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Joel Connable Returns to South Florida TV


ttvnFormer WTVJ lead news anchor Joel Connable departed from NBC6 just over seven months ago, and soon, you’ll be seeing him back on the TV airwaves in South Florida and nationwide in a revolutionary new way. It’s called ‘Travel TV News,’ and as Connable described it: “his dream job.” What is Travel TV News (TTN)? Founder and CEO Joel Connable describes it as a revolutionary new way to offer their clients (usually hotel resorts, cruise lines, and tourism ministries) a new and fresh way to advertise.  Connable says:

“Travel TV News is a production company, and more-or-less, a ‘news crew for hire.’ […] Our crew is compiled of people with years of newsroom experience. We are essentially giving our client an opportunity for guaranteed news coverage… We put together a ‘news story’ that is presented in an entertaining and news-segment-like format (similar to what the former ‘The Departure Lounge’ segment did on NBC6). We then buy paid advertisement time during the newscast, on only the top rated news station in the market. Once the anchor throws off to a commercial break, I come on air and promote a great travel destination, and a great travel deal.”

Connable goes on to say that TV news stations may often not have the resources or budget to cover travel stories. Even if travel destinations do get coverage, there is no guarantee that the segment will air due to breaking news or an agenda change. TTN guarantees airtime because they buy the commercial break.

Connable’s business partner, Ted Goldenberg, is also a former WTVJ employee, and has years of experience including producing entertainment features for FOX, NBC and EXTRA TV. That experience, plus a highly trained crew shooting in full HD, and the over 14 years of anchoring and reporting experience Connable has under his belt, is what Joel says sets their company apart from most of the other production companies out there.

He says the idea of Travel TV News came to him years ago while working for a TV station in LA.

“…I had an epiphany. I love to travel, I love to produce travel segments, and there is nothing like this around.”

He says that he was always tied down to a traditional anchoring job. After being laid off from WTVJ, Connable had to do something to make money and support his family.  Since his best skills are in news and TV, he finally made the jump and founded Travel TV News alongside Ted Goldenberg. Although the circumstances of his departure from WTVJ are still disputed, and a lawsuit is still active, he even considers this a somewhat “blessing in disguise.”

TTN has already produced segments that are airing around the country for destinations in Cancun, The Dominican Republic, and The Ritz Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale. The response has been high, with most resorts seeing a high gain in booking. Most recently, Connable and Travel TV News were hired by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism to promote the latest deals. This latest segment will be airing in South Florida, on WPLG’s ‘Local 10 News at 5’ at around 5:45A.M, on 11/23, 11/30, and 12/7. Watch the full segment that will air on WPLG below.

SFLTV.com thanks Joel Connable for speaking with us, and welcomes him back to the South Florida airwaves!

Update: You can check out Travel TV News’ website here.

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You may contact me at: alex@sfltv.com


  1. All I can say is WOW! What a cool and, may I say, “ballsy” concept. This guy gets booted from a local, bottom feeder of a station and then in a matter of months is back on the air at a premiere station in the same market on his own terms. I’ve been in the “biz” for a long, long time and all I can say is I am in awe!! I haven’t seen many positive surprises in local television – but this is definitely one of them. Good for you Joel Connable. Your story was fresh… well produced and entertaining. I actually want to go to Grand Bahama now…. and that’s saying something.

  2. Hmmm… what a curious thing to say Julian. I’m not really a “fan” of Connable’s or particularly any local talent for that matter, but I am a fan of the TTN concept. It truly is the future of news coverage – hate to break it to you, but new media (not that new) is here to stay. Why should businesses sit around and wait for “news” coverage when they can go out and get it? Maybe Connable is the first to shamelessly do something like this – but why shouldn’t he profit from his line of work?? Is it true, old school journalism? Of course not. Would Edward R. Murrow approve? Probably not. BUT who cares?!? It’s the future of TV News – like it or not.

    • I don’t think it’s a particualrly bad idea. Just not revolutionary or too cool like his cult following claim. It’s gonna be a two minute travel segment. Don’t know how this measures into the future of journalism at all.

      I also have no idea why you are assuming what I think of the media or the future of it. Hate to break it to you, but nobody is a bigger critic of it than me and no one is more blunt about its future than me. Got it.

  3. not really a Connable fan but the guy made the best out of his situation I wish him luck and hope he does really well for himself.

  4. whatever, dude. totally had the local news thing in his palms and then lost it all. the might work now, but can’t think this is going to survive.

    but that said, i don’t want to be a person who wishes again someone’s desires. either way, sure went out with a blaze and attempted to take everyone down, too.

    viva Cuba.


  5. Julian – you’re speaking like an underpaid, disgruntled and way young, local news producer – let me guess, you do the six, right? Let it simmer, Julian – and give it some time — you’re too young to be so darn cynical.

  6. I don’t see that this has anything to do with journalism or news coverage. It’s a paid promotion. it’s well done, but just another paid promotion that’s filling up about 50% of local airtime these days. not news.

  7. Whatever. If Connable was so in the wrong, NBC wouldn’t be on the verge of paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle his pesky, embarrassing lawsuit. I thought the lead attorney was going to keel over when he was instructed to make the pay out. Look for the announcement in the coming weeks – but you’ll have to look hard – it’s going to be buried in the papers – NBC insisted. Also, check the records and do some research and you’ll find that Connable was paid $200K by the Bahamas for that so-called news “ad” – I’m no Connable supporter, but I sure wouldn’t mind borrowing his checkbook. It’s the modern day formula for success: get fired + sue former employer + start company = $$$$$$$.

  8. This is nothing more than brokered time segments within a local news broadcast. It’s an extended commercial, but the product for sale is “news” (and let’s use that term _very_ loosely).

  9. Kudos to Joel and Ted! Their creativity and talent always outshined that of their respective colleagues at WTVJ.

  10. I love all the people who just want to insult people because they are jealous. Does anyone realize that NBC accepts paid local news spots. I think this Travel TV News thing is creative. No on ehas a good travel segment on tv since Joel left and the Departure Lounge went away. I work in travel and I think we need more segments liek this. ZYes, it was a commercial, but it was well done by a person who knows who to give great information and tell us about good travel deals. Who cars if they were paid to do it. I just saw his segment air in New York the other day and a friend of mine say it in Boston. I’ve heard thri clients are very happy. The Bahamas has seen a surge in booking and that’s all the matters. Congratulations Joel. The segment didn’t air int he newscast, so what is wrong with it. It said Paid Advertisement and that lets me know it is sponsored. NBC does this all the time with their crappy Ocean Drive segment which is a paid spot.

  11. Joe – the segment never aired in the newscast. It was a commercial, just like many other commercials. NBC gets paid to air those horrible Suzy Buckley Ocean Drive segments, so if you have a problem with paid segments airing in a newscast, NBC is the biggest offender.

    • So then Alex is incorrect above where he says “This latest segment will be airing in South Florida, on WPLG’s ‘Local 10 News at 5’ at around 5:45A.M, on 11/23, 11/30, and 12/7.”?

      I have no problem with stuff like this if it’s in its own slot and obviously a brokered segment complete with the standard disclaimers. But when it’s slipped into a newscast, it’s just sleazy – regardless of what channel does it.

  12. You should pay close attention to medical coverage. It’s pretty obvious to me that Baptist and 6 have some sort of “arrangement.”


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