Saturday, September 5, 2009

Veteran local TV news director Karen Scott leaving WPIX/Channel 11 after 16 years

By Richard Huff

Karen Scott, who for 10 years has been news director at WPIX/Ch. 11, is leaving the Tribune-owned station.

The surprising move comes just a couple weeks before Ch. 11 is set to launch a new 6:30 newscast. The station is also preparing to debut a look for its newscasts, including a new studio set-up.

In a memo to staffers, station general manager Betty Ellen Berlamino said Scott, a 16-year-veteran of the station, resigned.

"She has been a hard-working, loyal employee and someone I've been proud to not only call my colleague, but also my friend," Berlamino said in the email.

While at Ch. 11, Scott oversaw the expansion of the morning show, and name changes as well.

"When she started, the station was doing seven hours of news a week and her departure will find us at 33 hours per week when we launch our early news on September 14," Berlamino said, adding she will be missed.

Scott's last day is Friday. No replacement has been named - yet.
Insiders at the station were stunned by the move. Word is there were tears in the newsroom when staffers were advised of the change.

"Everyone who knows her, knows she never would have resigned," said one Ch. 11 staffer, who requested anonymity.

Another said Scott was the "best news director I've ever worked for."

The departure comes at a key time for Ch. 11. Besides the 6:30 p.m. news, the station's morning show, "The PIX Morning News," is dealing with the maternity leave of key anchor Sukanya Krishnan and the departure of Tiffany McElroy, who asked to leave - and was granted an out - after five years, so she could move to Philadelphia with her husband.

McElroy told viewers of the “PIX Morning News” Friday morning that she was exiting after five years there to focus on her family.

“I’ll truly miss my friends here,” she said during a goodbye segment. “And they know I’m taking my life in a new direction and going to spend time with my new husband and daughter.”
Friday was her last day.

It is also McElroy’s decision to leave, having just gotten married. She has a young daughter, Reina Sofia, from her relationship with former WCBS/Ch. 2 weatherman John Bolaris.

I have to say this day is very bittersweet for me, as the last five years working on this show with the most amazing people has been such a pleasure,” she said. “I have never enjoyed my job so much as I have here at WPIX.”

McElroy joined Ch. 11 in Aug. 2004 after working two years in Philadelpia. She started anchoring the 5-7 a.m. hour with Craig Treadway and has been part of the mix in making the “PIX Morning News” a popular draw with local audiences since.

“I’ve been so lucky to work with all of you, such a pleasure,” she told her co-workers. “I will miss you guys more than you know, I will not miss waking up.”

McElroy’s departure leaves the “PIX Morning News” now missing two of its four-person anchor team, albeit temporarily.

Sukanya Krishnan, who co-anchored the 8 o’clock hour in the morning with McElroy, recently went out on maternity leave.

Krishnan called into the show Friday and said she was jealous McElroy wouldn’t have to get up early any more.

“What’s the first thing your going to when Monday morning rolls around and you don’t have to be here,” Krishnan said.“Get pregnant,” responded colleague Dr. Steve Salvatore.

“We’re going to work on having a family,” McElroy said laughing.
Tamsen Fadal, who has been filling in for Krishnan will also picking up McElroy’s workload and be on the air from 5 to 9 a.m.

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