Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Turner Promoted to Evening News Anchor at KNWA

Source: KNWA Press Release KNWA-TV / KFTA-TV today announced the promotion of Matt Turner from Sports Anchor to Evening Co-Anchor of KNWA Northwest Arkansas News. The announcement was made by Blake Russell, Vice President and General Manager of the television stations.

“It's always a great feeling when we can promote from within,” said Mr. Russell. “Matt has impressed us with his work ethic and his 'can do attitude' covering sports, and we know he'll bring that energy and enthusiasm to the newsroom every day.”

"This is a terrific opportunity for me," said Mr. Turner. "Being a part of the Razorback Nation franchise and watching it grow has been very exciting. But having a chance to co-anchor the newscasts every night - is a dream come true."

Mr. Turner joined the station's Razorback Nation team in 2003 as Weekend Sports Anchor. He's originally from Arkadelphia, AR and is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, where he also played quarterback for the Tigers.

Mr. Turner caught the eye of many managers when he went to Little Rock to cover former University of Arkansas Basketball Coach Nolan Richardson's race discrimination trial. "Many times sports anchors are comfortable covering games. But when sports transcends into news, it makes them a little uncomfortable," said Mr. Russell. "Not so with Matt. He did a wonderful job updating viewers on what was going on in that courtroom, which proved he could eventually make this transition to the anchor desk."

Before joining KNWA, Mr. Turner worked in radio covering Arkadelphia High School and Ouachita Baptist sports. He also interned at Hooten's Arkansas Football Magazine and at KATV-TV in Little Rock. He and his fiancée Julee Bell, who is also an Arkadelphia native, are planning to be married in January.

67 Comments:

At 3:57 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is bad news for Neile. He's not the best anchor, but he upstages her.

 
At 4:37 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Matt's a very talented guy and can easily bring something to the table for news as easily as he did sports. And he is easy to look at.

 
At 4:42 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Neile next?

 
At 5:26 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope so. Can we say ego?

 
At 7:19 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WINTER STOOOORRRRMMM!!!

oh whoops, wrong station.

 
At 7:59 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie Mae get out the fiddle! We gonna celebrate with a hoe-down!!!!

 
At 8:03 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be the best time for the anchor shuffle. KFSM doesn't have a male anchor and 40-29 lost their chief met. KNWA could make a push if they promote it the right way

 
At 8:07 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GO MATT....Congrats!!! Maybe next will se Tony T. and Greener doing sports too. proud of you dude.

JUICEboX

 
At 10:09 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"KNWA could make a push if they promote it the right way"

Here's how I'd promote it: "KNWA, the only station to lose a chief met and a male anchor within a month's time. Watch us, we're dead last in the market and we cover river valley news even though we focus on northwest arkansas"

Oh... I almost forgot...

"Always"

 
At 11:02 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the ratings were so bad isn't it a good thing that they are changing?

 
At 11:14 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Increasing the work load isn't a way to fix something.

I bet lots of people there have new jobs titles, double the work, and no extra pay to show for it.

That is...expect Sarge.

Is this FOX news thing going to cover the entire viewing area?

 
At 11:21 AM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Jen said...

For the love of God, please dump Neile. Then maybe I can watch your station again. Until Neile goes, no one is going to watch your newscast. She is the WORST.

 
At 11:32 AM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares? It's only northwest Arkansas.

 
At 12:05 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right....Who cares about the part of the state that is actually growing and has an economy moving forward.

 
At 12:32 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the same guy who covered the Razorback basketball trial and slept through half of it, only awakening to borrow an affiliate reporter's notes?

 
At 12:58 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, he actually did a really good job

 
At 3:30 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No...that is the other drunk sport guy at KNWA that used to work for 40/29.

 
At 5:05 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't there multiple sports guys at KNWA that were former 40/29ers and weekend DUIers

 
At 5:29 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bo and Aaron are who you are thinking of

 
At 8:49 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You're right....Who cares about the part of the state that is actually growing and has an economy moving forward."

Don't forget the tumbleweed and hayseeds!

 
At 12:34 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for what its worth, the NWA/Fort Smith market now has more people actually employed than Little Rock. Hmmm.

 
At 1:37 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm ... not impressed. What are the extra jobs? Coon-hunting correspondent? Moonshine matters producer? LR's where it's at, baby! AAA-ohhh!!!

 
At 4:13 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

24/51 has been plagued with lousy, cheap ownership most of it's history. Nexstar's dramatic moves have made things even worse from an on-air product standpoint..but they may be the first company in a LONG time to turn a real profit with 24/51...which in the end is what it's all about.

I would LOVE to see an aggressive, competitive, deep-pocketed owner take over 24/51 and make it competitive in local news. I think it would be great for the market!! Like others have said however...Nexstar has made such a mess of things that the next owner is going to have a tough time straightening it all out!!! Nexstar motto should be CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!!

 
At 4:26 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fort Smith/Fayetteville television market is a combined market...and there MUST BE AN EQUAL EMPHASIS on both areas to be successful...particularly with local news.

KFSM....since the FSM/FAY combined market was established....has consistently placed equal emphasis on both areas....and their strong news ratings derive from that correct approach!

Their competitors, however, have placed increased emphasis on NWA and deemphasized Fort Smith...and their ratings decline reflect that approach.

SEPARATING THE TWO AREAS, AND/OR PLACING MORE EMPHASIS ON ONE AREA OVER THE OTHER HAS FAILED EVERY TIME IT'S BEEN TRIED!!!

When will 40/29 and 24/51 figure this out?????

I don't get the lack of respect for the Fort Smith/Van Buren area by Hearst and Nexstar. The retail market there has increased by leaps and bounds over the past 10 years or so!! There is money to be made there...and to KFSM's credit...they are smart enough to compete for and collect that cash!!:)

 
At 9:14 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, well, when the population in Northwest doubles (in 20 years) and we no longer need the river valley, KNWA, with their fierce loyalty to the benton/washington county crowd (last week lead with a wreck in Franklin county, last night lead with a localized national story about second hand smoke) will have the upper hand on the other two who continue to have to broad of focus (oh, wait, in twenty years the population of the river valley will increase and it will still be part of the market). Maybe then we'll even narrow or focus to Fayetteville or just the Square. Then we won't have to go anywhere to get the news (oh, wait, we already don't).

 
At 10:06 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LR's where its at????? LOL

Wow, guess I should cancel that vacation in the Bahamas and head on down then! I forgot what a paradise it is down there!

 
At 11:43 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:26- KFSM was broadcasting in Fort Smith over 20 years before NWA even became part of the market. They are run mostly by people who are from Fort Smith and love Fort Smith. They have BY FAR the strongest off-air signal in the River Valley, which gives them a decided advantage down there- particularly outside of Sebastian and Crawford counties.

By contrast- their competition is run by people who are in love with Northwest Arkansas. While 40 certainly is a factor in Fort Smith- everyone knows that their emphasis is on NWA. Craig Cannon's move to NWA after many years in Fort Smith was a strong statement that NWA is the station's priority. KNWA needs no interpretation.

There are a significant number of viewers in the River Valley. They know that while the station competes in NWA for the purpose of advertising dollars, the station is committed to FSM and will never turn its back. That's why River Valley viewers watch 5 News by nearly a 4:1 ratio over the competition. The ratio in River Valley counties Sebastian and Crawford are even bigger! There are enough viewers down there to tip every ratings book decidedly to KFSM.

 
At 11:45 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The ratio in River Valley counties OUTSIDE Sebastian and Crawford are even bigger!"

I meant to say OUTSIDE those two counties:)

 
At 11:59 AM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea yea. That's all true. It's also true that KFSM has been running virtually unopposed in the River Valley for a long time. It will be interesting to see what happens with the proposed FOX 24. If they have a primetime newscast dedicated only to River Valley news, I suspect those viewers will give it a look and that may cut into KFSM's ratings at 10. We'll see.

 
At 2:13 PM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is going to work in Fox 24's favor is the fact that they won't have competition from other newscasts at the same time. Their ratings will never beat primetime shows on the big three networks but they won't have to worry about losing to other local news programming. It is a very smart move. It would have been smarter if KNWA had kept the FSM newsroom open so that they wouldn't be having to hire two new reporters now when they already had reporters and photogs there before.

 
At 5:16 PM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"LR's where its at"

Hahahahahahahaha!! Are you kidding?! Little Rock is a dump with high crime rates and poverty levels.

 
At 5:18 PM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the old KPOM building on Kelley Hwy. closed now??

 
At 10:37 PM, June 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hahahahahahahaha!! Are you kidding?! Little Rock is a dump with high crime rates and poverty levels."

And NWA isn't? Wow - get a clue, dude. Thanks to groups like the Latino Mafia and the countless and ILLEGAL immigrants (and gangs) in NWA make the crime rates and poverty levels here just as bad as in central Arkansas. Quit trying to paint this part of the state as some kind of ivory tower compared w/ Little Rock because it's not.

 
At 5:55 AM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, compared to Little Rock, it is an ivory tower. There's a reason why Fayetteville always ranks among the Top 10 or 20 places to live in the country and Little Rock lands in the second 100.

 
At 5:59 AM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox news will no no impact at all on KFSM in the River Valley. Fort Smith especially will take great glee in NOT watching it. CBS prime is huge in the market, especially on the River Valley side. It won't be pretty.

 
At 11:33 AM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, compared to Little Rock, it is an ivory tower. There's a reason why Fayetteville always ranks among the Top 10 or 20 places to live in the country and Little Rock lands in the second 100."

No, it's not. It's a glorified supercenter/chicken house. Little Rock is still the capital, and it always will be.

 
At 1:36 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be careful standing still in LR long enough to take shots at NWA! Someone might take a shot at you!

Hey, you guys should get a university down there sometime instead of just a branch campus!

 
At 1:36 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. NWA,

Your place ranks that high among small metros - get a clue..Little Rock is hardly a dump - great parks, thriving downtown, booming suberbs, explosion of retail, outstanding restraunts, Hillcrest and The Heights..Want me to go on..

 
At 1:39 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets see, UALR nearing 15,000, UCA sitting at over 12,000..Hardly branch colleges..enjoy your bubble and keep drinking the Razorback koolaid..

 
At 1:48 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Mr. LR, the two metros are both considered small cities in the national rankings, so they are compared head to head. Little Rock is not exactly Atlanta and compared on identical standards, NWA always comes out on top in quality of life, business climate, education level, per capita income, etc.

You can like them or not, agree with them or not, but those are national rankings, not mine.

You can keep the capitol. We'll keep the Razorbacks.

 
At 1:50 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UA = $1,000,000,000 in endowments this year. Yeah, that's Billion.

Plus UAMS is opening up here too.

UALR is comparable to UAFS.

 
At 1:58 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the enlightening info on NWA, still think I'll keep Little Rock..

UALR comparable to Fort Smith? Good one, UALR is an NCAA Div. I school, so to is UCA..And good luck getting anything close to UAMS..World class facility..

Don't be so jealous..Bash Little Rock all you want, but when it comes down to it, you're still small market..enjoy your minimum wage news job..

 
At 2:05 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how all you NWAers talk about how you guys are catching up to Little Rock..However you have to combine all those towns and Fort Smith to even get close..

Wanna play that way, we'll just add NLR, Sherwood, Jax, Bryant, Benton, Cabot, Conway..Should I keep going on?

 
At 2:20 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You can keep the capitol. We'll keep the Razorbacks."

Oh, we'll keep it, and always will. And you can keep your hogs and all the other critters up there.

 
At 3:49 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This NWA vs. Little Rock rivalry is NUTS!! I have heard people talking about this on the radio...but I never really knew how bad it was. This is INSANE!!

I've spent significant time in both places. They are unique and both have a lot to offer!!

Now I know the root of the great stadium debate!

We're all Arkansans! SAME TEAM EVERYONE!!!

 
At 4:45 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, compared to Little Rock, it is an ivory tower. There's a reason why Fayetteville always ranks among the Top 10 or 20 places to live in the country and Little Rock lands in the second 100."

In case you hadn't noticed, not everyone in NWA lives in Fayetteville, or Washington County, for that matter. In fact, more people are interested in living in Benton County because of the growth here. Sounds like a typical Fayetteville resident who thinks the entire area revolves around their town and its mostly-condo and overpriced homes and upscale restaurants that no one can afford to eat at. Live in the now . . . . .

 
At 5:08 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=Little+Rock&s1=AR&c2=rogers&s2=AR

What a great place to live!!!

 
At 5:12 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're more likely to get raped in Rogers, but killed in Little Rock. Other than that looks like LR wins the other crime categories.

 
At 5:19 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya'll keep talking about crime like it's bad. but it's the bread and butter for us news folks.

 
At 10:34 PM, June 30, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing about ivory towers is that they usually don't stand forever. Plus they show dirt really bad.

 
At 9:15 PM, July 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to the conversation about KNWA? This rivalry stuff is soooo lame. What a waste of time.

 
At 8:26 AM, July 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the rivalry stuff is kind of funny. In what other state would you see residents of the capital city actually having to defend why their town is a good place to live? Well, maybe in Mississippi.

Little Rock actually reminds me a lot of Jackson come to think of it.

 
At 8:33 AM, July 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can combine Little Rock with all the towns you want and they still won't equal the growth rate of NWA. Even Fort Smith is growing at twice the rate of Little Rock.

 
At 2:25 PM, July 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey NWA, you're still small market..Enjoy those minimum wage news jobs..

 
At 8:00 AM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Depends on the station and the job. Some jobs here pay more than Little Rock.

 
At 5:04 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's not one station that pays less than market 550 or whatever you guys are..Please keep dreaming..

 
At 6:08 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's not one station that pays less than market 550 or whatever you guys are..Please keep dreaming..

And since you are a GM who cuts checks...I'm sure you would know

 
At 7:15 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Little Rock? Fayetteville? psshhh... if you want phat cash and good times, S'port is where it's at!

 
At 8:22 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Jen said...

Little Rock is a dump. You can pretend it isn't, but that's all you can do--pretend. Have fun imagining that LR is a super-duper great place to be.

 
At 8:44 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you NWAers are testy..Look, like it or not, Little Rock is considered an emerging city in the south, (tons of downtown development, high standard of living, etc.) talk to civic leaders in other states and they'll tell you..
We get top concerts, major conventions (American Taekwondo Assoc. brought 30,000 to town just last week) even the women's sec tournament is talking of making this their permanent home..And while you think we're a dump, charts have our growth rate above the national average..

I'll also say that your part of the state is also attractive, with towns quickly becoming cities..It's great that you're area is growing, but act like you've been here before, instead of trying to rip a city that's already proven..

 
At 9:20 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, when LR stops ripping NWA, we'll stop ripping back. I believe the first comment in this exchange came from down there.

LR has potential, I am the first to admit it. But anyone who thinks that double digit growth and what we've got going on up here isn't the real thing needs to come up for a visit sometime.

 
At 10:58 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double digit growth is easy when you start with next to nothing.

 
At 9:28 AM, July 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that the official song of the Clinton Library and Massage Parlor? :-)

 
At 5:13 PM, July 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Little Rock is a dump. You can pretend it isn't, but that's all you can do--pretend. Have fun imagining that LR is a super-duper great place to be."

The same could be said about NWA, too.

 
At 3:11 AM, July 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen said...
Little Rock is a dump. You can pretend it isn't, but that's all you can do--pretend. Have fun imagining that LR is a super-duper great place to be.

Jen, have fun pretending that you're super-duper smart and cool. LOSER!

 
At 1:41 AM, July 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is Matt starting? He's been doing sports almost every night for KARK. I've been waiting on one of those "going away" speeches but it hasn't happened. Did he or the ND change their minds or something?

 
At 6:09 PM, April 30, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i grew up with this guy, very sweet i always knew he would do what he loved. Great job Matt.

 

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