Monday, October 30, 2006

New Anchor On Air at KSLA

Source: KSLA Press Release KSLA News 12 proudly welcomes a new member to the anchor line-up. News Director Jayne Ruben announced effective today that Shannon Royster has officially joined the KSLA News 12 Anchor Team. Ruben says, “Shannon is a seasoned journalist who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to KSLA News 12. She is a perfect fit, someone our viewers can rely on to uphold our mission of Coverage You Can Count On.”

Shannon comes to Shreveport from WCCB in Charlotte, North Carolina where she anchored the weekend newscasts and reported. Prior to that Shannon anchored the morning newscast at WTOC, a KSLA News 12 sister station located in Savannah, Georgia. She began her broadcast news career as a reporter/fill-in anchor at WICU in Erie, Pennsylvania. Shannon is a graduate of The Ohio State University and also has a Masters in Journalism from Kent State University. She was born and raised in Akron, Ohio.

“I am very proud to have Shannon join Carl on the anchor desk. She is an experienced journalist who knows how to handle breaking news and the other big stories of the day. Shannon and Carl make a great team” commented KSLA Vice/President and General Manager James Smith.

Ark-La-Tex viewers can see Shannon and Carl weekdays at 5:00pm, 6:00pm, and 10:00pm on KSLA News 12, Coverage You Can Count On.

Arkansas TV News reported the move FIRST a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

KAIT's Very Own Mr Rogers

The graphics department at KAIT had some fun with KAIT Chief Met Ryan Vaughan Tuesday night after wearing a sweater to work and on the air. Vaughan's co-workers dubbed him Mr Rogers during the weather segment Tuesday night. Vaughn posted the video on his weather blog.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Main Anchors MIA

I have received several e-mails asking where all the main Little Rock news anchors are. Christina Munoz from KATV, Jancey Sheets and Brett Cummings from KARK and Liz Massey from KTHV are all off. My explanation is November sweeps are on the way and management forced them to take the time off before sweeps period.

Familiar Name, New Face at KATV Sports Desk

The Arkansas Times Blog says Dale Nicholson, Jr made his debut at the sports anchor desk today. In watching one of the newscasts over the weekend I heard them introduce Nicholson. Will be watching the 10pm KATV newscast to see if he's at the desk tonight.

Nexstar's Campaign to Preserve Local TV

In the past weeks I have seen and gotten several e-mails wanting to know what the heck the "Preserve Local TV" spots have been about. Just today I ran across an article on the subject written by Nexstar owned KTAL's General Manager Scott Thomas. This article is from

"In the coming weeks and months the FCC will begin wrestling with the complex issue of media ownership. The question the FCC is seeking to answer: “How many TV stations can one company own?”

This issue is complex with billions of dollars and thousands of jobs hanging in the balance. The current regulations were originally drafted in 1953 and are to say the least, outdated.

Today’s complex world of ever changing telecommunications is well beyond the scope of the original legislators imaginations. These antiquated regulations are inadvertently limiting broadcasters’ ability to compete and must be changed.

Why should you care? Well.....if you like seeing local news you better care.

Can you imagine a time when you turned on your TV in search of Local News or weather and there was none — or there was just one local source.

This seems unthinkable. Maybe in the Middle East, or Europe, but not in the good ole US of A. Not in the vast 500 channel universe of National cable and satellite TV.

How could that happen? Is something like that even possible? As far fetched as that may sound, the answer is Yes.

Believe it or not this scenario is actually a reality for many Americans now. If the FCC doesn’t do something soon, more Americans will begin to see less local news. Currently, there are 15 TV markets that only have one news station and 113 markets that only have two news stations.

Why is local news at risk? The FCC is regulating it to death. Television news production is a very expensive proposition. In a medium sized market like ours, we invest well over two million dollars a year with over 40 employees to put a quality product on the air.

We can do that because we’re part of a financially healthy television group. Many weaker stations across the country have simply given up and gotten out of the news business.

This has happened in cities like St. Louis, Mo. and Billings, Mt. When the local stations are gone, what’s left? Fox news and CNN. How many interviews have you seen with your local Mayor on Fox News? Zero.

With so much at stake the debate is growing vociferous. There are those who argue against multiple station ownership. Special interest groups say media monopolies would arise and the public would be manipulated.

Fifty years ago that would have been a pretty good argument. But in this day and age it simply doesn’t hold water. Even if somebody wanted to hatch an Orwellian “Control the Media” conspiracy, it would be an impossible task. There’s just too much content for any one entity to control. Besides, a successful media monopoly would also have to control print and the worldwide web.

James Quello was an FCC Commissioner/Chairman for over 23 years. At the beginning of his tenure he was a staunch defender of media regulation. He says it’s time for change, “Telecommunications in America have drastically changed... thus necessitating a more practicable marketplace approach to government regulation and legislation.”

So why should the FCC change its rules and let companies own more stations? The answer is simple. It’s in the best interest of the people served by those stations.

Healthy ownership groups don’t abandon news. In fact, they embrace it. Since its creation ten years ago Nexstar Broadcasting Group, KTAL’s parent company, has brought news to eight stations that previously had no news product and increased news production in 25 other markets.

Here in our market we produce over a thousand hours of local news every year. In the process we employ over forty professionals. Those are good jobs that support forty families and pump money into our local economy.

In the end the decision is up to the FCC. I think responsible media groups are good for television. I think multiple station ownership will protect and improve local news. I think it will help stations improve their ability to bring more news to the people they serve. I think it will be good for America. If you think like I do, let your legislators know. Go to and let your voice be heard."

Former KARK'er Looking to Reunite With Former Co-workers

This from the TV Spy WaterCool: "I am Bill Evans, former reporter / producer for KARK 85-89. Last weekend I caught up with Bill Sadler and Chuck Maulden--two former co-workers. We would like to get a little reunion going for former KARKers and others from LR TV."

Evans has posted a list of names of former co-workers AND an e-mail address in which those interested can get in contact with him.

Friday, October 20, 2006

KAIT Looking to Hire Web Producer

Looks as though KAIT is wanting to take its website to the next step by hiring a "web producer".

The advertisment for the position says, "KAIT-TV, one of the country's highest-rated television stations, is now expanding its resources on the web. Newly-created Web Producer position for the newsroom will focus on the station's extremely popular website. If you are CREATIVE, can handle hard-work, flexible hours and the unexpected, we want you. You must be a great writer. Your job will include managing news content, keeping it updated with compelling stories, video, and pictures to slideshows. Interview, write, edit, and report stories. Some shooting (mini-P2) may be needed. Work in newsroom environment where the website is part of the daily culture. Journalist should be able to find unique "day of" stories, ways to tell the story differently from what is on the TV broadcast. These stories must be able to have some shelf life-through storytelling, visuals and/or emotion. If you have great ideas of how to take an excellent website to the next level we want to hear from you."

Nielsen Update

This from a tipster: " Katie Nielsen is at the CW affiliate in Reno, NV. She's going to be an anchor on the station's brand new 10 PM newscast."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New Anchor Hired in NWA

Newsblues reports, "Doug Currin, primary news anchor at KSWT-13-CBS in Yuma, AZ (Market #167), moves to Nexstar's KNWA-24-NBC in Fayetteville, AR (Market #102) as senior reporter and fill-in anchor."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Former NWA Sports Anchor Lands in Texas

Former KFSM and KTHV sports anchor Eric Sullivan has landed at KYTX in Tyler, Texas. Sullivan starts his sports anchor/director job there tomorrow, Wednesday, October 18.

New KSLA Anchor Coming From WCCB-TV in Charlotte, NC

The webmaster for Charlotte tells Arkansas TV News Shannon Royster is headed to KSLA, Shreveport, to fill the vacant anchor chair. At WCCB, Royster anchored the 10pm weekend newscasts. Below is here bio from

"Shannon Royster was born and raised in Akron, Ohio but calls Charlotte home.

You can catch Shannon anchoring the weekend 10 o'clock newscasts and reporting throughout the week.

Previously, she anchored the morning and noon shows at WTOC in Savannah, GA.

Shannon is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Kent State University. She worked as a radio news anchor and a production assistant before landing her first on-air position as a reporter/fill-in anchor at WICU in Erie, PA.

Shannon is happily married, and she's a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Switcharoo at KTBS and Will Former KSLA Anchor Michelle White Return After Former Boss Loses in Mayor's Office Primary?

This from an e-mailer: "I've noticed on KTBS that the weekend crew (Jodi Lowery, Jennifer Gray, etc) has been working on Fridays, while the weekday crew (Gerry May, Sheri Allen, etc) has been working on Sundays. Do you know why they have been switching out?

- The anchor position on has been removed... could this mean that Michelle White may be coming back, since Ed Bradley did not win in the Shreveport mayor primary election?"

White has been off the air a couple of months now...shall be interesting to see if she returns to her former seat at the anchor desk.

Coming Home THV Anchor Buys Half-A-Million Dollar Home

This from Sunday's Arkansas-Democrat/Gazette's real-estate transactions: Christopher H. Pope and Katherine Green-Pope to Steven S. and Dawn Jones $470,000.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fort Smith Radio Host Headed to KFSM

This from an e-mailer: "KWHN-AM morning host Darren Bobb is headed to KFSM-TV. The following job posting came from KWHN Program Director Gary Elmore (his partner on "Arklahoma AM")

We have a rare opening at KWHN as our current co-host has gone on to become anchor and managing editor for the CBS TV affiliate in town.
Therefore, Clear Channel Fort Smith, Arkansas is looking for a Morning co-host for our top rated news talk station, KWHN. Duties also include Assistant PD, remote broadcasts, and commercial production, plus. If you are a team player, please send demo, references and resume to

Clear Channel Radio is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Looks like he'll slide alongside Bridget at 5, 6, and 10."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

KTHV'ers Applying for UALR PR Job?

This from a tipster: "Sources are telling me that since Amy Oliver Barnes is now teaching classes at UALR and left her post as the public information for the college, Andy Pearson and Mark Raines have applied for the position."

Reporter Leaves KARK

This from a tipster: "Katie Nielsen is no longer working at kark took another job out west won't tell anyone where."

Hearst-Argyle, Cox Continue Negotiations for Signal Carriage of KHBS/KHOG

Source: KHBS/KHOG -TV Press Release KHBS/KHOG -TV Channel 40/29 and KHBS-KHOG TV-DT Channels 15/21, which are among Ft. Smith/Fayetteville/Rogers’ leading analog and digital television stations, respectively, announced on Monday that the digital high definition signal of KHBS/KHOG DT is no longer being carried on Cox cable television systems.

The removal of the station’s digital signals from the Cox system is the result of unsuccessful negotiations between representatives of Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., KHBS/KHOG’s parent company, and Cox. Hearst-Argyle is seeking fair and reasonable terms from Cox in return for allowing Cox to carry KHBS/KHOG-DT’s programming and charge its subscribers for access to that programming.

So as not to inconvenience a large number of its viewers, Hearst-Argyle will allow Cox to continue to retransmit KHBS/KHOG-TV’s primary analog signal while the companies continue to work in good faith toward a resolution of retransmission consent terms. However, Cox has not agreed to terms with Hearst-Argyle for the carriage of KHBS/KHOG-DT’s valuable high-definition digital programming. Viewers may call Cox corporate headquarters at (404) 843-5000.

“We’re greatly disappointed that Cox could not arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution,” said Jim Prestwood, KHBS/KHOG-TV/DT president and general manager. “Our station is a leader in our market and we’ve made substantial investments to bring our viewers high definition digital programming. Cox has been actively promoting to current and prospective subscribers the addition of our digital channel to its lineup, for an additional monthly fee, and we’re certainly supportive of that. But they won’t come to terms with us on providing fair consideration for that right. To allow any re-distributor of our station’s digital signal to benefit economically from our efforts without providing us a reasonable contract for that right would be unacceptable for us.”

“We sincerely hope we and Cox can return to negotiations quickly so as not to deprive Cox cable customers of high definition programming,” Prestwood added. “However, our viewers can still receive our high-definition signal using an appropriate tuner or antenna.”

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Former Little Rock Anchor Makes Debut on CNN

Former KTHV anchor T.J. Holmes debuted on CNN Saturday. Holmes is now the regular weekend morning co-anchor for CNN. Holmes joins several other former Little Rock news talents at CNN. The others include Randi Kaye and Susan Roesgen and a couple of behind the scenes people too.( I don't know their names but know that some work in the newsroom at CNN that once worked at in the Little Rock stations.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Former KATV'er Back at 7?

This from an e-mail: "Betsy Pilgrim (Mars) showed up Thursday nite on KATV's Hog Report. Haven't seen her around in a few years. Since they couldn't get Dawn, they must have tried to recycle one of their former employees."

KARK to Air Gubernatorial Debate

This from "KARK, we are proud of our commitment to this very important election and we are pleased to have the opportunity to bring the third gubernatorial debate to the television audience in Arkansas.

The next debate will be on Tuesday October 17th - hosted by the Clinton School for Public Service.

KARK is the broadcast partner for this debate.

We will be at the Clinton School with our cameras to provide live coverage of this event.

The exact time of the debate and other important details will be announced very soon."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Couric Blasts Into Third Place

Source: DC Post CBS's Katie Couric-anchored newscast has fallen to third place in a three-way race for viewers among the broadcast evening newscasts, triggering an exuberant news release from CBS News marveling at Couric's unprecedented double-digit, across-the-board gains in her first month and celebrating her victory over the decades-old ratings curse that has plagued new anchors.

The multimillion-dollar campaign to launch Couric as anchor of the perennially third-place "CBS Evening News" delivered two weeks in which Couric's was the most-watched newscast. It opened with more than 10 million viewers and settled -- not unexpectedly -- down to about 7.9 million the second week.

Couric's slide continued in Week 3; she finished in second place with about 7.7 million viewers, behind perennial evening news winner Brian Williams, who logged about 8.2 million on NBC.

And, while final numbers on Couric's fourth week in office will come out today, it appears from preliminary stats that she has fallen to third place with about 7.5 million viewers, behind Williams's 8.2 million and Charles Gibson's 7.6 million at ABC. To get there, Williams and Gibson held firm week to week, while Couric continued to shed some viewers.

CBS News noted that last week Couric was still in first place among the 25-to-54-year-olds advertisers try to reach with news programming. In that demographic group, Couric tied Williams, and they were one-tenth of a ratings point ahead of Gibson.

In its news release, CBS slapped Couric on the back for reversing the "historic pattern of first-month losses when anchors change."

"The ratings history of network evening news anchor changes reveals a clear pattern of audience loss in the first month versus the same period a year earlier," CBS News said. "Compared to the five anchor changes of the past two decades, Couric has dramatically reversed that pattern with the broadcast's remarkable growth."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fire on the Set

This from an e-mailer about an incident during KATV's Sunday evening newscast: "I dont know if u have heard about this or not but on Sunday during the five o'clock news while Todd was doing the weather, a key light shorted out at the chroma key wall causing a minor fire. What was funny was that Todd just kept on going while no more than three feet away from him, the plug is shooting sparks out of it and melting itself to the wall. You could actually hear the light shorting out even while Todd was sitting at the desk talking to Pam.

Fired News Anchor Sues KFSM

Source: Times Record A former television news anchor has filed a lawsuit accusing a Fort Smith television station of firing him in breach of his contract.

Tim Malone filed the suit Monday in Sebastian County Circuit Court against KFSM-TV, a division of New York Times Broadcasting Holdings.

The suit states that in September 2004 Malone was hired by KFSM as “an anchor, co-anchor and/or staff newsperson, newscaster, writer, reporter, photographer, producer and editor.”

Malone, a Crawford County resident, alleges he entered into a contract with KFSM that was to expire in December 2007, but on March 8 he was fired without cause, in violation of the contract. He claims the firing cost him $116,400 in wages.

KFSM General Manager Van Comer said Monday that it is the station’s policy not to comment on personnel matters.

Rogers attorney Kristin Pawlik is representing Malone, who is asking for lost wages, consequential damages — that is, damages sustained as a consequence of the firing — plus interest, attorney’s fees and costs.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Contract in the Works to Bring CW to NWA

Source: NWA Times Cox Communications customers will be without the CW Network until the new network signs a contract for its programming to air in Northwest Arkansas.

“ The situation is still in negotiation on who the carrier will be, ” said Kelly Zega, Cox community relations manager for Arkansas. “ Aside from Cox, there’s still the decision from CW on who will be the local affiliate, so right now, we’re not in a position to obtain programming. ”

Zega said CW’s pending decision affects Cox customers throughout Arkansas, except for residents in Harrison and Berryville, who receive service from Springfield, Mo.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

KTHV Not Sure How Things Will Flow When Dawn Scott Returns

KTHV General Manager Larry Audas tells Arkansas Business he's not for certain how things will flow when Dawn Scott returns November 1:

"KTHV General Manager Larry Audas said last week that even though the pregnant Scott and her husband are expected to complete their move back to central Arkansas “any day now,” the station is still not sure how things will flow with KTHV’s current staff of weeknight anchors, Andy Pearson and Liz Massey.

“We’re going to sit down in the next few weeks and figure out how best to handle the situation,” said Audas. “Dawn’s main concern was getting back on the air this fall instead of waiting until after the baby arrives.”"