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Little Rock-Pine Bluff

Astrid Solorzano to Join Little Rock CBS Affiliate

solorzano kthv croppedLittle Rock CBS affiliate KTHV has announced Astrid Solorzano as a reporter.

“I was impressed from the first minute I met Astrid and convinced she will continue to build on the strong storytelling, community involvement and passion for great news we expect here at KTHV,” news director Dave Parker said in a statement.

Solorzano, who starts Monday, previously worked as an anchor/reporter/producer for Annenberg TV News.

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Little Rock Reporter Moves to Sales Department

lewis cropped katvKATV reporter Justin Lewis has announced he will become an account executive for the Little Rock ABC affiliate.

“In June, I will be stepping away from the television camera, but not leaving KATV,” Lewis wrote on his facebook page. “I’ve enjoyed my two years at Channel 7, but have decided I want different things out of my work and life in general.”

Lewis started at KATV in June 2012. His first job in local TV was with WTVA in Tupelo, MS.

[Arkansas TV News]

FAA Looking Into Drone Footage of Arkansas Tornado Damage

The FAA is looking into a KATV photographer’s use of a drone to shoot footage of tornado damage in Arkansas, Mashable’s Jason Abbruzzese reports. The photographer, Brian Emfinger, tweeted a link to the YouTube video of the drone footage he shot in the aftermath of a tornado in Mayflower, Ark.

Emfinger’s video was a topic of discussion during a panel discussion on drones at yesterday’s TVNewser Show (if you missed the video of the drone demonstration, see it here). During the talk, C. Andrew Keisner, an intellectual property and litigation attorney, predicted the FAA would start cracking down on drone usage by journalists: “According to the FAA, it’s illegal,” he said.

Hilary Hunt Joins Little Rock FOX Affiliate

hunt klrt croppedHilary Hunt has joined Little Rock, AR, FOX affiliate KLRT as a general assignment reporter.

KLRT news director Austin Kellerman told TVSpy Hunt joined the station Tuesday.

Hunt comes to KLRT from KNOE in Monroe, LA.

[Arkansas TV News]

KTHV Adds Mary Dunleavy as Sports Anchor

dunleavy kthv_croppedMary Dunleavy has joined Little Rock, AR, CBS affiliate KTHV as sports anchor.

Dunleavy comes to KTHV from WVIR in Charlottesville, VA.

KTHV news director Dave Parker told TVSpy, “We are wasting no time introducing Mary to Arkansas and its love for football as her first assignment with be reporting live this week from Razorbacks spring football practice.”

Not All Little Rock Stations Agree on Drone Use for News

drone_AP_304Arkansas Business reports about the emerging use of drones in the Little Rock market.

Local drone pilot Tim Trieschmann told AB he owns three remote helicopters and uses them to shoot video for NBC affiliate KARK, CBS affiliate KTHV, and FOX affiliate KLRT. Trieschmann said he sees it as a cheaper alternative to using a helicopter.

In our TVNewser Show on April 29th, we will be discussing the increasing use of drones in journalism.

Austin Kellerman, news director for KARK-KLRT, said he agreed with Trieschmann. “sometimes the quality of video and perspective isn’t all that great. It can be almost distracting; depending on the setup, the camera might shake and the video would not necessarily be that clean.”

ABC affiliate KATV told AB it uses a drone owned by a station photographer to shoot stories. But not all stations agree on using the unmanned vehicles for news purposes.

“We’re not utilizing drones,” said Michael Caplan, general manager of KTHV.

Trieschmann’s work for that station has been for promotional videos only, not for news coverage.

Caplan said one reason the station isn’t using Trieschmann or other drone operators for breaking news is because of uncertain regulation surrounding the tech. Read more

Little Rock Sports Anchor Sues Gannett for Discrimination

edwards kthvMark C. Nelson, known on-air as Mark Edwards, is suing Gannett Co. and Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV for discrimination.

According to the lawsuit posted on Courthouse News Service, Gannett, “has a corporate custom, policy, pattern, practice and procedure of not promoting African-Americans to director and leadership positions and utilizing a ‘one-and-done policy’ that disparately impacts African-American employed within the company.”

Edwards says Gannett manipulated focus groups and used “other means and methods” to “achieve its discriminatory goals and objectives.”

Edwards’ bio has been removed from the KTHV website.

The sports anchor said he started at KTHV in 2003 editing and doing production as the “number three” sports guy. When he had the opportunity to leave for an on-air job in Cleveland, Edwards said GM Larry Audas asked him to stay and promised him a promotion and that he would be on a “fast track” to the sports director position.

The complaint continues: “After remaining in employment for several years with the defendant, in approximately May 2012, Wes Moore, a white sports anchor and director, left Channel 11. Plaintiff was in an optimum position to take over as the anchor and sports director with the attendant advertising, marketing, promotion and raise-in-pay that accompanies such advancement within the company. However, rather than offer this opportunity to plaintiff, instead, Channel 11 hired a white male with less sports broadcasting experience from another station in July-August of 2012. For reasons never explained to plaintiff, defendant did not provide plaintiff with an offer to be promoted, marketed or further advanced with the defendant as sports director, or anchor as was promised and represented by him.” Read more

Former KARK Reporter Gene Stewart Dies

stewart kark croppedGene Stewart, a reporter for KARK in the 1970′s and 80′s, died Tuesday of complications from surgery.

Stewart worked for the Little Rock, AR, NBC affiliate twice. In 1971 he joined the station as a reporter, night editor and producer.

According to his obituary he left KARK in 1977 to be a patrol sergeant and PIO for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

For several years, Gene flew the daily traffic watch over Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County in all types of weather. The reports were carried on several Little Rock area radio stations, and “Sgt. Gene’s” air traffic reports were depended on by thousands of motorists.

He went back to KARK in 1981 and stayed until 1988 when he started his own production company, “Gene Stewart Video.”

According to KARK, “When contacted a few years ago about working at the station, Gene told us that KARK was ‘still in his heart and soul’ and that it was a great place to work. Gene also recalled staffers saying ‘showtime’ when it was time for a newscast to begin, and he said seeing KARK videos from that time period always brought back that excitement.”

Gene Stewart was 71.

KTHV Adds Denise Middleton as Anchor

Denise Middleton AnnounceLittle Rock CBS affiliate KTHV has announced Denise Middleton as evening anchor.

“I am very excited to have Denise on board,” KTHV news director Dave Parker said in a statement. “She brings a wealth of knowledge, energy, and passion to her work. Denise’s commitment to community is an important foundation for sharing the stories important to Arkansans.”

Middleton last worked at KSLA in Shreveport, LA, as morning anchor. She has also worked at KHAS in Hastings, NE.

Daniel Wilkerson Joins WGCL From KTHV

daniel wilkersonDaniel Wilkerson is leaving KTHV, the CBS affiliate in Little Rock-Pine Bluff, for WGCL, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta.

“I’ll be making the move to Georgia and will be joining the CBS Atlanta news team. It’s a great opportunity,” Wilkerson wrote on Facebook. “I’ve made so many friends during my two years here. I love Little Rock and appreciate all of our THV 11 viewers, but I guess it’s time to make new memories and I know that will happen.”

Wilkerson is a multimedia journalist for KTHV’s 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts and a producer for the Saturday 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.

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