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WTVT-Ch. 13 gives Leep on-air farewell

It's the golden rule of the industry: TV loves a big celebration.

So it's no surprise that WTVT-Ch. 13 is already pulling out the stops to publicize longtime weatherman Roy Leep's impending retirement Nov. 26, capping 40 years at the Tampa-based Fox affiliate.

On Monday, Leep made a formal announcement to viewers during the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts _ allowing WTVT to replay reporter Cathy Unruh's profile of the forecaster, originally assembled for his 40th anniversary in August.

On-air promotional announcements ensured fans knew Leep was going to speak on a subject the media had been buzzing about during the weekend _ and during an important ratings period, no less.

In the end, Leep offered a characteristically low-key assessment of his retirement, saying, "I've got knots in my stomach, and some people think rocks in my head. It's not easy to leave a career of 40 years, but I look forward to the next phase of my life. Thank you for all of the years."

After CBS, Chung's return easy as ABC

Two years after being dumped by CBS following her ill-fated pairing with anchor Dan Rather, Connie Chung will return to the air on ABC.

The network scheduled a news conference today to announce the hiring of Chung, who will report on newsmagazines such as PrimeTime Live and be available as a substitute anchor.

Chung and Rather were co-hosts of the CBS Evening News from 1993-95, but it never clicked.

She lashed out at CBS following her firing in May 1995, saying she was being made to take the fall for low ratings, and received support from many women in network news.

WFTS-Ch. 28 hires Fraboni replacement

David Mikes, a medical reporter and anchor in West Virginia, will come to WFTS-Ch. 28 next month as a replacement for morning and noon anchor Frank Fraboni.

Fraboni is departing for a main anchor job at WFMY, the CBS affiliate in Greensboro, N.C.

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