Updated 5/19 — SYRACUSE — According to multiple sources, Jim Tortora has exited NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV) after more than a decade at the station. We’re told General Manager Theresa Underwood sent an email memo to staff on Monday afternoon, thanking Tortora for his time with the station, and wishing him well in the future.
CNYTVNews.com contacted Underwood via email for confirmation on Monday evening, but as of Tuesday evening, she has not responded. Tortora’s name is absent from the “Contact” page on 9WSYR.com, where his name and email address previously appeared.
Among his many contributions, Tortora is credited with launching the station’s “Your Stories” franchise, an idea which has been duplicated at other stations across the country. Under Tortora’s direction, the ABC affiliate has won numerous awards from the Syracuse Press Club, the Associated Press and the prestigious RTDNA’s Edward R. Murrow Award, at both the regional and national levels. Over the last several years, most or all of NewsChannel 9’s local newscasts have enjoyed top billing in the Syracuse market’s Nielsen ratings surveys.
According to a publicly-viewable page on LinkedIn, Roger Mirabito, the station’s Assignment Editor since 1999, is now serving as Interim News Director. At this point, it’s not clear what the long-term plans might be: 9WSYR.com lists a few job openings, but none in management as of Tuesday evening.
New Information Added 5/11: The Syracuse Post-Standard received confirmation from Underwood on Wednesday, that Tortora has resigned from the station. She also confirmed Mirabito is Interim News Director until a permanent replacement is named.
- MediaBistro’s TVSpy.com: Rumors Swirl as WSYR News Director Resigns (5/11/11)
- Syracuse Post-Standard: News director James Tortora resigns from News Channel 9 WSYR (5/11/11)
- Added 5/19 on CNYTVNews.com: NewsChannel 9 Posts News Director Opening
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