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TEGNA8 losing reporter Mike Castellucci -- for second time (updated)


@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Dallas-based TEGNA8 is losing another reporter of distinction.

Sources confirm to unclebarky.com that Mike Castellucci is ending his second tour with the station and taking a college teaching position in Michigan. Castellucci so far hasn’t responded to messages asking for more details, but he has given station management notice of his departure.

Castellucci later told the national industry site TV Spy that he’ll be joining Michigan State University as the school’s Professor of Practice.

“I’m really thrilled that Michigan State has noticed the innovation in my work and invited me to take a leadership position as they produce the industry’s next generation of storytellers,” he added.

(Castellucci now claims to have emailed an identical response simultaneously to unclebarky.com, which broke the story before TV Spy picked it up the following day. But no such response has been received. He was asked to re-send it, but hasn’t. Unclebarky.com initially held the story of his departure for a day while fruitlessly waiting for any reply from Castellucci.)

The former “Why Guy,” who has won 20 Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow award over the years, first joined TEGNA8 in 2003 and spent five years at the station before leaving for San Diego’s KUSI-TV in 2008. He returned to TEGNA8 in the summer of 2013 and began co-hosting the homegrown Good Morning Texas program. Earlier this year, he stepped away from GMT and returned full-time to the reporting staff.

In recent years, Castellucci has become known nationally and internationally for his Phoning It In specials, which he shoots entirely on his iPhone while also producing, editing and writing them.

“Cameras change, editing tools evolve, but one of the most important aspects of this business must never change -- good storytelling,” Castellucci says on his personal website. “My goal is to air stories with poignancy and often humor, inspirational and unique stories. I like to call them snapshots for the human condition.”

Management at TEGNA8, following recent corporate buyouts of conventional photographers and editors, is requiring anchors and reporters to become adept at shooting their own material. Castellucci, who initially joined TEGNA8 from KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, is the walking/talking embodiment of that future. His first TV news job was at a station in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net