Mollie Cooney Says KCCI Career Like Hitting Jackpot

It’s exceedingly rare for a local TV news anchor to have been on the air at the same station in the same market for 40 years.

The people you work with through the years become like a second family. So retiring feels like the end of a love affair of sorts, with your co-workers and the viewers.

Mollie Cooney

Mollie Cooney is retiring from KCCI, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines owned by Hearst, in April where she has spent almost her whole career, except for a couple years at a station in California.

“I was lucky to have found a career I loved from day one,” said Cooney.
“I hit the jackpot.”

Cooney attended Iowa State University in the early 1970s wanting to be a magazine writer. Iowa State was one of a few universities in the country that owned a Big Three station, WOI, an ABC affiliate.

Cooney started anchoring the news on WOI her junior year. “I was hooked and never looked back. And can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.”

Cooney said the rewards of being on the air at KCCI for so long comes when she hears from viewers.

“And living in a community like Des Moines, you can’t go anywhere without people saying something.”

Cooney said with local TV news being consumed everywhere and so easily on cell phones and computers, it’s more important to be a journalist now than ever before.

“It has been my honor, as a reporter, to gain the trust of viewers to tell their stories and as an anchor, to earn their trust to report the news. KCCI truly is a family who cares for each other and this community and I know the proud tradition will continue.”

Here are some viewer comments about Cooney’s retirement.

“I must say, that I know I join the thousands who will miss your candid, professional, and genuinely kind approach that was reflected consistently in your reporting and interviewing. You will be so missed!”

“I have felt a sense of honesty in your reporting, which seems to be missing from so many today. You are the same calm, caring, and honest person in person as you are when I see you on the news. Enjoy your retirement!!!!”

“I don’t know what we are going to do without Mollie Cooney on the air. Really, you are such a pro!”

“Very classy lady. You are a central Iowa institution, great job, Mollie.”

“Mollie, you have been such a great example of responsible and compassionate reporting. I will miss you.”

“Such a class act! I hope she enjoys retirement as it is truly well deserved.”

Facebook Video Of Brawl Peacemaker Seen By Millions

A Facebook video of two teens fighting on an Atlantic City street shot by an onlooker is generating quite a reaction on social media and on local TV news outlets.

In the video, which was posted to Facebook last Monday (March 20), Ibn Ali Miller steps in between the two teens urging them to make peace, to talk and shake hands.

The video got the attention of the city council members who invited Miller to be honored at a meeting Wednesday.

Ibn Ali Miller

Fighting back tears, Miller praised his mom for raising him the right way.

This video of Miller appearing in front of the city council generated more than 30,000 comments and was shared more than 500,000 times on WPVI Philadelphia’s Facebook page.

The two teens in the video also thanked Miller for stopping their brawl.

“I hope that this is something that will influence people to do more character building, because that’s what these young kids need, they need character building,” said Miller.

Louisiana Broadcasters Name KTVE Station Of The Year

KTVE, the NBC affiliate in Monroe, was named Station of the Year in the small market category by the Louisiana Broadcasters Association.

The Prestige Awards ceremony was held on March 25th in Baton Rouge.

The annual competition recognizes excellence in broadcasting and outstanding achievements by Louisiana radio and television broadcasters.

This year the LAB received almost 300 entries, setting a new record.

KTVE is owned by Mission Broadcasting and operated by Nexstar.

“This was KTVE’s second win in the last three years,” said Randy Stone, KTVE’s general manager.

“This honor reflects the tremendous amount of hard work that our News and station staff put in each and every day. It is a proud moment for our company and motivates us to continue to be the voice of our community’s needs and issues.”

Below are the station’s 5-minute and 1 minute submissions for the award.

Brand Connections

WJLP Airing Town Hall Meeting On Heroin Crisis

Tonight at 8, WJLP, the MeTV affiliate licensed to Middletown, N.J., and seen in New York City, is airing a special town hall meeting seeking solutions to New Jersey’s growing heroin and prescription drug crisis.






A Jersey Matters Town Hall: The Heroin Crisis, was held at Monmouth University and was co-hosted by WJLP and the the Asbury Park Press.

The special is also airing on KJWP, the Me-TV licensed to Wilmington, Del., and also serving Philadelphia.

Both WJLP and KJWP are owned by PMCM TV.

The actress Mackenzie Phillips and New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino are just two of the panelists, which also include local politicians and medical experts.

“You cannot arrest your way out of this crisis,” Attorney General Porrino told the audience at Monmouth University.

Phillips told the audience she wouldn’t have survived her addiction had she not been arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after a bag of heroin fell out her pocket.

UPDATE: WTAE Heroin Special Wins Time Period

WTAE Pittsburgh’s primetime special, Chronicle: State of Addiction, which aired on Wednesday night at 8, was the most watched program all day by women 35-64, according to a statement from the Hearst-owned ABC affiliate.

In addition, it was also the top program at 8-9 p.m. among adults and women 18-49 and women 25-54, WTAE says.

Chronicle: State of Addiction featured first-hand stories from former addicts in recovery, and showed how many end up on the dangerous path from prescription pain killers to heroin.

WTAE’s Facebook Live segment immediately after Chronicle: State of Addiction, reached more than a quarter million people, and generated almost 3,000 reactions.

WTAE Chronicles Pennsylvania’s State Of Addiction

Opioid abuse may be the most covered topic in local news.

Hardly a day goes by without coverage of some shocking incident.

The problem affects every ZIPcode, every age group, every income.

Just last week in Centerville, Ohio, an airline pilot and his wife were found dead from a drug overdose involving opioids by the couple’s four children.

Tonight at 8 on WTAE, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, examines the local angle with its special, Chronicle: State of Addiction.

Viewers will hear first-hand stories from a former college athlete, a computer software developer and an Olympian, all former addicts, who prove there is hope for recovery.

Immediately following the program, viewers can participate in an hour-long Facebook Live discussion with experts on the WTAE Facebook page.

“When you put a spotlight on the opioid epidemic, the conversation leads to action and, hopefully, solutions,” said Charles W. Wolfertz III, WTAE’s general manager.

“We are proud that WTAE Channel 4 and our parent company Hearst Television have embarked on a year-long project aimed at combating the opioid crisis.”

Christine Baron’s Taking A Hike From WPTV

Christine Baron during a station food drive.

What an adventure awaits Christine Baron!

Frankly, I’m not man enough to attempt what this lady’s mapped out for herself over the next few months.

Christine, the creative services director at WPTV, Scripps’ NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla., is going to hike the Appalachian Trail, alone, carrying a 30-pound pack, from Harper’s Ferry, W.Va., to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, a distance of about 1,300 miles.

Christine takes her first step on April 3.

The Appalachian Trail is the world’s longest trail for hiking only. Here’s a video interview of a woman who also walked much of the Appalachian Trail alone. She says she encountered 24 bears along the way, an experience she describes as “cool.”

Brand Connections

NFL Head Coach Has Side Job Narrating D-Day Doc

If Bill Belichick decided to wear all of his Super Bowl rings at the same time, he’d proably need two hands — unless one ring fits on his thumb.

Bill Belichick

Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, has achieved what no other coach in the National Football League has: He’s won a record five Super Bowl titles.

The man knows football.

But that’s not his only interest.

Belichick is also a history buff, which is why he’s decided to lend his voice to an upcoming documentary on World War II entitled, D-Day: Over Normandy.

The documentary, set to air sometime this spring on PBS, is being produced by the World War II Foundation.

“Growing up in Annapolis, Md., where my father coached football at the United States Naval Academy, I understand the importance of preserving the memory of those who served our nation during World War II,” said Belichick.

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WREX Gives Rockford Viewers A Drone’s Eye-View

It’s not the cost of a drone camera that’s the challenge.

It’s the training, licensing and FAA requirements that are the obstacles keeping drones from being standard equipment in every videographer’s kit.

But the day those disappear is not far off. And I think that’s great for local TV news and commercial production operations.

I’m sure there are news stories where a view from a done wouldn’t add that much to the storytelling, but not many.

Just a drone shot of me walking down the street would be more majestic than a ground level angle. – Rockford’s News Leader

In Rockford, Ill., WREX, Quincy Media’s NBC affiliate, is the first station in the market to debut a drone, which it’s calling REX-1.

“This new drone technology will allow us to provide our viewers with unique news content they simply cannot get anywhere else in Rockford,” said Josh Morgan, WREX’s news director.

REX-1 will have a dedicated page on, where viewers can take a look at video shot using the new device.

The drone is piloted by an on-staff FAA-certified drone pilot and the station has plans to build a fleet of pilots and drones in the future.

Viewers Love WGN’s Morning News For Being ‘Real’

WGN Morning News from 6 in the morning until 9 was the top-rated choice for Chicago viewers during February among adults 25-54 for the sixth year in a row.

And for the first time, the show was No. 1 in household ratings from 5 to 10 a.m., according to the independent station owned by Tribune.

WGN ran this Facebook-only spot throughout the month of February targeting viewers who live within 50 miles of the city.

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