Anchor Changes Now Official at KARK
Source: KARK KARK 4 News announced today a permanent anchor lineup for all newscasts starting the week of October 10th.
Jessica Dean, life-long Arkansan and KARK weekend anchor, will join KARK veteran Bob Clausen on the news desk every weeknight at 6 &10pm. KARK 4 News veteran Melissa Simas will co-anchor the 5pm newscast alongside Clausen, as well as produce In Depth Special Reports for the 6 &10pm newscasts. Joining Simas, Clausen and Dean is Keith Monahan, currently residing in Houston, Texas, who has been named KARK Chief Meteorologist and will forecast for all evening newscasts. The final anchor change moves reporter Lauren Trager into Dean's former weekend slot.
KARK News Director Rob Heverling said, "We are very pleased that Jessica is joining Bob Clausen weeknights at 6 and 10pm. Jessica was born and raised in Central Arkansas and has spent her entire career in our state. She's passionate about our community and invested in our television station long-term."
"This is truly a remarkable opportunity for this station," Heverling continued. "Melissa is an exceptional anchor/reporter and has made it clear that her passion is reporting stories and digging into important issues that affect Arkansas. She's a newsroom leader. Melissa's editorial insight will help drive our daily news meetings. We are pleased Melissa will have a much greater influence on how we shape our coverage of the news of the day."
Commenting on the appointment of Chief Meteorologist Keith Monahan, Heverling said, "As soon as we watched Keith, we knew he was a very good fit. He brings experience and leadership to our weather team. Having served as a Captain in the Air Force, including military intelligence, and forecasting dangerous hurricanes during his tenure in Houston, he knows how to perform under pressure. Keith is poised, calm and just an all-around nice guy."
Commenting on Lauren Trager, Heverling, said, "Lauren is one of the best enterprise journalists in Little Rock. She will add stability and experience to our weekend news team."
With KARK 4 Today, the morning newscast from 5-7am on KARK and 7-8am on KARZ, continuing to see positive results with the addition of Meteorologist Greg Dee, the lineup will remain consistent with Matt Mosler, Mallory Hardin, Wendy Suares and Mr. Dee.
"This team continues to stay true to what we're all about in the morning. Giving our viewers updated stories and weather and traffic on a constant basis. We know that lives are busy in the morning as people scramble to get the kids to school and head to work and this team doesn't want to waste their time, they get right to it," Heverling said.
KARK General Manager and Vice President Mike Vaughn concluded, "We have an incredible team of talented journalists and meteorologists at this station that provide relevant and important content every day. This new lineup is about providing our viewers and advertisers with consistently exceptional product over the long-term and utilizing the strengths of these talented people to deliver a product that continues to build on the legacy of KARK."