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Jackson, MS

Former WLBT Anchor Sherri Hilton Dies at 55

MSNewsNow.com – Jackson, MS

Sherri Hilton, a former anchor at two Jackson stations, CBS affiliate WJTV and NBC affiliate WLBT, has died. She was 55.

WLBT reports Hilton worked at the NBC affiliate for much of the 1990s, as a reporter and weekend morning anchor. She had previously worked as an anchor at WJTV. Hilton reportedly died of natural causes.

Both stations reported Hilton’s passing was noted by state officials, who had worked with the former anchor in recent years:

Hilton served as Communications Director for the Office of the State Treasurer from January 2012 to October 2013.

State Treasurer Lynn Fitch has released the following statement on the passing of Sherri Hilton:

“Sherri was not only a valued employee, but a dear friend to all who knew her. Her smile brightened every room she entered. She will be remembered for her dedication to her profession, her husband Ken and her family and friends. Our deepest condolences go out to Sherri’s family.”

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WLBT News Director Moves Back to Anchor Desk

Stribling_WLBTThe Clarion-Ledger reports WLBT news director Wilson Stribling has decided he likes anchoring better than being a boss, so he’s moving back to his old job as a morning anchor.

Before taking the job as news director for the Jackson, Miss. NBC affiliate in 2009, Stribling had been the station’s morning anchor for 11 years. When current anchor Brandon Artiles announced he was leaving the station for Memphis, Stribling saw the opportunity to anchor again.

“It created this gaping hole for us going into the November ratings [period],” Stribling said. “My General Manager talked about me anchoring, on a temporary basis.”

But the more Stribling thought about it, the more he wanted it to be a permanent move.

“There are parts of that job that I really missed,” Stribling said. “I was probably the happiest I had ever been in at this station when I was doing morning television before. Not to say I was unhappy in any of the intervening years, but that’s when I felt like I was at my strongest – reporting the news every day. And I can’t wait to get back to that.” Read more

WLBT General Manager Dan Modisett Retiring

wlbt logo_304x200After 40 years in broadcasting and 30 years at WLBT, general manager Dan Modisett is retiring from the Jackson, Miss. NBC affiliate.

Modisett will officially retire at the end of the year and plans to spend more time with his family.

“We genuinely appreciate his thoughtful and creative leadership at the station and all he has done for Raycom over the years,” WLBT parent company Raycom Media said in a statement. “While we are very happy for Dan and Lisa, we will certainly miss him at WLBT. It is our good fortune to have him around for a few more months.”

Rob Jay Leaves WLBT After More Than 22 Years

WLBT sports director Rob Jay signed off from the Jackson, MS, NBC affiliate after more than 22 years on Friday.

Jay started at WLBT as a reporter and photographer in 1991. He was named sports director in 1996.

Jay will work for Jackson State University as GM of its TV and radio stations. He told The Clarion-Ledger, “As you can imagine this was a very difficult decision to make after 22 years at WLBT.”

Katina Rankin Resigns from WLBT

rankin dutched wlbtWLBT morning anchor Katina Rankin has resigned from the Jackson, MS, NBC affiliate.

Rankin wrote on her facebook page, “Thank you and GOODBYE! After much prayer and fasting, I’ve decided to resign from my position at WLBT-TV.” She gave no reason for the resignation.

Before coming to WLBT, Rankin worked at WTVD in Raleigh-Durham, NC, as an anchor and reporter.

Meteorologist Ethan Huston Joins WGAL

Ethan HustonMeteorologist Ethan Huston has joined WGAL, the NBC affiliate in Lancaster, Pa. It is a move within Hearst for Huston, who previously worked at WAPT in Jackson, Miss.

“Ethan brings a great deal of experience to the News 8 Storm Team, and we are thrilled to have him as a contributor to our around-the-clock weather  coverage,” WGAL news director Dan O’Donnell said in a statement. “His addition solidifies the team of meteorologists dedicated to providing forecasts aimed at keeping our viewers across the Susquehanna Valley informed of weather conditions that affect them.”

Huston will appear on the noon newscast Monday through Wednesday and the weekend evening newscasts.

Megan West Moves to Evenings for WAPT

Megan-West-jpgWAPT has announced morning anchor Megan West will anchor the 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. news.

For the past four years, West has co-anchored the Jackson, MS, ABC affiliate’s morning show.

“No more 1:30 a.m. alarms,” West said in a statement. “For much of the past eight years, I’ve loved being part of the way people in Central Mississippi start their day. Now I want to be the voice they hear as they are ending it.”

She will join co anchor Stephanie Maxwell starting next Monday, March 24.

Bert Case to Debut on WAPT

bert case_croppedLongtime Jackson, MS, anchor  Bert Case makes his return to ABC affiliate WAPT.

“Having one of Mississippi’s finest journalists join 16 WAPT News means we will serve our viewers better than ever,” WAPT GM Stuart Kellogg said in a statement. “I’ve known Bert for more than 30 years and I’m so excited that he is now on OUR team!”

Case started as news director at WAPT in 1970 before leaving for cross-town NBC affiliate WLBT in 1974. He left WLBT in January, months shy of his 40 year anniversary.

Case will do investigative reports for the station’s evening newscasts. He will also serve as consumer advocate.

Bert Case Reportedly Leaving WLBT Just Short of 40 Year Anniversary

bert_case_croppedBert Case, longtime reporter and anchor for Jackson, MS, NBC affiliate WLBT, is leaving the station just months shy of his 40th anniversary, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

The Clarion-Ledger said Case has been asked to retire on January 31.

But the station’s GM disagreed. “It’s his choice,” WLBT GM Dan Modisett, told the paper which also wrote “State Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said the decision seems misguided.”

“Bert is an institution in this state,” said Horhn. “He is a much beloved newscaster who has been so much a part of the success of WLBT. I can’t imagine the station without his voice.”

Case started working in Mississippi in 1965 as news director and anchor for WJTV and WAPT in Jackson. He started at WLBT in May 1974. He has worked as news director twice between 1981 and 1986. He has been an anchor and reporter since 1986.

C.J. LeMaster Joins WLBT From WTVA

cj lemasterAfter five years in Tupelo, WTVA weekend anchor C.J. LeMaster is set to join WLBT in Jackson, Miss.

“In broadcast journalism, it’s a rarity to be able to start in your hometown, but I’m thankful for that, with people I look up to. What I’ve learned here will help me invaluably later in life, and I’m incredibly thankful for that as well,” LeMaster wrote on Facebook.

LeMaster will be the weekend anchor at WLBT, the NBC affiliate in Jackson.

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