WZZM Loses One, Adds Two to Sports Department

By Kevin Eck 

ash_spence_mendGrand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM has announced the addition of a sports director and a sport reporter.

MLive also reports, anchor Brent Ashcroft (picture center) is stepping away from the sports desk.

The station said Jamal Spencer (pictured right) will start one week from Monday as sports director. Spencer comes to WZZM from KVLY in Fargo, N.D. He has also worked at FOX Sports Detroit.


Adriana Mendez (pictured left) will come on board November 24 as a sports reporter/multimedia journalist. She comes to the station from KWKT in Waco, Texas.

“Our viewers will quickly see the passion and enthusiasm Jamal and Adriana have for local sports,” Taz Painter, WZZM news director, said in a statement. “They both want to focus on finding and telling the uniquely West Michigan stories of the athletes, coaches, fans, and sports programs in our area.”

The station said Ashcroft will stay at WZZM and report “in-depth, powerful” stories.

Painter added, “I’m so glad that Brent is going to be able to focus on what he does best – telling great stories. While his work has generated many awards, the biggest accolade is the reaction from viewers when one of his stories touches their hearts.”

Ashcroft will continue as a contributing editor for sports, especially for “13 On Your Sidelines.” But his main work will be reporting news for Channel 13.

A veteran of about 24 years as a broadcast journalist in West Michigan, Ashcroft joined WZZM-TV in 2010 as a sports anchor and “jack-of-all-trades,” as he explained to The Grand Rapids Press in July of that year.