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Great Falls

Marnee Banks Named News Director at KRTV-KXLH

Marnee Banks has been named news director at KRTV-KXLH in Great Falls, Montana.

“I’m incredibly excited about this new opportunity to lead the KRTV and KXLH newsrooms. I work alongside an exceptional news team and I’m thrilled for this next chapter in my career,” Banks told TVSpy.

Banks is currently the state political reporter for the Montana Television Network, a group of CBS affiliates including KRTV and KXLH. The stations have posted an advertisement for Banks’ replacement.

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KRTV Viewers Warned of Zombie Attack After Emergency Alert System Hacked

Viewers in Great Falls, Mont., were warned of an imminent zombie attack Monday afternoon after the Emergency Alert System at CBS affiliate KRTV was hacked.

The fake alert, which warned that “bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” ran on both KRTV and a CW-affiliated digital subchannel (video above).

“Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages onscreen that will be updated as information become available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous,” the bogus alert read.

In a brief online statement, KRTV said the fake warning came from an outside source.

“Our engineers are investigating to determine what happened and if it affected other media outlets,” the statement reads. [h/t Jim Romenesko]

After 15 Years At KRTV, Fred Pfeiffer Will Retire

After 15 years at Great Falls CBS-affiliate KRTV, chief weathercaster Fred Pfeiffer is retiring.

“As we all know, life can be so unpredictable,” Pfeiffer said on last evening’s newscast. “You can have a plan, but you never really know what’s around the next corner. I have my health, and I feel great, and it’s time to enter the next phase of my life.”

His last day on the 5:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts will be December 15. Video of his announcement after the jump. Read more

KRTV Reporter Kay Rossi Back on the Beat After Long Journey Home

KRTV reporter Kay Rossi is finally back in Great Falls, Montana after a cross-country trip that was delayed multiple times by multiple storms. Rossi, you’ll recall, was featured in The New York Times during the blizzard of 2010. She’d gotten stranded at her aunt’s home in Connecticut where she spent Christmas. But, as KRTV’s only fulltime reporter, the station needed news, so they made her travel plight the story back in Great Falls. Rossi finally left the East Coast last Friday, but she missed her connection in Minneapolis which meant spending New Year’s Eve at an airport hotel. Here’s her status update on Facebook:

if I can’t be with my boyfriend in MT, or my Aunt in CT, or my siblings in NYC or my parents in FL, I guess a hotel room in MN is the next best thing!

She finally got out of Minnesota Saturday morning and made it to Salt Lake City. Here’s her update from just after NoonMT.

so this trip I have been in NY, CT, NJ, MN, and now I’m in UT. hopefully MT is the next step.

And by 5:13 Saturday evening:

I’m home!

Rossi was back to work yesterday, covering, of all things, a board meeting of the local utility board.