Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wall to Wall Devastation Coverage for Shreveport Stations

KTAL, KSLA, and KTBS continue to dedicate their newscasts to covering the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. I caught KTAL's 10pm newscast Wednesday night and was really impressed by the reports of Shannon Slatton, Jason Clark and Kimberly Williams who are down in South Louisiana. The Shreveport station's websites are filled with info and stories pertaining to the devastation. I am betting the station's will continue to cover this story as long as evacuees from South Louisiana are in the Ark-La-Tex.

UPDATE: 09/01 6:20am KTAL anchors Jason Patrick and Lane Stone are back on the air this morning anchoring the station's morning program.

Where Are They Now

Liz Swaine is featured today.

Liz has lived in Ark-La-Tex since the mid 1980's. She moved to Shreveport, LA from Florida where she worked at WEAR-TV. Liz spent several years on the air at KTBS, Channel 3 as an anchor.

What's Liz doing now? She currently serves as the executive assistant in the Shreveport Mayor's office.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Still Making Local Headlines

I have mostly been watching the Shreveport stations to see how they are covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina BUT I also skimmed over the Little Rock stations during the 10pm newscast. ALL the Little Rock stations lead the 10pm newscast with coverage of the devastation. All three Shreveport stations offered continuous coverage offering up different perspectives on the story.

This is the first time I have seen KTAL really get involved in a story. KTAL has sent reporters Shannon Slatton, Jason Clark and Kimberly Williams to south Louisiana. KTBS and KSLA also have reporters in the region.

KSLA anchor Michelle White has family members staying with her who live in the New Orleans area and lost everything.

All in all the Shreveport stations is covering the story well. I would say KTBS and KSLA are tied for the best coverage.

Where Are They Now

Today we feature Lyndall Stout.

She has experience on the anchor desk and in the field, reporting on a wide variety of stories over the years, from investigative to feature reports. Lyndall was the weekend anchor and a general assignment reporter at KARK-TV, the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas. She worked in Little Rock for more than four years and was recognized by the Arkansas Associated Press for achievement in documentary reporting. Lyndall’s first job was as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor at KTEN-TV, the NBC station in Denison, Texas. Lyndall grew up in Oklahoma and attended college at Arkansas Tech University, graduating cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and speech communication. She also has a master’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University.

What's Lyndall doing now? She is the anchor of the 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts at WBRE in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Where Are They Now

Former KATV'er John Overall is in today's spotlight.

John's television career began in Roswell, New Mexico in 1987. From there his passion for journalism took him to stations in Orange County, CA, Little Rock, Arkansas and KCBS and KTLA in Los Angeles where he was a reporter.

John has won numerous awards throughout his television career including twice being named Anchor of the Year in Las Vegas.

What's John doing now? He is an anchor at KPHO,CBS 5, in Phoenix, Arizona

Sunday, August 28, 2005

KHOG Has New Sports Anchor

Arkansas reports Mark Lericos has been hired to replace Aaron Peters as sports anchor at KHOG. says Lericos is set to begin work at KHOG on September 15th.

Lericos comes to KHOG from WYFF in Greenville, South Carolina. He had been at WYFF since August 2001. Lericos studied sportscasting at the Hall School of Journalism at Troy State University in southern Alabama. He has also worked at at WAWS in Jacksonville, Fla.; WTVY in Dothan, Ala.; and KNVN in Redding, Calif.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Local Coverage of Hurricane Katrina

KTBS, Channel 3, always seems to devote more resources in covering hurricanes than other other station in the area and this time is not any different. Through the weekend it looks like Mark Rowlett and Jennifer Gray will man the KTBS weather center and Ed Walsh is in New Orleans and will be providing updates.

UPDATE: 8/28 KSLA, Channel 12 has sent a crew down to South Louisiana. Reporter Fred Childers broadcasted LIVE from near Baton Rouge last night on the station's 10pm newscast.

UPDATE: 5:07pm KTAL's Todd Warren and Lane Stone reported from The Big Easy via cell phone during the stations evening newscast. Stone just promised LIVE pictures in a few minutes. Meanwhile, the main focus here in the Ark-La-Tex is the influx of evacuees. Motels all across the area, including the small town in which I live, are filled.

5:18pm KTBS's Ed Walsh is broadcasting LIVE from New Orleans.

5:30pm KTAL broke away from local coverage and is now airing coverage from WDSU in New Orleans.

5:31pm Oh wow! KTAL stayed with WSDU's coverage for one whole minute. What was up with that? I guess KTAL is pre-empting NBC Nighty News for more local hurricane coverage.

6:05pm KTAL is back to regular NBC programming and has the news crawl up and a radar image of the progress of Hurricane Katrina while it resumes normal programming.

Additional: This from an e-mailer: "KARK sent their weekend meteorologist Dan Skoff to cover the hurricane. He reported live from Mandeville, LA Sunday at 10pm."

New KATV Met Makes On-Air Debut

Todd Yakoubian made his on air debut Saturday on Daybreak. As reported FIRST on ATN about a month ago, Yakoubian is the new weekend meteorologist for KATV, filling the vacancy left by Devon Lucie who left Channel 7 for KVVU, FOX 5 in Las Vegas.

Yakoubian joins KATV from WRCB in Chattanooga, TN. According to his bio at, Yakoubian has worked as Chief Meteorologist at a television station in Missoula, Montana. Todd holds the seal of approval from the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he chased storms all over the plains states. One encounter with a tornado in southwest Oklahoma even threw his car off the road.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Seven is.......Fluff??

These Hog Fans are upset over the lack of sports news on KATV.

Here's the post:

"Channel 7 in Little Rock's sports has degenerated into hardly any sports content at all. The other night, Steve Sullivan mentioned one sports item and the rest of the time was filled with promos for upcoming KATV "sports" specials, a bunch of old fat people trying to loose weight at some local gym, Paul Eells getting some award, and chitchat between Sully and the news people. Nothing was mentioned about the high school football jamboree underway at War Memorial, baseball, college football, and only a brief comment on the Razorbacks.

ESPN can fill a 30 minute telecast with sports and KATV can't or won't find enough sports reporting to fill 2 or 3 measly minutes between all of their other crap on the local newscast. It is almost like they have given up on the guys looking for real sports news and are instead pushing "human interest" crap trying to go for the chick market."

Where Are They Now

Former KSLA reporter/anchor Christy Douglas is in today's spotlight.

Christy has close to ten years of experience in both television and radio media. She's spent the last seven years working in television news in Shreveport.

After graduating from the University of Texas, Christy started her television career as a morning anchor at the NBC affiliate in Shreveport. She also served as weekend anchor and senior reporter during her five year stint at the CBS affiliate in Shreveport.

What's Christy doing now? She is the weekday morning anchor at WAAY in Huntsville, Alabama.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Liberty Corporation to Merge with Raycom Media

Source: Business Wire The Liberty Corporation announced today that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Raycom Media, Inc. Pursuant to the terms of the merger, Raycom will pay cash consideration of $47.35 per share of Liberty common stock and will assume approximately $110 million of debt for a total enterprise value of approximately $987 million. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, Raycom is a privately held television broadcaster with 37 stations in 28 markets.

The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of Liberty's shareholders, the approval of the Federal Communications Commission and other customary conditions. Liberty shareholders owning approximately 20% of Liberty's outstanding shares have agreed to vote in favor of the merger.

According to Hayne Hipp, Chairman and CEO of Liberty, "Broadcasting has been essential to the success of Liberty Corporation for 70 years of the century we've been in business. The transaction we announce today is testimony to the exemplary reputation we've built as both a standard-bearer in the industry and a champion of each community in which we serve. In Raycom, we have found a company whose stellar record of public service and commitment to local news and information mirror our own. This transaction will afford our employees the opportunity to flourish within a company dedicated to the television broadcasting business, and enable our shareholders to realize full and fair value."

KAIT, Jonesboro, is a Liberty owned station. KSLA in Shreveport is a Raycom Media owned station.

ND's Named For KNWA and KARK

Here's the press release from Nexstar Broadcasting Group:

Little Rock, Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas and Irving, Texas (August 25, 2005) - Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. today announced the appointment of Rob Heverling to serve as News Director for KARK-TV, the NBC affiliate serving the Little Rock, Arkansas market and Alan Little as News Director at KNWA and KFTA-TV, the NBC affiliates serving the Fayetteville/Fort Smith, Arkansas market.

Mr. Heverling has been News Director at KNWA and KFTA since 2004. Prior to that, he was Assistant News Director at KARK in Little Rock. Heverling also has served as News Director at KDLH (CBS) Duluth, Minnesota and Executive Producer at KCNC (CBS) Denver, Colorado and WKYC (NBC) Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr. Little comes to the company from News 9 San Antonio, a local cable news channel joint venture with Time Warner and Belo where he was General Manager. Prior to that, he was News Director at KABB (FOX) San Antonio, Texas and WLEX (NBC) Lexington Kentucky. Little also held news management positions at KSTP (ABC) Minneapolis, Minnesota and KING (NBC) Seattle, Washington.

In making the announcement, Brian Jones, Senior Vice President & Regional Manager for Nexstar Broadcasting Group said, "We are excited to have Rob coming home to KARK where he did a great job and has many excellent relationships. We are also looking forward to Alan Little bringing his significant experience and expertise to our company as he continues the momentum in the booming Northwest Arkansas marketplace."

Where Are They Now

Today we feature former KTAL reporter/anchor April Simpson.

Simpson has worked at KTAL in Shreveport, Louisiana and at a station in Monroe, Louisiana.

April earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Arkansas. April is also a native of Arkansas.

What's she doing now? April is at KTVI where she co-anchors FOX 2 News at Eleven and also reports live covering breaking and daily news for FOX 2 News in the Morning. Prior to becoming the mid-day anchor, April anchored FOX 2 News Sunday Morning and was a general assignment reporter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

KARK, KNWA to Air Razorback Preview Special

Source: A Razorback football preseason special is set to air Sunday August 28th at 10:20 p.m. on KARK Channel 4.

The one hour show will air in two parts for KNWA, September 1st and 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

UPDATE: 08/25 To be fair, KATV will air its Razorback Preview Friday night, 8/26, at 7pm.

Improvement in Ratings Seen for KLRT in July

Arkansas reports KLRT's “Fox 16 News at Nine” saw a big improvement in July 05's numbers versus July 04. says, "In terms of household share, KLRT jumped about 20 percent higher and jumped as much as 71 percent in the age 25-54 demographic. "

Clear Channel GM Chuck Spohn tells, "“Fox 16’s July 2005 news ratings maintained incredible strength regardless of not having the American Idol lead-in. In other words, viewers are aggressively tuning in. We’re now one-and-a-half years old and gaining acceptance as a viable source of news each and every rating book.”

Read the full article HERE.

Big Announcement Coming Soon From KNWA; Station Establishing a Benton County Bureau

This from the tip jar: "KNWA running promo about "Big Announcement" set for Sept 2. Believe it is a bureau opening in Benton County. NOTE: All stations in the market had bureaus in Benton County in the early 90's. They all pulled out by '96 when 40/29 closed theirs up."

UPDATE: A poster in the comments section adds this: "Yes, it is a Benton Co. bureau; Sydney and Tom (married) will be the reporters; they are currently living in Benton County."

Where Are They Now

Vince Sims is featured today.

Vince has both Little Rock and Shreveport connections. His television career started at KTHV in Little Rock where he was a video editor and photojournalist. Vince started on-air in Monroe, Louisiana at KTVE where he was a reporter and morning show anchor. From there he moved to KTBS in Shreveport, Louisiana as the weekend anchor.

What's Vince doing now? He is a weekend anchor and a weekday reporter at KJRH in Tulsa, OK.

UPDATE: Thanks to someone who left a message in the comments section Sims now works at WPXI in Pittsburgh where he is the anchor for Channel 11 News Saturday Morning and Channel 11 News Sunday Morning. He is also a reporter for Channel 11 News.

I get my info by googling and google didn't show this. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Former KTAL Reporter On Air at Channel One

Remember a number of weeks back when ATN reported Rich Demuro left KTAL for a job at Channel One? Anyway today at school (I work there) Channel One came on and Rich was anchoring. At first I didn't recognize him because he looked so young. It will be strange seeing someone I watched on local tv on Channel One everyday. You can even watch the daily newscasts on the web. You'll find the video HERE.

From The Tip Jar: KNWA Gets Young AM Producer

From the tip jar: "New morning show producer at KNWA is a college student."

Maybe someone could give us a name.

UPDATE: This from another tipster: "KNWA morning producer name is Josh...was formerly, and recently, "Josh the Intern"."

8/25 Additional This from an e-mailer: "KNWA Morning Producer's Name is Josh Ridgeway...he's been on the University of Arkansas' TV station some. Pretty good on-air persona...wonder why he's producing and not on-air anymore."

Where Are They Now

Former KARK reporter Jeremy Finley is in today's spotlight.

Jeremy has worked as a reporter for KFVS-12 in Cape Girardeau, MO. and a reporter/managing editor for KARK-TV in Little Rock, AR. He holds an undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University in Radio/TV and a masters degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

What's he doing now? Finley is currently a reporter at WSMV-TV in Nashville, TN.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ratings Numbers? Anyone....

Anyone care to share the July ratings numbers? E-mail them OR use the anonymous tip box. Remember when using the tip box, your e-mail address is not required even though it may ask for it.

KATV's Online Marketplace Sure Ain't Wal-Mart

I have seen the promos for the online KATV Marketplace but I didn't actually check it out until a little bit ago and I tell ya what it doesn't fit in my budget. Just check it out for yourself and you'll see if the bids stay where they are at right now, middle class folks just might be able to afford some of the stuff there.

It looks to be an e-bay type site. Many of the auctions start at $20 BUT more of them start alot more than that. Most of the items look to be something most people wouldn't just go out and buy on spur of the moment. Items included on the site are: APS Pole System with Feeders & Seed, Lu Kieu Planters, $500 Gift Certificate on Bridal Gown of Your Choice and Bijou Bed.

From the Tip Jar: New ND Hired at KARK

This from the tip jar: "New nd at 4 is Rob Heverling."

ATN is working to confirm. ATN will keep you advised.

Where Are They Now

Today we put Carla Wade in the spotlight.

Carla was born in Eastern Texas and considers the capital city Austin home; but she has also lived in California, Florida, Maryland, Arkansas, and most recently Oklahoma.

Carla began her career in broadcasting at the age of 19 at an Oklahoma City radio station where she anchored the news and was a morning show co-host. This first job opportunity led her to a two year stint at National Public Radio affiliate KGOU/KROU in Norman, Oklahoma where she anchored the evening news and reported for the morning show while enrolled as a full time student.

Carla worked as a General Assignment Reporter and Morning Anchor at KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas and as a Weekend Anchor, Producer and Reporter at KSWO in Lawton, Oklahoma.

What's Carla doing now? Carla is a General Assignment Reporter at WTVQ, Action News 36, in Lexington, KY.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Anchor Go Round Saturday

> Katie Nielson filled in for Alice Stewart at the news desk for KARK. Tracy Douglass was on duty in the weather center.

> Barry Brandt was in the FutureCast Center at KATV. Wonder when the new 'Met' will appear?

> Tom Brannon covered for Becky Ditchfield in KTHV's weather center.

> Ed Walsh filled in for Jody Lowery at the anchor desk for KTBS.

Give WNT to Gibson

Has ABC News President David Westin been dropping hints all week on who will get the job of replacing Peter Jennings on World News Tonight? A Broadcasting and Cable article suggests he has and the person who will wind up with it will be Charlie Gibson.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"A week after Peter Jennings’ death, ABC’s flagship newscast changed its name from World News Tonight With Peter Jennings to simply World News Tonight. In an e-mail to staffers announcing the move, ABC News President David Westin noted that “of all people, Peter insisted on accuracy.” Then Westin added that “the unrelenting standards, the demanding focus on broadcasting the news from around the world, and an unwavering commitment to fairness that were the hallmarks of Peter’s career remain the core values of World News Tonight.”

Given those criteria, it’s obvious whom Westin should choose as Jennings’ successor: Charlie Gibson. "

Read the full article HERE.

KARK CSD Resigns

This from the tip box: "Creative Services Director Ed Oliver resigns from KARK. He gave his 30 Day notice on Friday (8-19-05). This is another move for a full new management regime at KARK-TV."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Where Are They Now

Today we feature former KTBS anchor/reporter Craig Day.

Craig has worked at television stations in Shreveport, Louisiana and Sherman, Texas.

Craig grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and graduated from college with a mass communications degree. He's been in broadcasting since he was a teenager.

What's Craig doing now? He is an anchor at KOTV in Tulsa, OK.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Are Local Sports Anchors Obsolete?

The DC Examiner analyzes the state of sports news in the local newscasts in Washington DC. The situation sounds very familiar to what's happening right here in the Natural State.

This paragraph of the article jumped out at me:

"The stars of local TV news are the weather forecasters who get about six minutes per newscast. That means that no matter how talented the sports anchor is, they really have to rush. Don't even get me started about the 11p.m. news, when sportscasters are cut off in mid-sentence by anchors who ask the weatherman about the bus stop forecast!"

Where Are They Now

Today we put the spotlight on former Fort Smith anchor/reporter Melanie Moon.

Melanie's first job in TV news came while she was still in college, anchoring a daily newscast for an independent Christian TV station in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida. Melanie also worked for KHBS/KHOG TV in Fort Smith, Arkansas as the morning anchor and reporter. She also worked at WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia where she anchored the morning and noon newscasts.

What's she doing now? Melanie works at WB11, KPLR TV in Saint Louis

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What's the Word?

Last week Nexstar Senior Vice President Brian Jones told Arkansas a new news director for KARK was just days away from being announced. Any word if anyone has been hired for the job?

Use the anonymous tip box OR e-mail me! YOU WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS!

UPDATE: 8:35pm An e-mail from KARK says a new News Director has not yet been hired!!Thanks!

Where Are They Now

David Hershey is in the 'Where are they now' spotlight.

David is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. He began his TV career in Memphis, Tennessee at Germantown High School under the guidance of Frank Bluestein; his instructor and eventual life-long mentor. There, as a student, David was appointed General Manager of the school's cable access TV station.

After graduating high school in 1987, David attended college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In his first week there, David was hired at KAIT-TV (abc) from work in high school. In his 5 years at KAIT, he was promoted several times; working 3 years as a News Reporter-Photographer and then eventually as the station's Promotion Manager...the youngest ever at age 21.

David received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from ASU in 1991 and was also named the Arkansas Associated Press Student Scholar of the Year for 1990.

In 1993, he was named Promotion Manager for KATV (abc) in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1998, he was promoted to Director of Promotion for WJLA-TV (abc) in Washington, DC.

What's David doing now? He is the Director of Creative Services for CBS 11 and UPN 21, KTVT/KTXA, Dallas/Fort Worth. He is responsible for the promotion and marketing of each station as well as the creative look of each.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Jennings Tribute Puts ABC News on Top

Source: Associated Press World News Tonight topped the evening news ratings for the first time in more than a year -- the increased viewership amounting to yet another tribute to Peter Jennings.

The longtime ABC News anchor died of lung cancer Aug. 7. The following day's World News Tonight, largely devoted to Jennings's legacy, was seen by 10.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The broadcast hasn't had that many viewers in August since 1998.

World News Tonight won each night last week except Wednesday, Nielsen said.

ABC's two-hour prime-time tribute to Jennings last Wednesday was seen by 9.4 million people. That would have put the program in Nielsen's top 10 for the week, but the company doesn't rank shows that air without commercials.

World News Tonight averaged 8.9 million viewers (6.3 rating, 13 share) while NBC's Nightly News had 8.2 million viewers (6.0, 13) and CBS Evening News 6.3 million (4.6, 10).

Daybreak Pretty Face MIA

This from an e-mailer: "Where is Nicole Capri? I haven't seen her on the mornings in almost 3 weeks."

7:05am Name of program corrected in headline!

Where Are They Now

Mike Hellgren is featured today.

Mike worked as a general assignment reporter at KARK and as a reporter/fill-in anchor at KTAL in Shreveport, LA. He also worked as a reporter/producer/photographer for KLAX-TV, an ABC station in Alexandria, LA and started his career in broadcast journalism with a cable news program called First Edition News in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

What's he doing now? After leaving KARK in the spring of 2003, Mike found a home at WJZ in Baltimore, Maryland.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mitch Mustain Presser Coverage

An e-mailer sums up the NWA coverage for us:

"The Northwest Arkansas coverage was dropped by two stations. KFSM cut away before Andrew Norman made his announcement. KNWA had really bad audio and Bo Mattingly was talking all over the coverage making himself the story rather than the announcement and they didn't cover Norman's announcement live either. 40/29 did the best job with Derek Burleson letting the thing happen and showing both Norman and Mustain's annoucement. They stayed on the longest live and did the best job."

I, DCG, will provide what I observed as far as the Little Rock stations. I was flipping from station to station and noticed KTHV didn't lead with the press conference and to my knowledge did not carry it LIVE. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. KARK lead with the presser and basically simulcasted KNWA's coverage. Bo did talk while Mustain was trying to talk. As for KATV it carried the announcement live AND it lead the 6 o'clock news. KATV dubbed it the Razorback Report. That intro followed the 6pm newscast opening.

KNWA Knocked Off Air

This from

Over-the-air signal will resume as soon as possible. A power surge caused a catastrophic failure at one of KNWA’s transmitters last Wednesday, August 10th. Those viewers who have cable or receive KNWA’s signal via a satellite dish have not been affected. But we apologize to those who receive the KNWA signal by an antenna. Those viewers have not been able to watch KNWA programming for the last 6 days. KNWA engineers are working diligently to restore the signal. KNWA will resume over-the-air transmission as soon as possible.

THV to Get New Producer....Soon....

This from today's Bullwhiz e-mail newsletter:

Does anyone know which producer position is open at KTHV?

>> It's the 6pm news producer's position. It seems the old 6pm producer was making a habit of calling in sick on Friday's so she could go to Tulsa to visit her boyfriend.

Got a news tip? To share it, all you have to do is e-mail me OR use the anonymous tip box.

Remember even though it asks for an e-mail address, IT IS NOT REQUIRED!

Former Ark-La-Tex Anchor/Reporter Makes Name for Self Up North

Source: The Plain Dealer Stacey Bell is quickly becoming a marquee name in Cleveland TV news. Since arriving at Fox affiliate WJW Channel 8 in 1998 -- the first time she'd moved outside the South -- she has worked her way up to co-anchor of the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts, developing a successful on-air style that viewers enjoy. Between newscasts, she answered a few questions from PDQ's John Campanelli.

You're from Arkansas, and before you came to Cleveland, you worked in Texas and Louisiana. Where's your Southern accent?

Oh, I have it. I can disguise it. When I am around people who are from Arkansas or I get really comfortable, it comes out.

Read complete interview HERE.

Stacey was a news anchor for KSLA-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana, for two years. Bell also served as a news reporter for KTBS-TV in Shreveport from 1994-96. She was a news anchor for KTAL-TV in Texarkana, Texas, from 1992-94.

Where Are They Now

Former KATV'er Matt DeCample is featured today.

De Cample is originally from the suburbs of Seattle, Washington. He attended Washington State University, graduating summa cum laude as a phi beta kappa.

DeCample worked as a reporter for KATV, covering breaking news, politics and other Arkansas issues.

What's Matt doing now? Matt is press secretary for Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

KHBS/KHOG Sports Job Gets Applicants

Talk about asleep at the wheel. Arkansas is just now picking up the story that KHBS/KHOG Sports Director Aaron Peters was fired. Well AB is reporting he resigned.... Anyway it has been over a month since that happened. KHBS/KHOG GM Jim Prestwood tells over 40 prospects have applied for the job and a new sports anchor could be named sometime this month.

Rememberin' the Good Ol Days

Not sure how long these videos have been up at BUT I am glad I found them. Channel 7 has on its website a number of vintage news reports. They are awesome! They feature all the anchors/reporters that made KATV great. I am hoping KATV will up the ante and add more. You'll find the videos HERE.

Anchor Go Round Sunday

> KATV weekday anchor Scott Inman is at the anchor desk this weekend. Barry Brandt is manning the weather desk.

> Over at KTBS Gwen Campbell is filling in for Jody Lowery at the news desk. Ed Walsh filled in on Saturday.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Media Gets Banned From the Arkansas House Floor

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Over the objections of news media representatives, an Arkansas House of Representatives committee on Friday endorsed a plan to require that print and radio reporters no longer cover the chamber’s activities from the House floor.

In the future, these reporters would work from a gallery overlooking the House chamber from the fourth floor of the state Capitol. The House is on the third floor. The view from the fourth is partly obstructed by a pillar and a railing, and much of the House chamber can’t be seen by reporters seated at what the new plan would provide as their work area.

The Management Committee signaled its approval of House Speaker Bill Stovall’s plan by awarding a $118,740 contract to Austin Construction Co. of Little Rock to remodel part of the House.

But Tom Larimer, executive director of the Arkansas Press Association, told the committee that covering the House from the fourth floor is like "covering the Razorback game from the parking lot.

"You are there, but you don’t get the essence. You don’t get the body language. You don’t get the eyesight," he said.

Afterward, Stovall didn’t agree with Larimer’s analogy.

"We are not denying access to the press or the public," he said.

Friday, August 12, 2005

KARK Expanding Sports Coverage, Not Ditching It

KARK must have been on a PR blitz today. Arkansas has more about the Razorback Nation feature shared between KNWA and KARK. According to Nexstar exec Brian Jones, "The concept of the news segment is to combine the two stations’ sports efforts to provide viewers with “the state’s most comprehensive Razorbacks coverage."

KARK Assistant News Director Jeff Whatley told the business publication a fiber optic line is being installed so the two stations can share video and resources more freely. This will the stations to go live without having to use a satellite truck.

Jones added this at the very end of the article: "“Maybe people can now see that the rumors about us getting rid of our sports department were a little ridiculous.”

You'll find the complete article HERE.

Nexstar Defends Change at Stations in Arkansas

In an article on Arkansas Nexstar Senior Vice President Brian Jones defends all the changes made at the KARK and KNWA since the company took them over a couple of years ago.

The article mentions just about every move Nexstar has made at the stations. Jones responds this way: “Unfortunately in this business, when a station is in a time of turmoil and making a lot of changes to better itself, competitors and the public see it as a negative thing,” he said. “Yes, we’ve been making a lot of changes, but for all of the right reasons. We have to apply what we feel is going to give us the best chance at succeeding. That’s all we’ve done.”

Here's just a few of the changes made at stations KNWA and KARK:

> Nexstar changed the northwest affiliate’s name to KNWA and moved all of its newsroom operations to Fayetteville from Fort Smith, while also trimming that station’s staff by eight employees.

> The first major move at KARK, which also coincided with KNWA, involved axing not only the two stations’ subscriptions with the Associated Press, but also with the Nielsen Media Research Inc. ratings books.

> Perry Chester, the general manager who was brought to Little Rock in August 2003 from a company-owned CBS affiliate in Champaign, Ill., was fired on June 7. Three weeks later, KARK News Director Rick Iler announced to the newsroom staff that he was resigning his position to move to a CBS affiliate in Phoenix that is not owned by Nexstar.

> Two weeks ago, Nexstar fired the station’s sales manager, Craig Castrellon, who could not be reached for comment. Jones said last week that position is “very close” to being filled. (Mike Vaughn has been promoted to fill this vacancy.)

> A new general manager, Rick Rogala, was announced at the beginning of this month, while a news director is expected to be named this week.

There is so much more in the full article. You'll find it HERE.

Local Sales Director for KARK Named

Arkansas Business is reporting Mike Vaughn has been promoted to the position of director of sales at KARK. Vaughn has been general sales manager at KNWA-TV in Fayetteville and KFTA-TV in Fort Smith since 2003.

Nexstar Senior Vice President Brian Jones had this to say about Vaughn's promotion. "Mike has done a terrific job in northwest Arkansas. “He played a key role in relaunching the station and building an excellent sales staff that has excelled in that competitive and fast-growing market.”

Jones also told Arkansas Business the announcement of a new News Director will be coming in the next couple of days.

Where Are They now

ATN puts former KATV'er Mary Nguyen is in the spotlight today.

Mary has worked as a reporter in Arkansas, Kansas and Iowa.

Mary is a native of Fullerton, California. She graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles majoring in Communication Studies. Throughout college, she interned at several news organizations, including ABC News Nightline and Fox News Channel.

What's Mary doing now? She works at WFTV in Orlando, Florida.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Got a news tip? To share it, all you have to do is e-mail me OR use the anonymous tip box.

Where Are They Now

Today Ken Pastorick is featured.

His first broadcasting experience was in 1989 as a news reporter for KOSA-TV in Odessa, Texas. From 1990 to 1992, Ken worked as a reporter at KLTV in Tyler, Texas. His broadcasting experience also includes one year as a sports anchor at KLAX-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana and Bureau Reporting at KTBS-TV in Texarkana, Arkansas.

While at KTBS, Ken won several awards from the Arkansas Associated Press. These awards include first place for Best Continuing Coverage in 1993, first place for Best Feature in 1994 and first place for Best Sports Report in 1994. In 1995, he was awarded third place for Best Sports Report and third place for Best Spot News.

What's Ken doing now? Ken is the crime and courts reporter at WBRZ in Baton Rouge. He has been with the station since 1995.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 Offering Previews of New CBS Programs is offering viewers a sneak peak at some of the new series that will be part of the CBS prime-time schedule. The online video of the new programs can be found HERE. Featured are new programs, How I Met Your Mother, Close to Home, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Out of Practice and Threshold.

What Happened?

This from an e-mailer:
"I work early mornings so I taped Monday night's NightLine to watch Ted talk about his friend Peter Jennings. Good program, but KATV did not air the last five minutes of this tape delay program and I want to know what happen. They rolled some local spots then sat in black for about 20 to 30 seconds and then sat on a graphic for about 4 minutes before the next program started. Just wanted to know if you or someone else knew what happen? What a night to screw up!!!"

Where Are They Now

Ken Watts is featured today.

Watts has been in the news business for more than 30 years. He came to 11Alive from WAGA-TV where he served as weekend anchor for 16 years. Prior to his work in Atlanta, Ken Watts held anchor and reporter positions in Little Rock, Arkansas; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Oregon and New Orleans, Louisiana. Watts also has served as a network correspondent for ABC News.

Watts holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and he began his career as a newspaper editor and radio reporter in Omaha. Following his undergraduate work, he went on to participate in a fellowship program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Watts covered some of the biggest stories of the last 30 years, including the arrest of "Son of Sam," the signing of the King Holiday Bill, the San Francisco earthquake, several hurricanes, and the historic visits of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

What's Watts doing now? Watts joined the WXIA, Atlanta GA, 11Alive News team in January of 1998 and serves the station as co-anchor for 11Alive News Today from 5-7 a.m. and 11Alive News at Noon each weekday.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Newest KARK'er's Bio Up

The bio of KARK reporter Pete Thompson has been posted on the station's website.

Here's what it says:

Pete Thompson recently joined the KARK news team in Little Rock in July of 2005. With a life-long passion for storytelling, he is excited to report on this historic southern city with its rich tradition.
Pete began his career at KXII Channel 12 News in Sherman, Texas where he worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor. After a two-year stint there, he moved on to KJRH-Channel 2 News in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he covered numerous crime stories.

Pete originally hails from Dallas, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with degrees in communications and liberal arts. In 2000, he spent a summer studying abroad in Oxford, which inspired him to write and direct a play during his senior year. Pete spends much of his free time now playing guitar, and he is currently recording an album.

With a wide variety of interests ranging from current events to world history, Pete is right at home in broadcast news. Thrilled to be in Little Rock, he looks forward to meeting his fellow Arkansans.

Former KSLA Anchor/Reporter Headed Back to Shreveport

Source TV Spy Tony Taglavore is leaving KARD/KTVE, Monroe, Louisiana, and is moving back home to Shreveport, LA, to take a job out of the business. Tony worked for 18 years in Shreveport as an anchor and reporter. He also spent time as ND at KAVU/KVCT in Victoria, TX. Tony was ND at KTVE for almost two years.

Nutt Shuts Media, Public Out of Practices

It was media day up in Hog Country Tuesday and Head Hog Houston Nutt put the water on the public's fire in announcing practices will be closed. This from "Fans and opponents are going to have to wait until the Arkansas Razorbacks open their season to see the team's formations. Coach Houston Nutt is closing all but the first 20 minutes of practice. The team will have a new defense this year under coordinator Reggie Herring,
and those formations will be kept under wraps."

Where Are They Now

Lori Wilson is in today's 'Where are they now' spotlight.

Born in Columbus, Indiana and raised in Indianapolis, Wilson was bit by the T.V. bug while playing a cute kid in commercials. In high school she spent her evenings and weekends at YTW (Youth Telecommunications Workshop) with a group of teenagers who produced, directed, wrote, and hosted their own show on public access television.

At Indiana University in Bloomington, she anchored the college news and interned at several television stations, including a CBS affiliate. After her success in Illinois, she anchored the morning and noon show for KSLA (CBS) in Shreveport, Louisiana and worked as a reporter for WCIA, the CBS affiliate in Champaign, Illinois.

What's she doing now? Lori currently anchors the weekend newscasts and reports during the week at WGCL-TV in Atlanta. Wilson joined the CBS 46 news team in October 2002.

Monday, August 08, 2005

KATV Remembers Jennings

Over the years KATV worked with Peter Jennings on several occasions. From a local Jaycees event in 1969 to allowing then KATV anchor Gina Kurre behind the scenes of World News Tonight in 1990 to the dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library. Watch the video HERE.

THV Morning Personality Keeping Viewers Updated on New Baby

KTHV morning personality Robyn Richardson is keeping the posts coming on the THV Blog. So far Richardson has filed three posts on becoming a mom for the third time. In today's post, blog readers get an update on all the Richardson children, Parker, Olivia and Lowery.

Razorback Nation Debuts on KARK

The KARK Sports Department looks to have successfully made its move to all Razorbacks all the time. The Razorback Nation debut today on KARK's 6pm newscast. I did not catch it as I was away from the tv during that hour BUT will make a point to watch at 10 tonight.

The sports page at now leads you to a page that will fulfill the biggest Hog's fan's appetite for information. It does appear the same stories are shared by and in the special Hog's section. Funny thing is on KARK's 'Nation page, it says Mark Rushing is the host for the 6pm and 10pm program BUT Bo's name is in the promos and on the website banner. Oh well, I will give it a watch at 10 tonight.

UPDATE: 10:27pm The Razorback Nation segment is on with Bo doing the honors. 10:28pm Mark's on anchoring the regular sports segment. I was under the impression the Razorback Nation was going to take up all the time for sports. 10:30pm Geez, the sports segment wasn't that has already wrapped up. A whopping three minutes.

New KARK GM in The Rock Today with ND Candidate

This from the tip jar:
"KARK's new General Manager was in town today and had a News Director candidate with him. Alan Little from San Antonio was in the building all day today. Alan was the News Director at the Fox in San Antonio (not sure why he's not there anymore)."

'Big Three' Salute Jennings

Source: Broadcasting and Cable Network news' remaining chief standard bearers over the past three decades will get together Monday night to talk about their late colleague, ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings, in a tribute on ABC News' Nightline.

Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather and retired NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw will appear on Nightine, which will be hosted by Ted Koppel, who himself is exiting ABC at the end of the year.

Pic from

Where Are They Now

Former KAIT Met Ryan Vaughan is featured today.

Vaughan was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and attended Western Kentucky University, graduating with a B.S. in Geography/Meteorology. While at WKU, he also carried a minor in Broadcast News.

Vaughan has worked at stations KAIT in Arkansas, WKAG and WBKO in Kentucky, and at WKRN in Tennessee.

While working at KAIT Vaughan was awarded "Best Weathercast" by the Arkansas Associated Press in 2002.

What's Vaughan doing now? He is doing the weather at WSFA in Montgomery, Alabama.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Peter Jennings Passes Away

Source: Longtime ABC "World News Tonight" anchor Peter Jennings died Sunday of lung cancer, according to the ABC news network. He was 67.

His death came nearly four months to the day since he announced in a hoarse voice on his evening newscast that he had been diagnosed with the disease.

At a time when all three major broadcast networks saw their evening news anchor spots change hands in less than a year, Jennings' departure was a surprise. Both NBC's Tom Brokaw and CBS' Dan Rather announced their plans well in advance, but Jennings' illness forced a quick decision.

Jennings, a native Canadian who became a U.S. citizen in 2003, said he would continue to host "World News Tonight" when possible. Since the announcement, ABC News' Charles Gibson and Elizabeth Vargas have filled in for him as temporary anchors.

But he said he was determined to fight the disease, citing National Cancer Institute statistics that nearly 10 million Americans are living with cancer. "I have a lot to learn from them, and 'living' is the key word," he said.

Since April 5, when Jennings announced his diagnosis on the news program, he kept his public comments positive. Even during the initial announcement, he said he would be undergoing chemotherapy and joked about losing his hair.

"I wonder if other men and women ask their doctors right away, 'OK, doc, when does the hair go?'" said the immaculately dressed and coifed Jennings.

He acknowledged being a smoker until about 20 years ago, and said he "was weak, and I smoked over 9/11."

In an April 29 letter posted on the ABC News' site, Jennings said he had been "spoiled rotten" by well-wishers and added, "I assume there are a few others out there who, like me, are going with the flow until the day gets better."

Since he began anchoring the program in 1983, Jennings won numerous awards, including a National Headline Award and a George Foster Peabody award. He also won 16 Emmys, according to the ABC News Web site.

Asked how it felt after anchoring ABC's evening news program for 20 years, Jennings told CNN's Larry King on Sept. 8, 2003, "Seems like yesterday; seems like forever -- all at the same time."

"It's sort of, how do you measure it? Do you measure the fact that I'm 20 years older? No. I think I measure it by the events. You know, I came just as the Cold War was coming to an end."

"When you think about the events that we've been through, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to, I guess you'd say, 9/11 being the culmination at the end of that, of that scope, what extraordinary changes there have been."

Jennings was born July 29, 1938 in Toronto with journalism in his blood. His father, Charles, was the first voice of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation when it was established in the mid-1930s. At age 9, Jennings hosted "Peter's People," a short-lived Saturday morning children's show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

A high school dropout, Jennings worked as a bank teller for several years before moving into radio and then into television in 1961. He was hired by ABC in 1964.

The following year, when he was 26, Jennings was picked to anchor "The ABC Evening News." But two years later, he told his bosses he needed more seasoning and returned to field reporting, CNN Correspondent Jeff Greenfield, a former ABC News employee, has said.

He became a foreign correspondent for the network, covering such stories as the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, when members of the Arab terrorist group Black September seized the Israeli compound and took athletes hostage before eventually killing them.

After he took the anchor chair of World New Tonight, Jennings led ABC's coverage of the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

"On 9/11, those of us who do the jobs that I do, flew without a net for hour and hour and hour after end. And then you hope and pray that you've had the experience to be up to it. Because then you're editor, analyst, reporter, correspondent, ringmaster, the whole thing.

An ABC spokesman said in April that Jennings had been feeling ill for a couple of months and underwent a number of tests before the diagnosis was made. He did not travel to cover the tsunami in South Asia in December 2004 or the death of Pope John Paul II earlier this year.

When the announcement of Jennings' diagnosis was made, ABC did not divulge the stage of his cancer. Cancer stages range from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most advanced.

The network's "World News Tonight" Web site has maintained an online forum where viewers could post expressions of support and good wishes for Jennings. It has also posted statements from Jennings thanking viewers for their support and his thoughts on topics such as the recent terrorist bombings in London.

The last posting came on July 29, Jennings' birthday. "Many thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes," the statement from Jennings said. "Your words -- as always -- are a great source of strength. I am celebrating today with my family -- we are all grateful."

UPDATE: Check out THIS bio package from former ABC'er Tom Foreman.
Additional: HERE's ABC's look back at the career of Jennings.