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Fort Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers

Brian Sather Named General Manager of KCCI

Brian SatherBrian Sather has been named president and general manager of KCCI, Hearst’s CBS affiliate in Des Moines. It is a move within Hearst for Sather, who has been GM of KHBS-KHOG in Fort Smith, Ark. since 2010.

Sather replaces Paul Fredericksen, who is retiring after nearly 30 years at KCCI.

“Brian has a strong understanding of the local television business and a proven track record of success at our stations in Ft. Smith/Fayetteville and Omaha,” Hearst Television CEO David J. Barrett said in a statement.  “He will do an excellent job in leading KCCI and building upon the outstanding foundation developed by Paul.”

Before joining KHBS-KHOG, Sather spent 13 years at KETV, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Omaha. He began as national sales manager, then became local sales manager and general sales manager.

More from Hearst after the jump. Read more

Meteorologist Brad Carl Joins KHBS-KHOG

Meteorologist Brad Carl is joining KHBS-KHOG, Hearst Television’s ABC and CW affiliates in Fort Smith-Fayetteville, Ark.

Carl will be the station’s weekend morning meteorologist and weekday morning reporter. He comes from KULR in Billings, Mont., where he has worked since 2011.

“Brad’s addition creates the largest team of meteorologists in our viewing area and enhances our commitment to provide the most comprehensive weather coverage around the clock,” KHBS-KHOG news director Greg Shepperd said in a statement.

The official announcement from KHBS is after the jump. Read more

Ben Wagner and Paige Preusse Named Weekend Evening Anchors at KHBS-KHOG

Ben Wagner (pictured) and Paige Preusse have been named weekend evening anchors at KHBS-KHOG, Hearst Television’s ABC and CW affiliates in Fayetteville-Fort Smith, Ark.

Preusse joins the station from WTWO in Terre Haute, Ind., where she was an anchor, reporter and producer. Wagner has been a reporter at KHBS-KHOG since August 2012.

“In a short time Ben has proven to be a great story teller, and his move to the weekend evening anchor desk will enhance our ability to connect with the weekend viewer,” KHBS-KHOG news director Greg Shepperd said in a statement. “An accomplished journalist and skilled live broadcaster, Paige is a great fit for the weekend evening newscast.”

The pair replaces Jay Plyburn, who solo anchored the weekend evening newscasts until he signed off from the stations in June.

Jay Plyburn Joins KFSM as Morning Co-Anchor

Jay Plyburn has joined KFSM, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Ark.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity and very excited to be part of this team,” Plyburn told TVSpy in an email.

Plyburn most recently worked at rival KHBS-KHOG, where he was a reporter. FTVLive reports he left the station in March after an incident covering a lightning storm, which he called “the single most frightening experience of my life.”

At KFSM, Plyburn will co-anchor the morning newscast alongside Heather Lewis and meteorologist Joe Pennington.

KHBS-KHOG Names New Digital Sales Manager

Sarah Landau has been named digital sales manager for Hearst’s Fort Smith-Fayetteville, AR, ABC and CW affiliates KHBS-KHOG.

“Sarah Landau is a leader.  Her knowledge of broadcast and online advertising, and her ability to translate those opportunities to our team and our clients, makes her the perfect fit for this position,” said KHBS-KHOG president and general manager, Brian Sather. “Sarah embodies our commitment to innovation and excellence and I have every faith this will translate into results for both the station and our clients.”

Landau has been a marketing consultant for KHBS-KHOG since 2009. In her new role, she will oversee all local digital sales for the stations’ website, mobile platforms and all associated digital properties.

“Sarah has already proven herself as a leader on our sales staff,” said Chad Happersett, general sales manager for KHBS-KHOG. “Her customer engagement is excellent, and I’m confident as our new DSM she will lead our digital sales effort to new heights.”

KFSM Anchor Ashley Beck Arrested For DUI

KFSM anchor Ashley Beck was arrested Sunday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

The Fort Smith, Ark. CBS affiliate reports Beck was stopped by a State Police trooper on Interstate 40 early Sunday morning. She was arrested and booked into the Crawford County Detention Center. She was later released after posting a cash bond.

Beck, who joined KFSM in 2009, anchors the station’s 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. The station did not immediately respond to TVSpy’s request for comment.

KHBS-KHOG Adds Darby Bybee to Weather Team

KHBS-KHOG has announced Darby Bybee will join the ABC affiliate as the weekend evening meteorologist.

“Darby’s addition creates the largest team of meteorologists in our viewing area and enhances our commitment to provide the most comprehensive weather coverage around the clock,” said KHBS-KHOG news director, Greg Shepperd.

The station said Bybee, who comes from KARK in Little Rock, has logged nearly 45,000 miles in 23 states while reporting on tornadoes and hail and wind events.  He previously worked at KLKN in Lincoln, NE. Read more

KHBS-KHOG Launches Weekend Morning Newscasts

KHBS-KHOG, Hearst Television’s duopoly in Fort Smith, Ark., will launch the market’s only local weekend morning newscasts on October 13.

The newscasts will air both days from 6 to 7 a.m. and 8 to 9 a.m., with “Good Morning America” airing during the gap hour. John Paul (pictured) joins the station from WSBT in South Bend to anchor the newscasts. He will be joined by meteorologist Brittany Bell and reporter Ben Wagner.

“Saturdays and Sundays are so important to our viewers,” KHBS-KHOG general manager Brian Sather said in a statement. “Whether they have kids’ activities, church activities, or they have to work weekends, they need accurate weather information and they need the most up to date news so they can plan their day.”

KHBS-KHOG Launch Evening Newscast on Arkansas CW-Affiliate

KHBS-KHOG will produce a 9 p.m. newscast on a CW-affiliated digital subchannel beginning tonight, the stations announced today.

The newscast will air seven days a week. On weekdays, it will be anchored by Angela Taylor, with meteorologist Drew Michaels and sports director Mike Jacques. On weekends, Jay Plyburn will anchor and Brittany Bell will handle the weather.

“I know other stations have chosen to deliver a different kind of experience at 9:00 p.m., but we plan to offer a substantial, fast-paced traditional 30 minute newscast filled with local news, delivered by our award-winning team of journalists,” KHBS-KHOG president-GM Brian Sather said in a statement.

Greg Shepperd to Lead KHBS-KHOG in Fort Smith

Greg Shepperd has been named news director at KHBS-KHOG, Hearst Television’s duopoly in Fort Smith-Fayetteville.

Shepperd has worked for Hearst for the past seven years. Most recently, he was the managing editor for KCRA, the NBC-affiliate in Sacramento. He is also a former assistant news director for WDSU, the NBC-affiliate in New Orleans.

“Greg has distinguished himself throughout his career as a newsroom leader with a unique blend of exceptional team leadership skills, and an eye for what it takes to deliver great local television news,” Brian Sather, president-GM of KHBS-KHOG, said in a statement. “His passion, energy, and work ethic are infectious and I’m confident our team and our viewers will be well-served with this appointment.” Read more

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