GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- WZZM 13, the ABC affiliate owned by Gannett, is making two major announcements today. Lee Van Ameyde has a new role at WZZM 13. He has been named Managing Editor of the WZZM 13 Watchdog Investigative Team. This will be in addition to the investigative reporter responsibilities he currently handles.
"He will lead a team of gifted storytellers and skilled investigative journalists," said Janet Mason, WZZM 13 President and General Manager. "Lee's extensive knowledge of the market and years of experience as a journalist make him the perfect person to lead the team."
This means Lee will be stepping aside as the evening anchor at WZZM 13 and moving full-time into the Watchdog Investigative team. WZZM 13 launched its highly successful investigative unit in June of 2013. Since that time the unit has won several awards including the prestigious Regional Edward R. Murrow.
"No one knows West Michigan like Lee does. Our Watchdog team couldn't be in better hands," said Taz Painter, WZZM 13 News Director. "He's the perfect person to lead this crucial part of our promise to be 'On Your Side' every day."
"I am thrilled to be able to serve the people and families of West Michigan through our investigative reporting unit. This will enable us to increase the number of Watchdog reports and stories that you'll only see on WZZM 13 News," said Lee Van Ameyde.
Nick LaFave, a native of Michigan, will be joining the WZZM 13 news team as co-anchor of the Monday – Friday evening newscasts with Juliet Dragos. LaFave is an Emmy award winning journalist who grew up in Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula, and graduated from Northern Michigan University. He comes to WZZM 13 from KTAL in Shreveport, Louisiana where he was the co-anchor of the weekday evening newscasts. His career has taken him to Lansing, where he was a weekend anchor and reporter, and to Duluth, Minnesota and Bozeman, Montana.
"Nick is a multi-talented journalist, who effectively communicates on all platforms: on-air, online and social media," said WZZM 13 President & General Manager, Janet Mason. "There are so many things we like about Nick: his passion for telling good stories, his involvement in community organizations, and his love for his home state of Michigan."
"Nick is going to be a great fit at WZZM 13. He's excited to be coming home to Michigan and he's ready to work hard to get to know our viewers and invest in this community," said WZZM 13 News Director, Taz Painter.
"This is a dream come true for my wife and me. Friends and family have been asking for years when we were coming back to Michigan. Now we can say, "Next month! And we don't plan on leaving again! We're truly blessed," said Nick LaFave.
This transition should be completed by early September 2014.
On Monday, July 28th WZZM 13 made the announcement that Dan Harland will be the new weekday AM News co-anchor, alongside Lauren Stanton and Aaron Ofseyer, starting on August 7, 2014.