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Beaumont-Port Arthur

KBMT Expands Morning Newscast to 3 Hours

London Broadcasting’s KBMT in Beaumont-Port Arthur is expanding its morning newscast on a digital subchannel.

The current morning newscast, anchored by Greg Picazo and Jeff Gerber, airs from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. on KBMT, the ABC affiliate, and K-JAC, the NBC-affiliated subchannel. The additional hour will air from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on MYTX, the second digital subchannel of KMBT.

“12News Daybreak at 7 a.m. was created to provide viewers an option for local content in a day-part typically dominated by national programming,” Bruce Cummings, KBMT vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer the first one-hour local newscast in this time period in the Beaumont market.”

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Rival Stations Staff KFDM During Bill Leger’s Memorial Service

Two rival stations are pitching in today at KFDM in Beaumont so anchors and staffers can attend the memorial of anchor Bill Leger, who was killed in a car accident last week.

ABC affiliate KBMT and Fox affiliate KBTV (a sister station to KFDM) both offered to help, according to a post on the station’s Facebook page from meteorologist James Brown on Thursday:

How wonderful is this? Channel 4 and 12 are covering for us so we can attend Bill’s memorial tomorrow. Fox 4 anchor Jessica Guidry will anchor the News at Noon show and Meteorologist Dana Melancon will cover the weather for me on KFDM. Thank you for doing this for Bill and for us.

KFDM executive producer Scott Lawrence told the Houston Press that KBMT offered to also provide coverage of any breaking news that occurs during the memorial service, which takes place today.

Anchor Bill Leger Remembered by KFDM

Bill Leger, the KFDM news anchor who died in a traffic accident early Saturday, was remembered by the station with video tributes and updates on funeral arrangements and memorials for the man the station knew as the, ”ever present face of 6 news.”

KFDM’s managing editor, Tom Wright, looked back on Leger’s career with the Port Arthur/Beaumont, TX CBS affiliate in a video tribute.  Wright said of Leger, “For those of us who worked with him, he made difficult work fun.  For those of you who watched him, he made difficult news tolerable.” You can click here to view the video.

The station also posted updates on how viewers can help out the Leger family to its website saying,

We and many in the community remember Bill for much more than his television work. Bill was a caring, compassionate person who enjoyed helping people, touching their lives with his anchoring and reporting, and having a positive influence on the region. Read more

KFDM Anchor Bill Leger Killed in Car Crash

Bill Leger, an anchor with CBS affiliate KFDM in Port Arthur/Beaumont, TX was killed early this morning in a car accident in Louisiana.

According to Louisiana State Police, Leger was driving southbound on a highway near Scott, Louisiana, around 1 am when he failed to negotiate a curve, over-corrected, then rolled his vehicle until it came to a stop in the northbound lane. A driver heading north then hit Leger’s car. That driver has been arrested and booked for DWI.

Leger had been a reporter and anchor at KFDM for nearly 20 years. A Louisiana native and LSU grad, Leger leaves behind his wife Patricia and daughters Tatum and Tori.

The story on KFDM’s website is filling with condolences from viewers.

Bruce Cummings Named VP-GM of KBMT

Bruce Cummings has been named vice president and general manager of KBMT, London Broadcasting’s ABC-affiliate in Beaumont, TX. His appointment is effective today.

Cummings joins KBMT from KULR, the NBC-affiliate in Billings, MT, where he has been general manager since 1996.

“We feel very fortunate to have someone with his high level of experience join our company as we continue to develop our business plan exclusively with Texas as our footprint,” Philip Hurley, EVP and COO of London Broadcasting, said in a statement.

Cummings will also oversee NBC-affiliated K-JAC and MyNetworkTV-affiliated MYTX, both of which are operated by KBMT on digital subchannels. He replaces Dan Robbins, who left for KIII earlier this year.

Rix Garey Named General Manager Of KFDM

Sinclair Broadcasting announced today that Rix Garey will take over as general manager of KFDM, the CBS-affiliate in Beaumont, Texas.

Since joining KFDM in 1980, Garey has held a variety of management roles at the station, including local sales manager and director of retail development. Most recently, he was general sales manager.

“We are pleased to promote Rix to the position of General Manager,” Sinclair COO Steve Marks said in a statement. “As someone who has spent his career at KFDM, he understands the needs of the community and the role KFDM plays in it.  We look forward to Rix building on that relationship.”

KFDM Anchor-GM Larry Beaulieu Announces Retirement After 37 Years

In the studio where he’s worked for the past 37 years, KFDM anchor and general manager Larry Beaulieu announced to staff this week that he will retire at the end of September.

“I’ve been privileged and blessed to be part of a great family for 37 years,” Beaulieu told viewers of the Beaumont-Port Arthur CBS-affiliate, publicly announcing his retirement.

Beaulieu has worked the KFDM anchor desk since 1974 and for much of his time with the station he has served in a unique dual role–appearing on-air as well as overseeing station operations as vice president and general manager.

“This dual role has helped me stay intimately connected to how we gather and report it and to how it impacts the community we serve,” Beaulieu said. “The news is such an important part of what we do.” Read more

KBTV’s Mike McNeill Shoots Story on iPad 2

KBTV anchor-reporter Mike McNeill is probably the first person to shoot a news segment using the iPad 2, which went on sale last week.

“Being the first to be able to do this is the geekiest honor ever,” McNeill, a self-proclaimed Apple fanboy, told TVSpy.

McNeill shot a piece for Fox-affiliate KBTV, which is located in the Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX market, this week about beer recommendations for St. Patrick’s Day. The segment aired on Tuesday on the station’s 4:00 p.m. news and lifestyle show, which McNeill co-hosts.

“All the experts who know how to shoot these kind of stories are out on real stories,” McNeill explains in the video. “So, I just grabbed my iPad 2 and decided, ‘Hey, you know what, we’re Fox 4, we’re innovators.’” Read more