Thursday, August 31, 2006

KFTA Officially Becomes FOX 24

This from a tipster: "KFTA-TV has made the switch to Fox affiliation ( Also, word has it that KPBI, the area's old Fox station, will become a My Network TV station and KFDF, the old UPN station, will pick up with the CW. Also, Cox Communications has dropped both of those stations from their cable systems in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith area. If all of that isn't enough, Equity has filed a complaint with the FCC over the sale of KFTA to Mission Broadcasting. Looks like we have a bit of drama up in our part of the state."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Video Now available on

Looks as though KARK is now getting into the online video game. KARK here recently has started providing video as the story was presented during its newscast.

Hogs' Helmets Initialed for Eells

Source: Whole Hog Sports Along with the Razorback on the side, Arkansas’ helmets will have the letters “P. E.” on them this season in memory of Paul Eells.

Eells, who died July 31 in a car accident, was the Razorbacks’ play-by-play announcer the previous 28 seasons. He also was host of the football and basketball coaches shows during that span.

Arkansas Coach Houston Nutt said the day after Eells died that he would be honored by the team this season, and it was decided having his initials on the Razorbacks’ helmets is the most appropriate way.

“Somebody that special, somebody as dear to the program as Paul Eells, you want to do something to remember him,” Nutt said. “To represent Paul Eells in just a small way means a lot.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

THV Welcomes Home Dawn Scott

Source: Dawn Scott, a popular news anchor at Today’s THV from 1995 to 2002, is returning to the station to anchor its weeknight newscasts. The station announced Scott’s return to the staff Monday morning.

“I am so excited to be returning to Arkansas and Today’s THV,” said Scott. “I left the state four years ago, but my heart never left.”

Scott and her husband, Scott Jones, moved to Seattle, Washington in 2002 where he attended a residency program for anesthesiology. He will soon be practicing in Little Rock. While in Seattle, Scott worked at KIRO-TV where she was a reporter and fill-in anchor and also worked in pharmaceutical sales.

“The television news business is what I love and I look forward to telling the Arkansas stories that I care about,” Scott said.

“Who says you can never go home again? Dawn is coming home and her many TV friends and viewers are just as excited as her family here in Arkansas,” Today’s THV President and General Manager Larry Audas said. “Beyond that, Dawn will resume a lead news anchor role in the market, providing THV viewers the best journalism and local news coverage every day. I couldn’t be happier for Dawn, our viewers and the folks here at THV who will be able to work with her again.”

Today’s THV News Director Mark Raines said Dawn’s impact will be evident beyond the anchor desk.

“Dawn is a top-notch journalist and viewers will watch her because of the credibility she brings to the newscast,” said Raines. “But they’ll also grow to love Dawn because of her commitment to the state and the way that she gets involved in the community. I’m excited that she’s back home and a part of our family again.”

Speaking of family, Scott’s personal family is about to expand. She and her husband are expecting their first child, a boy, in December.

“My husband and I were both raised in Arkansas, and this is where we want to raise our family,” Scott said. “We want to be surrounded by family and friends that share the same values.”

Scott attended Hall High in Little Rock and graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1993.

Her first day on the air will be November 1.

KATV Names Steve Sullivan Sports Director

Source: KATV Press Release KATV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas, today announces the enhancement of its already dominant Arkansas Razorback sports coverage. Steve Sullivan, long-time sports anchor, has been named Sports Director and the television station is opening a permanent sports bureau in Fayetteville.

Sullivan has been a part of the KATV sports team since 1998, and has been covering Arkansas sports as an anchor and reporter for more than 20 years. The host of the highly successful SportsWeek and Friday Night Touchdowns is a two-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year.

“KATV has been the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks for the past 40 years,” KATV President and General Manager Dale Nicholson says, “and we are proud to continue that history of award winning Razorback coverage with Steve Sullivan.”

“Paul Eells can never be replaced, but I am honored for the opportunity to walk in his footsteps and continue KATV’s dedication to the Hogs,” says Sullivan.

Channel Seven Sports will also carry on the legacy of sports excellence by opening a full-time bureau in Fayetteville, dedicated to daily Razorback reports. Hog Central will be led by KATV reporter and former sports anchor-reporter Rusty Jackson.

“As an Arkansas native, I grew up a fan of KATV’s Razorback coverage and I am excited to be a part of it,” says Jackson.

Jackson is no stranger to the Razorbacks. He is a University of Arkansas graduate and spent more than two years covering the Razorbacks as a sports anchor and reporter in northwest Arkansas. Ironically, Jackson’s first assignment will not be in Fayetteville. He is in Los Angeles today covering USC’s preparations for Saturday’s game against Arkansas.

News Director Randy Dixon says he is excited about the new opportunities that the bureau will allow, “The close proximity to the Hog headquarters will increase the scope of our coverage, but it will not be limited to the state. We’ll go wherever the Hogs take us.”

Sunday, August 27, 2006

On the road...will return late Tuesday evening.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

What's Happening at 11?

The Arkansas Times blog says KTHV will hold a news conference Monday, Aug 28 at 11am to make a 'big announcement'. Rumor is the announcement will be that former KTHV anchor Dawn Scott is headed back to 11 anchor chair. I will be out of town Monday, so someone please post the news here in the comments section.

Friday, August 25, 2006

KATV Dominates July Book

I can hear the talk now, KTHV and KARK GM's say July ratings book is unimportant BUT the KATV people will disagree as July found it at the top of all time periods. Below are highlights of an article from Arkansas about the July book:

> KATV saw a wide victory gap at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., but it still has KTHV on its tail at 10 p.m., even though the lead was slightly expanded. Channel 7 also scored well at 6 a.m. by edging out KTHV in its traditional area of timeslot dominance.

KATV pulled a 6 rating and 26 share at 6 a.m., while KTHV was close behind with a 5 rating and 25 share. KARK’s 2 rating and 10 share in the slot will soon be getting some backup as Rogala has made a realignment.

> KATV reasserted its early evening dominance by more than doubling up both KTHV and KARK at both 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Channel 7 pulled down a 13 rating and 31 share at 5 p.m. and a 13 rating and 28 share at 6 p.m. KTHV and KARK hovered near a second-place tie at both time periods with an average of a 6 rating and 13 share.

> KATV and KTHV have duked it out at 10 p.m., with both stations trading leads over the last six books but ultimately standing in a near tie in the coveted news period.

KATV earned a 10 rating and 24 share while KTHV was still close behind with a 9 rating and 21 share. KARK came in third with a 6 rating and 13 share.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Shreveport Business Man Arrested Accused of Assaulting KSLA News Employees

Source: Two KSLA News 12 employees become a news story - while covering a news story Wednesday night.

Thomas Milam, owner of Milam Kars, a Bossier City car dealership, is caught on camera assaulting a News 12 photographer and verbally assaulting a News 12 reporter.

Sara gouedy was in Benton Wednesday night at the Bossier Parish courthouse covering Milam's aggravated assault trial.

Milam was acquitted on those charges Wednesday, but on his way out of the courthouse, it was what he said and did to a News 12 crew that landed him in jail again.

For his actions - Benton Police chief Charles Pilkinton says Milam is charged with simple assault, simple battery and property damage.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New KARK Morning Team Revealed

Just got back from the land of no internet AND several tipsters have e-mailed saying that KARK is now airing promos of their new morning team. It looks as though Matt Mosler will be making his way back to the Arkansas morning airwaves AND Melissa Simas, Tracy Douglass, and Mike Francis will be along side of him in the mornings on KARK. This could be a good move on KARK's part, bringing in Matt with a big following in Arkansas with it all being made even bigger by KATV giving him the boot several years ago. If I have my info right, Matt and Melissa should began their new jobs the fist week in September.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

KTBS Now Offering 24/7 VIDEO Webcast

It's a first for the Shreveport TV News Market, KTBS/Channel 3 now offers a 24/7 video webcast. If I'm not mistaken, it's what you will find broadcasting on 3's digital tv signal.

Friday, August 18, 2006

KLRT Touting Increase in Viewers for 9pm Newscast

Arkansas reports KLRT/16 GM Chuck Spohn is proudly touting the 33 percent growth ( over July 2005) of KLRT's "Fox News at Nine" newscast in last months book. says, "Spohn also hinted that KLRT had pulled even with KARK-TV, Channel 4, “in all key demos,” he said."

Democrat/Gazette Offers KTHV Video

Not sure how long the link has been there but noticed it today,, the web home of the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette, now offers video from KTHV. I remember a while back the AD/G was advertising for a videographier position BUT I guess it decided to partner up with KTHV instead.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Can We Say Spellcheck?

This from a tipster: "The attached image is a screen-capture from Channel 7 News during their 10 PM broadcast on Thursday the 17th of August. A Sherwood Police detective was suspended and demoted after admitting having sexual contact with a woman in his patrol car. During Channel 7's report, they used the headline "interanal" at the top of the screen as you'll see in the attachment. Funny typo considering the subject matter being presented. "

Former KARK'er Sighted in The Rock?

Here's something to make one say hmmm....considering the rumors of the last several days:

This from a tipster: "Just wondering if you had heard anything about former KARK reporter/weekend Anchor Lyndall Stout? I thought she had moved away, but I thought saw her at PF Changs in LR last night with a small child in tow. maybe you could do a where are they now?"

At last account Stout was the 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. anchor at WBRE/Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Former KTHV Anchor Joins CNN

Former KTHV-11 anchor TJ Holmes will be joining CNN as weekend anchor in September. Holmes will be taking over the position now filled by Tony Harris. Harris will become a daily daytime anchor for CNN in September. Currently Holmes is an anchor for NBC 11-San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland, California.

Who's Coming Back To KARK Mornings

Anybody have the scoop WHO is coming back to KARK mornings? KARK is currently running promos about the mystery?

Update: Maybe I should have checked my tip box. A tipster says, "Melissa Simas to replace Barbara Roberts as morning show anchor at KARK-4."

Additional: Another tipster sent in this: "Barbara Roberts told KARK morning show viewers that today was her last morning show because of a "high-risk" pregnancy. She'll know be doing the noon show and health segments."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Tipster: Hiring Has Begun for KFTA

This from a tipster: "KNWA Hired Mary Marsh and another reporter to start back its Fort Smith KFTA office. "

KNWA Promotes Reporter to Anchor

Source: KNWA Press Release KNWA-TV today announced the promotion of Ginny Barksdale from General Assignment Reporter to Anchor of ‘KNWA Today’ – the station’s morning newscast. She replaces Dana Sargent, who is moving to anchor KFTA-TV’s Fox 24 News at 9:00pm. The announcement was made by Blake Russell, Vice President and General Manager of the television station.

“We did a nation-wide search for someone to replace Dana,” said Mr. Russell. “but after going through application after application, the perfect person to do the job was already here at the station.”

"This is a terrific opportunity for me to move so quickly from reporting to anchoring," said Mrs. Barksdale. "I’m honored that my managers believed in me enough that they offered me the position and that I get this chance to represent KNWA."

Mrs. Barksdale started at KNWA in March. She’s a native of Hamburg, AR and has a degree is Broadcast Journalism from the University of Arkansas. She worked at KATV and Fox 16 in Little Rock before moving to Northwest Arkansas and KNWA. She’s married to Alan Barksdale, an investment banker based in Little Rock. Razorback Fans will also be happy to know her uncle, Louis Campbell is a football coach at the U of A and she has two cousins who are former players.

KNWA Hires New Razorback Nation Anchor

Source: KNWA Press Release KNWA-TV announced the hiring of Jesse Abdenour today as its newest member of the Razorback Nation Team. He replaces Matt Turner, who was recently promoted to the news desk. The announcement was made by Blake Russell, Vice President and General Manager of the television station.

“Jesse has a huge passion for sports,” said Mr. Russell. “He’s also very interested in moving to an area and to a television station that put such a large emphasis on the Razorbacks as we do.”

"Before coming to Arkansas for the interview, I didn’t know very much at all about the area," said Mr. Abdenour. "But when I got here and they showed me the university, Dickson Street, Pinnacle Hills and the rest of Northwest Arkansas, I knew people here have something going. And then when I saw how many resources KNWA puts into covering the Razorbacks, I knew, this was the job for me."

“We looked long and hard to find the right person for this unique opportunity,” said Bo Mattingly, Sports Director at KNWA. “After spending time with Jesse, we knew he was the guy that would help us keep delivering consistent excellence day in and day out.”

Mr. Abdenour will also anchor sports for KARK-TV in Little Rock.

He comes to NWA from Rockford, IL where he’s Sports Director at WREX-TV. He’s also worked at stations in Columbus, OH, Moline, IL and Rochester, MN. He’s originally from Seattle and graduated from Ohio University. When he's not working, Mr. Abdenour says he likes play tennis, golf and baseball. He’s also a video game fan as well as a Seinfeld rerun watcher. Most importantly, he's a sports fan. "I like sports and I like to talk about sports, so [working in sports broadcasting] it’s a good fit."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

All Shook up in NWA

This from a tipster: "More movin' & shakin in NWA: Dena Drabek, Harriet Vaughn & Jennah Kester all leaving KFSM."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Eells: ASP Releases Accident Report

Source: KATV Arkansas State Police released their final report on Monday’s fatal car crash that killed Paul Eells and B.J. Burton. The accident happened near Russellville. Paul was returning home from Fayetteville.

State police say there was nothing surprising in the report. Results from toxicology tests could be back in the next few days. The accident happened along Interstate 40 west in the far west bound lanes. The report indicates both vehicles were traveling at or near the speed limit.

A data recorder inside Paul's vehicle has been analyzed and indicates Paul was driving with his cruise control and it was never turned off. It also appears breaks were never applied. His car crossed the center line, through the median and into west bound traffic, hitting Burton's vehicle in the inside lane. State police say neither driver reacted. The question that still remains is what caused Paul to cross the center lane. State Police say it may never be known.

Nexstar Files Extension to Increase DTV Power

Nexstar, the parent company of KARK/Little Rock and KTAL/Shreveport, is asking the FCC to grant them an extension in the deadline to up the power for some of its station's DTV signal. KTAL is one of those stations. Nexstar says can't afford to make the needed upgrades at the moment. Read the full letter HERE.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No Television Coverage of Eells Funeral

KATV just reported the Eells family requested no televising of the funeral of Paul Eells. Services are to be held Friday, 2pm at Robinson Center Auditorium in Little Rock. It is open to the public. There will be no parking downtown in Little Rock. Free shuttles will run from War Memorial Stadium beginning at noon Friday. Robinson Centers seats around 2500 with an overflow room to be opened that will seat around 1000.

Turner Makes Debut Anchoring the News

A tipster says Matt Turner made his on air debut as the news anchor at KNWA Monday. KNWA named Turner to the position in early July.

I can't believe I was out working out of town when the biggest story in Little Rock TV news occured. And to boot, it looks like I will be in the same town a couple of nights a week for the next month or two with no internet access at any of the hotels in town. Anyway I did catch the many Paul Eells tributes on the different Little Rock TV stations. Of course KATV did a great job putting together and paying tribute to a member of their family. Really liked how they got reaction from the many former KATV employees. KARK also did an outstanding job, as it did dedicate the majority of its 10pm news Tuesday to paying tribute to Eells. KTHV paid far less attention to the story as it did air some coverage in its 10pm newscast but went on with other news items of the day. Please comment on your reaction to the coverage by the Little Rock stations. Was it too much coverage by KARK and KTHV?

Voice of the Razorbacks Dies in Car Accident

Source: Paul Eells, the "voice of the Razorbacks" whose trademark "Touchdown, Arkansas!" call endeared him to generations of sports fans, is dead after a head-on collision on Interstate 40 at Russellville. State police said the accident last night at 8:13 pm also took the life of the other driver, Billy J. Burton of Dover.

The 70-year-old Eells had served as sports director of Little Rock television station KATV for nearly three decades and also delivered play-by-play coverage of Arkansas Razorbacks football and basketball for radio and television.

Scoring plays weren't the only events that drew a characteristic response from Eells.
Viewers or listeners perked up when they heard him utter the mild exclamation "Oh, my!" because they knew something interesting had happened on the field or the court.

A police report said Eells' car, eastbound near the Arkansas 331 exit from I-40, crossed the median and collided in the westbound lanes with a car driven by the 40-year-old Burton.

The report said she and Eells were both pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Eells was returning to his home at Little Rock after participating in a golf tournament for sports figures and the media at Fayetteville. KATV said he had also interviewed Arkansas Football Coach Houston Nutt during the visit to northwest Arkansas.

Eells, a West Branch, Iowa, native, joined KATV in 1978.

He was named Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year eleven times and was also honored several times with an Associated Press award for bestsports play-by-play.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, he began his broadcast career with radio station KOKX in Keokuk, Iowa, as an announcer. He then moved to WMT in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, andfrom there to WSM radio and television in Nashville, Tennessee, where he did play-by-play for Vanderbilt until coming to Arkansas in 1978.

Governor Huckabee is calling for state flags to fly at half staff on the day of Paul Eells' funeral and for prayers for Eells' family. Paul Eells was 70 years old.

A memorial service has been scheduled for Friday at 2:00 p.m. at Robinson Center Auditorium in Little Rock. It is open to the public. Paul Eells' family requests memorials be made to the Paul Eells Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 10689, Conway, AR 72034.