Category Archives: WFXT

Eric Rasmussen Joining FOX 25 as Investigative Reporter

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Eric Rasmussen will be joining WFXT-TV FOX 25 News as an investigative reporter for the station’s investigative unit “FOX 25 Investigates.”

Eric previously worked as an investigative reporter for KTVU-TV FOX 2 in San Francisco, California for nearly five years. KTVU was involved in the ownership changed that switched FOX 25 to a Cox Media Group station, sending KTVU’s station management to FOX 25. Kevin will be “reuniting” with News Director Lee Rosenthal and General Manager Tom Raponi.

Eric’s most rewarding stories while working at KTVU included uncovering questionable spending of public money by a former Port of Oakland official and exposing unsafe and unsanitary conditions at a large hotel, prompting changes to help long-term residents.

Prior to his work at KTVU, Eric was a reporter for WFTV-TV ABC 9 in Orlando, Florida. WFTV is also owned by Cox Media Group.

Eric has also worked as an anchor and reporter for KFSN ABC 30 in Fresno and for WCIA-TV CBS 3 in Champaign, Illinois. He got his on-air start at KHSL-TV CBS 12 in Redding, California.

When not behind the camera, Eric enjoys being a DJ. According to his KTVU bio, he fell in love with hip-hop music as a kid in the 80’s and has collected hundreds of records since then.

Eric graduated summa cum laude from Boston University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.

Eric starts at FOX 25 next Monday.

Vanessa Welch Joining FOX25 as Evening Anchor

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Vanessa Welch will be joining WFXT-TV FOX 25 News as co-anchor of the station’s evening newscasts, anchoring the 5, 6, 10, and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside Mark Ockerbloom, beginning December 1st. Vanessa comes to FOX 25 after nearly nine years as an anchor and reporter at Cox Media Group’s WFTV ABC 9 in Orlando, Florida.

“Vanessa is a strong journalist who has a track record of making a difference in the community,” said FOX25 Vice President and General Manager Tom Raponi. “We are looking forward to her joining the FOX25 News Team and being a trusted source for Boston viewers.”

“Vanessa’s success, both anchoring newscasts and affecting change through impactful investigative reporting, speaks for itself,” said News Director Lee Rosenthal. “She is a caring individual whose genuineness shines through on the air.”

While at WFTV, Welch anchored the market’s #1 rated 5 p.m. newscast. She covered national stories of interest, including the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials.

Her investigative work included uncovering problems with Florida’s toll payment system that led to innocent people going to jail. Her reporting led to changes at the state and local levels that helped fix the problems.

Welch also has been a watchdog for taxpayers. She broke stories about rampant abuse in food stamp and unemployment programs that caused changes to better protect taxpayer money.

With a strong track record of making a difference, Welch became a champion for viewers in need of help. That help included a single mother’s desperate attempt to get Medicaid coverage for a lifesaving surgery. Welch brought the case to state leaders, who changed Florida’s policy so that this type of surgery would be covered for all Medicaid patients in Florida.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of New England and join the talented team of journalists at FOX25,” said Welch. “My husband and I are excited to become part of the Boston community, living and working in one of America’s greatest cities.”

Before working at WFTV, Vanessa worked at WTVD-TV ABC 11 in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, where she reported on numerous stories including a suspected terrorist who ran over students on the University of North Carolina campus. Vanessa also interviewed former First Lady Laura Bush and covered Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Vanessa started her career in West Texas where she met her husband, Jason Brewer. Jason works as a meteorologist for Orlando NBC affiliate WESH-TV. He told Boston Media Watch in a statement that while he will be moving to Boston in the near future, he still has no plans as to what he will be doing.

As a mom of three young boys, Welch has a special place in her heart for helping children. After being introduced to a little girl with cancer six years ago, she helped start a 5k run for kids with cancer that has grown to 5,000 runners. The Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run at SeaWorld became an annual tradition that continues to raise funds to fight pediatric cancer. In addition, Welch volunteers with several organizations that are working to break the cycle of poverty. She is also involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

FOX 25 Debuts New Graphics

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WFXT-TV FOX 25 unveiled a new look on the 5pm news this evening, complete with a new logo and new graphics.

The new graphics, similar to those used by other Cox Media Group television stations, debuted a year after the company took over ownership of the station in a swap with FOX.

Along with the new logo and graphics, the station’s weather department has re-branded to “StormTracker Weather.”

However, not all viewers were happy with the new graphics.

Let us know what you think about FOX 25’s new graphics!

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FOX 25 Becomes First Boston Station To Use Drones

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(Note: The following information was submitted by WFXT-TV.)

WFXT-TV FOX25 News made history Thursday, becoming the first Boston station to use a drone for news coverage.  The station launched it over a New England orchard, showing the incredible fall foliage with pilot Roland Boucher at the controls.

The inaugural flight for the station came after more than a year of planning and safety considerations, which led to the Federal Aviation Administration approving drone use for FOX25 and all Cox Media Group stations. “Our company has been working diligently on this initiative, so our stations can give viewers a new, unique perspective in our news coverage,” said WFXT Vice President and General Manager Tom Raponi.  “We are looking forward to using this valuable storytelling resource while following all federal rules and regulations.”

Drones show different vantage points that would be impossible to see from the ground or even from the SkyFOX helicopter. FOX25 and its owners, Cox Media Group, wanted to use drones as a news gathering tool. All of FOX25’s drone flights will comply with state and federal laws and operate at a safe altitude. The flights will happen far from airports and crowds, and there will be a trained pilot at the controls. FOX25 and Cox Media Group stations will continue working with the FAA to help establish permanent rules and regulations for drones by demonstrating their safe and effective use.

FOX25 News is looking forward to bringing informative and amazing images to the viewers from a unique perspective.

Rob Eicher Joins FOX 25 as Part-Time Meteorologist

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Meterologist Rob Eicher has joined FOX 25 as a fill-in meteorologist. Rob will be providing forecasts for all of FOX 25’s newscasts.

Rob is no stranger to the weather industry. Prior to moving to Boston, Rob was the chief meteorologist at WJZY-TV FOX 46 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He left the station this year after moving from Orlando, Florida, where he worked as a meteorologist for nine years.

While in Orlando, Rob worked as a meteorologist for WOFL-TV FOX 35, WKMG-TV News 6, and for Central Florida’s News 13.

Rob began his on-air career at WBOC-TV CBS 16 in Salisbury, Maryland, where he worked as the morning meteorologist. While in Maryland, Rob covered many weather events from blizzards to Hurricane Floyd.

A certified broadcast meteorologist, Rob is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. He currently serves as the Chair of the AMS Board of Broadcast Meteorology.

POLL: What do you think Maria Stephanos will do next?

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After Maria Stephanos’ sudden departure from WFXT-TV FOX 25, many have been wondering what she will do next. She stated in her sign-off that she is “pursuing a new professional opportunity.”

What do you think she will do next? Take our poll below.

Maria Stephanos Leaving FOX 25 After 18 Years

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It’s the end of an era in Boston television.

After nearly 18 years with FOX25 News, Maria Stephanos has announced her plans to leave the station to pursue new professional endeavors. Her long career at FOX25 makes her one of Boston’s most experienced and enduring journalists. In her remarkable time at FOX25, Stephanos has provided local viewers thoughtful, incisive coverage of literally dozens of watershed events in local, and national news.

“I have decided it’s time for me to embark on a new adventure,” said Stephanos. “During my time at FOX25, I have covered so many amazing stories and events. Working alongside this talented group of journalists has been a privilege for me, every day. I will miss working with this extraordinary team, but I know FOX25 is in good hands and will continue to grow. I am beyond blessed, to deliver the news in the place where I grew up. New England viewers are savvy and smart and I love them for that. Thank you for making me part of your family.”

Her career started at FOX25 as a reporter in January of 1998. She was later promoted to the anchor desk, where she has been at the helm covering elections, conventions, blizzards, and even the Red Sox first World Series victory in 2004, along with countless other stories that have impacted New England. Stephanos was always there, her passion for bringing the stories that matter most to our viewers was obvious.

Perhaps most significantly, Stephanos’ coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings stood apart from other journalists. She was on the scene with her children, cheering for her husband as he was running the marathon. Within minutes of the explosions, Stephanos switched into reporting mode to provide her first-hand experience via telephone. Within an hour, and with her family safe, she was on the anchor desk, guiding FOX25’s coverage as a journalist, and a witness.

However, if you ask Stephanos, she will tell you her favorite stories were about New England’s most interesting and vivacious characters, whom she showcased in her Real People, Real Stories features. “I have had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing so many people who have had a huge impact on my life and my heart,” said Stephanos. Her unique interviews were a source of inspiration for millions of New Englanders.

“While I only had the pleasure to work with Maria for 11 months, I quickly learned her journalistic skill set, newsroom leadership and contributions to the daily editorial process, were second to none,” said FOX25 Vice President and General Manager Tom Raponi. “Her dedication went beyond journalism, volunteering countless hours of her time to make lasting contributions in her own communities.”

“In just the last year, we’ve had the privilege to work with Maria as she led extended coverage of the death of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, the verdict and sentencing of the Marathon Bomber, the historic winter that included several blizzards and the Boston Olympics Debate hosted by FOX25,” said News Director Lee Rosenthal.  “Maria is one of the most engaging, passionate and talented journalists you will ever find, and we will miss all that she contributes on a daily basis to our newsroom.”

Stephanos and FOX25 also were great partners in developing the FOX25 Cares community initiative. She is a tireless supporter of The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Action for Boston Community Development, The American Heart Association, Rosie’s Place, Relay for Life and The Make-A-Wish-Foundation.

“We will miss Maria’s infectious laugh and her desire to deliver the best local news coverage to the communities we serve,” added Raponi. “We thank her for her contributions and wish her well in all that she does in the future.”

Stephanos’ last day on FOX25 will be Friday, Sept. 11, anchoring FOX25 News at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m.

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