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Fox4 meteorologist Jennifer Myers goes public with her impending surgery for likely thyroid cancer

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fox4 meteorologist Jennifer Myers is staying upbeat while facing Thursday, March 5th surgery that will keep her off the air for at least a couple of weeks.

Myers confided on her Facebook page Wednesday that she’s having “my entire thyroid removed due to what is likely stage 1 Papillary Cancer.”

But she noted it’s one of the “fastest growing” while also “one of the most survivable cancers out there. So if that’s the case, I’ve got a great prognosis.”

Myers joined Fox4 in July 2012 and is best known for co-anchoring the station’s weekend morning newscasts with Jenny Anchondo. On Saturdays, they also collaborate at the anchor desk for D-FW’s far-and-away best adopt-a-pet segments.

“I’m sorry if I over-post and over-share over the next few weeks,” Myers said on Facebook. “Sitting in a hospital/being in bed are not my strong suits, and the boredom will likely drive me insane.”

Myers also said she’ll make no effort to physically hide her surgery upon returning to the air.

“When I get back, there will be a pretty noticeable scar on my neck, so heads up on that one,” she said. “I’ve chosen not to cover it up because we’re adults and it’s good for us to handle a little dose of life from time to time. Also, putting makeup over a wound is asking for trouble, and scarfs make me look ridiculous.”

Myers praised Fox and her Fox4 colleagues for being “amazingly supportive through all of this.”

As of this late Wednesday night writing, Myers’ Facebook post has received close to 1,000 comments.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., March 3) -- NBC wins wire to wire

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
It helps when CBS airs reruns of its popular Tuesday night crime dramas, most notably NCIS.

But NBC’s latest 7 to 9 p.m. edition of The Voice may well have won anyway. And with little resistance, it won really big this time with 474,232 total viewers and 160,844 in the advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

NCIS, the next closest attraction in total viewers, barely drew half The Voice’s crowd with 244,090. Among 18-to-49-year-olds, the return of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fox’s New Girl shared the runner-up spot with 66,230 viewers apiece.

NBC also won the 9 p.m. hour with Chicago Fire. It drew 230,142 total viewers and 75,691 in the 18-to-49 sweet spot. ABC’s 9 p.m. new episode of Forever in contrast had prime-time’s smallest haul of 18-to-49-year-olds -- 18,923 -- among the Big Four broadcast networks.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 topped off a big night for the Peacock with 10 p.m. wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m. while also sweeping the 6 p.m. competitions.

NBC5 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m. and tied Gannett8 for the lead among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Former NBC5 anchor Jane McGarry joining Good Morning Texas as full-time co-host

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Former longtime NBC5 anchor Jane McGarry is joining Gannett8’s Good Morning Texas as a full-time co-host after earlier contributing with a series of “Texas Legends” segments.

She’ll be teaming with incumbent Mike Castellucci on Monday, March 9th.

“They knew I was very interested in being a part of the team,” McGarry said in a telephone interview Wednesday morning. “I just like the show. It’s really a lot of fun.”

McGarry is replacing co-host Amy Vanderoef, who as previously posted is leaving GMT on Friday, March 6th after the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract.

McGarry said it’s her understanding that the host/contributor lineup otherwise will remain in place with Paige Smith, Carrie McClure and Shannon Powell Hart being retained. But a Gannett8 publicity release does not mention them.

McGarry also will continue to do the “Texas Legends” segments that first introduced her to GMT viewers in 2013 and have re-profiled the likes of Laura Bush, Roger Staubach, Jerry Jones, Willie Nelson and Mark Cuban.

“I’m working on several of them right now,” McGarry said. “There are so few venues where you can still do long-form journalism these days. I just like it. It’s really a lot of
fun. I really enjoy interviewing people and getting to know people.”

GMT for several years also has been home to five-minute segments in which participants pay Gannett8 to appear on the show and sell their products. That apparently isn’t changing either.

“Obviously I don’t make any programming decisions,” McGarry said. “As far as I know, the program is going to be the same. But if you look at those paid segments, there’s a lot of valuable information in many of those.”

McGarry was a high-profile anchor/reporter for 30 years at NBC5 before resigning in July 2012 after pleading “no contest” to a Class B demeanor charge of driving while intoxicated. She also apologized for “my irresponsible behavior” on her Facebook page.

In Wednesday’s phone interview, McGarry declined to specifically address her long career at NBC5. “Honestly, I have enjoyed every single thing I have done in television news,” she said. “And this seems like the right fit for this phase of my life.”

GMT airs weekdays at 9 a.m. In the just-concluded February “sweeps” ratings period, it averaged 55,792 D-FW viewers to run fourth in its time period behind network or syndicated programing on Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11.

GMT likewise placed fourth among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds with 12,615 viewers in that age range.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Another major exit: Stalwart veteran medical reporter Janet St. James leaving Gannett8 (updated Tues. afternoon)

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Dallas-based Gannett8 will be losing another standout news room fixture with the impending departure of medical reporter Janet St. James.

Several sources have confirmed that St. James will be leaving on March 17th to take a new position in the health field. She told unclebarky.com later Tuesday that she’ll be assistant vice president for strategic communications for HCA North Texas. St. James will work out of the company’s Irving corporate offices.

“Still telling important and relevant Texas health stories!” she said.

“I will miss them beyond words,” St. James said of her Gannett8 colleagues. “I’ve been a TV journalist nearly 25 years. I like adventure, so I’m excited about this one!”

Gannett8 news director Carolyn Mungo did not return an inquiry from unclebarky.com on St. James’ departure. But she said in a memo to station staffers that “her coverage of medical news in North Texas will sorely be missed.” Mungo did not specify where St. James would be going, terming it “her next adventure.”

St. James joined Gannett8 in July 1996 as a general assignments reporter and has been the station’s full-time medical correspondent since 2000. She could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

St. James most recently excelled with her coverage late last year of the Ebola virus outbreak tied to Dallas-based Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She is a University of Texas at Austin graduate who joined Gannett8 from KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City after earlier working for KTAB-TV in Abilene.

Sports reporter George Riba, who spent 35 years at Gannett8, retired last month and received a big on-air sendoff. Anchor-reporter Gloria Campos, a 30-year fixture at the station, retired in March of last year.

Other well-regarded reporters who have resigned from Gannett8 in recent years to take other communications positions include Brad Watson, Teresa Woodard, Chris Hawes, Steve Stoler, Craig Civale, Cynthia Vega and Casey Norton.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., March 2) -- The Voice again sings loud

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC continued to hit ratings high notes with The Voice while Fox’s Season 3 debut of The Following stumbled but didn’t quite fall.

The Voice racked up 425,414 D-FW viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. while also dominating that slot with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds (135,613). That’s a pretty poor percentage, though, with Voice drawing much of its ratings strength from an older crowd. In that respect, it’s in sync with American Idol.

Fox’s The Following, airing at 8 p.m., ran fourth in total viewers among the Big Four broadcast networks with 118,558 but moved up to second place in the key 18-to-49 demographic (63,076).

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then vaulted to first place finishes in both total viewers (195,272) and 18-to-49-year-olds (72,537).

ABC put its affiliate stations’ late night newscasts in no-win situations with a 9 p.m. repeat of Secrets and Lies, which already had faltered with Sunday night’s two-hour launch. It ran a distant fourth at that hour with 76,714 total viewers and a sub-measly 12,615 in the 18-to-49 age range.

In pre-prime results, the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt ran first in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) in competition with ABC, CBS and Fox4’s local edition.

Here are Monday’s local news derby results.

CBS11 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 notched two more 6 a.m. wins while NBC5 was tops in total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m. Gannett8 took Monday’s other two golds with first-place finishes at 5 and 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net