “Off Camera” INDEX page…

By Toby Momtaz
Chapter Industry Relations Chair


Marty Party GraphicSacramento CBS 13 Alumni – More than 60 former KOVR employees cram into a Zoom room to celebrate the life of former Channel 13 Photographer Marty Hernandez who died a couple months ago. A stellar videographer, Hernandez was known for his humor and one-liners. Co-workers knew it had to be a very special memorial with laughs – and few tears. Hernandez was honored in rare form September 16, 2020 at 7PM with employees coming from three time zones and at least nine states. The emotional and hilarious Zoom tribute was hosted by former News Anchor Stan Atkinson. “Joyce Mitchell, long-affirmed Producer-Goddess, led us all and made it an all-family triumph with her Prodigal Son Jameson, an IT Ace, at the controls,” said Atkinson. See the Marty Party article in this month’s Off Camera. And here is a short tribute produced by Jameson Mitchell.


Honolulu KITV – Hawaii station KITV was bought by Allen Media Group, a media group run by Byron Allen determined to acquire network affiliates across the country. The 30-million dollar deal makes 16 stations so far for the expanding media group. “Over the past year, we’ve invested over five-hundred million dollars to acquire beat-in-class, top-tier, broadcast network affiliates,” said Allen. “We plan to invest approximately ten billion dollars to acquire more ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX television stations over the next two years with the goal of being the largest broadcast television group in America.”



Sacramento, ABC News – Raging fires throughout California cloud our skies, taint our air, and destroy homes while also claiming lives. They’re impossible to ignore. Stanley Chan is an ABC freelancer who has been in the thick of it all – along with photographers and reporters from stations throughout our chapter. Chan works for ABC Network News, covering the blazes. Doing live shots to New York in the early morning hours for “Good Morning America,” Chan said that one of the hardest parts of his job is encountering evacuated families asking to check on their homes, wanting to know if anything is left standing.








Guam KUAM TV – Residents of Guam begin each day by waking up to their national anthem on KUAM TV followed by a multi-platform morning news program hosted by Managing Director Sabrina Salas Matanane and Senior Correspondent Chris Barnett. The anchor team goes live from 6 to 10AM weekdays, breaking down the news of the day, from government to health and business. KUAM is also transmitted via radio and web streamed live on KUAM’s Facebook Page.



San Francisco – KGO-TV – After 26 years with ABC-7, Bay Area journalist Eric Thomas said goodbye to his news team and signed-off from the morning anchor desk on September 27th. Thomas, who grew up in the Midwest, dreamed of becoming an engineer and pilot, but his first taste of broadcasting in high school got him hooked on reporting. He took his first TV job as a reporter in 1989 in St. Louis where he did live news cut-ins. Thomas later went on to join ABC-7 in 1994. On his Facebook page Thomas wrote: “It’s a mutual decision and KGO-TV has been very good and very respectful. I’m going to take time to be with my family, decompress and plan the next chapter”.



Marin – Joe Burull Photography – The Bay says farewell to Photographer Joe Burull who had an eye for capturing the essence of people, architecture, and landscapes. He died September 13, 2020. Born in 1947, Burull was a true optimist, humanist, and great observer of the world and people. He transferred those traits into his work and the final product often was visually metaphoric. Burull is remembered as a photographer with artistic courage who trusted his instincts. The world has lost an un-heralded master.


toby kvie sac


Toby Momtaz is a Producer at KVIE, the PBS affiliate in Sacramento, California


Monthly Tidbits From Our Chapter’s Markets

NATAS welcomes contributions to the Regional Roundup from all Chapter markets. To be included, please contact Toby Momtaz at

Back to the “Off Camera” INDEX page…

By Joyce Mitchell
Chapter Governor, Sacramento  

Redding/Chico/Eureka ABC’s KRCR Channel 7 – A “firenado” – explosive flames from the Carr Fire – roared near the parking lot of the station, forcing a voluntary evacuation. KRCR anchors made the announcement while on-air live. “Right now we are being evacuated,” said news anchors Allison Woods and Tamara Damante. The station set up a mini-newsroom in a hotel. “We took a producer and minimal staff to a local hotel and produced from there,” said KRCR General Manager Teansie Garfield. “We stayed on air feeding information to our sister station KAES in Eureka.” They also provided life-saving news via social media. KRCR is Sinclair-owned. Soon after the blaze started, corporate jumped in to provide back-up. Sinclair sent staff to Redding from eight other stations including ones in Reno, Salt Lake City, Medford, Portland, and Bakersfield. KRCR delivered five days of wall-to-wall coverage after the fire broke out July 23. “Local television is never more important than in a time of crisis,” said Teansie. The Carr Fire, one of the largest ever in California history, blackened tens of thousands of acres, destroyed more than 1,500 structures and killed several people. The following links are from KRCR – one when they signed off – and another of coverage:


Reno‘s NBC affiliate KRNV provided respite to KRCR reporters. The following link documents the horrendous scene they witnessed from the Carr Fire:

Redding – KRCR – Acres of land – parched, devastated by the Carr Fire, and every single employee of the ABC station was impacted in some way by the blaze. “We had people staying at the station if they needed to as they were dealing with the tragedy,” said KRCR General Manager Teansie Garfield. To help community members cope with the death and destruction, KRCR teamed up with The Salvation Army for a fundraiser that brought in nearly $400,000. Sinclair donated $25,000 to the telethon. “I’m so proud of our news team and I’m so grateful for the support Sinclair gave me, the station and our community during the worst crisis we have ever been through,” said Teansie.

Sacramento – NBC’s KCRA 3 – Victims of the Carr fire and other wildfires around California are getting assistance from a variety of sources including KCRA. On July 31, the station teamed up with the American Red Cross for a telethon to help fire victims of all California wildfires. By 9 p.m. that night, the telethon had raised more than $700,000 from about 3,500 viewers. Additional information about the telethon is included in this link: How you can help the victims of the California wildfires


Photo Credit: Aven Santiago

Hawaii  – KHON2 – Sports Director Rob DeMello has branched out – and in a very service-oriented way. DeMello was presented with the 2018 Hawaii Patriotic Employer Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The award recognizes workers who support civilian soldiers, accommodating their schedules with their military duties. Rob was nominated by Chief Petty Officer Aven Santiago of the Hawaii Army National Guard. “Rob was the one who took me in, helped me grow from intern to employee, who taught me skills as a storyteller and shooter and who I’m still learning from everyday as a member of the media and as a human being,” Santiago said. He continued that DeMello has always been supportive of his military career. “He is a big part of where I am today and I couldn’t see this award going to anyone else but him,” Santiago said.

Photo Credit: Jody Leong

Hawaii KITV 4 NewsTis the season – election season that is – and KITV reporter Paul Drewes landed a one-on-one interview with the man-of-the-hour – Hawaii Governor David Ige. On Aug. 12 in Honolulu, Ige won the Democratic primary in his bid for a second term in office. It’s been a challenging first term for the governor. First, a false missile alert sent the state into a panic in January. Then he had to deal with the Kilauea volcano’s latest eruption that displaced thousands of people. “It’s been a grueling campaign,” Ige said. “It’s truly a heartwarming finish to a very, very challenging and exciting time.”




Fresno  – KMPH/Fox 26 – Great Day Host Kim Stephens reveals her innermost secrets and thoughts in an August profile in Central Valley Magazine.  For instance, Stephens discloses that she once thought about becoming a nun. The article was fun and informative. Still, it left Stephens feeling a little awkward. “I have always been more comfortable asking questions rather than answering them,” she said. As for feedback from the Q&A article, Stephens found it interesting. “What are people most surprised by? Most are surprised I was a blackjack dealer at Caesar’s South Lake Tahoe.” She said it was a memorable summer job – especially since she lived in a home with nine other people!



San Francisco – ABC’s KGO-TV – Wayne Freedman certainly is a familiar face around the City by the Bay. But who knew that in his spare time, when the camera is not focused on him and the story he’s covering that Freedman is a professional still photographer. And an excellent one at that. “Sometimes people buy them and put them in their living room,” Freedman said. “I make people happy and that makes me happy.” One of his passions is golf. “I think golf courses are beautiful,” he said. “I am a golfer and I get access to a lot of great courses.” Freedman also takes stills on work shoots to share on social media. “Oftentimes, I’ll do it during an interview just as a means of expression.”

San FranciscoSFG Productions – A newly-elected Governor on the NATAS board, Paul Hodges, missed his first Board meeting Aug. 11, but for good reason. A new baby! Hodges is vice president of San Francisco Giants Productions. Some things you can control – and others – well – they take on a life of their own. Like a baby being born. Hodges missed the board meeting because of the birth of his beautiful baby girl – Makenna Jayne Hodges. Congratulations!



Sacramento – NBC’s KCRA 3/My58 – Time flies and before you know it – babies are walking. Working the front desk of a TV station is no easy task. But KCRA’s Maren Schloeman has been doing it for more than 40 years.  And get this – she’s been walking since she was five months old! She’s obviously a go-getter – with staying power. The youngest of seven kids, Schloeman said that she got tired of being left behind. So, she got up and started tagging along. That was 60 years-ago. She loves her job and doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon. Now walking with the help of a cane, Schloeman said that her mobility has become increasingly challenging. Looking back to the early days keeps Schloeman focused on the positive. “I’m grateful I can still work,” she said. “I never want to find myself ungrateful for the blessings that I still have of being able to walk.”



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