October 16, 2006
John Molori's Media Blitz - Ridley To Replaxe Nix At 7NBC
BY: John Molori
7NBC to hire Larry Ridley to replace Nix Miami sportscaster offered job; Castiglione stays on
Two Boston media sources have told Media Blitz that 7NBC is set to hire Larry Ridley as its new full time sports anchor and reporter. 7NBC has been searching for a replacement for Wendi Nix, who left the station this past summer for ESPN.
Ridley is currently a sports anchor and reporter at WSVN in Miami, a sister station of 7NBC owned by Ed Ansin's Sunshine Television Corporation. 7NBC has yet to finalize a contract with Ridley, but the station has offered him the position. Ridley should begin his tenure in Boston before January 1, probably sooner.
Several sources have told Media Blitz over the past few weeks that 7NBC was searching for a woman to replace Nix. The station currently has Duke Castiglione in a temporary role along with David Briggs and sports director Joe Amorosino.
Castiglione does not have a contract with 7NBC, but has an agreement through February to work 5 days a week in addition to his work at ESPN. He has done a terrific job in that role and will continue to work for the station.
"I like doing it," says Castiglione, who has also worked for Fox25 and WCVB. "I heard that that (7NBC) was closing in on a hiring, but they told me I 'd be staying on at least until February in whatever role they want me to do. It's important to be able to do anything in this business. I've even thought of becoming a news anchor."
Ridley's picture and bio is still posted on WSVN's website. He has been with the station since 2005 and previously worked in Jackson, Mississippi. While at WAPT-TV in Jackson, Ridley's sportscast was named best in the state by the Associated Press
Ridley hails from Nashville and played football at Middle Tennessee State. He currently works newscasts at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., as well as WSVN's "Sports Extra" show. This ability to file multiple daily reports should serve Ridley well at 7NBC.
Ansin recently purchased Boston's CW56. 7NBC will soon be airing a 10:00 p.m. newscast on CW56 in addition to its own 11:00 p.m. newscast. Ridley will move into Nix's slot as the number two sports personality at 7NBC, behind Amorosino and ahead of Briggs.
Briggs' contract expires in the spring. A 7NBC source told Media Blitz a few weeks ago that the station is leaning toward not renewing Briggs' deal. If that happens, Castiglione would be a terrific candidate to join the fold full time. The 7NBC source would not comment on whether Briggs would be let go before his contract has expired.
Says Castiglione, "They (7NBC) have never mentioned anything to me about David (Briggs). I enjoy working at ESPN and at 7NBC. I have heard a lot of negative things about channel 7, but I have seen and experienced none of it.
"(News director) Linda Miele has been great to me and it was Joe Amorosino's idea to bring me in. That has to give you a real sense of security. It' s been outstanding. If 7NBC ever approached me about something full time, I'd consider it."
Back in September, Amorosino would not comment on any contract or personnel issues, but did tell Media Blitz, "We feel really strong right now. David Briggs has built some great contacts here and Duke is a local guy who knows the landscape. I would like to see some stability in the future and see a full-time hire to replace Wendi."
7NBC received over 300 tapes for the six-figure salary position that Wendi Nix vacated. A 7NBC source told Media Blitz in September that the station would prefer to hire a woman and was trying to find the right one from the hundreds of tapes received.
The source stated, "Our preference would be to have a woman, but if enough time goes by and we do not find the right one, we'll hire a guy."
Clearly, the time had come for 7NBC to make Ridley an offer. Moreover, it is clear that their desire to hire a woman has been outweighed by the length of time it has taken to make a decision, the lack of strong female candidates or the overwhelming desire to have Ridley join the sports team.
Ridley's arrival and Castiglione's continued presence should satisfy Amorosino's desire for stability and bolster 7NBC's sports coverage as it moves into a new more labor intensive era with the acquisition of CW56.
John Molori's columns are published in The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, ColdHardFootballFacts.com, Boston Sports Review, Boston Baseball Magazine, Methuen Life, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com and BostonSportz.com. Email John at MoloriMedia@aol.com.
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