KARK news director Austin Kellerman told TVSpy, “Pat is a native of the area with quite a bit of experience. He’ll help us serve out our mission of being ‘Your Weather Authority.’”
Little Rock-Pine Bluff
“One reason I’m going is because it’s the state capital, and I have the chance to report on politics,” Petrimoulx told the Sentinel. “The concentration on politics drew me there.”
Petrimoulx left Orlando’s ABC affiliate WFTV in January. He starts at KARK and KLRT in two weeks. “I really appreciated the opportunity that WFTV game me,” Petrimoulx said. “I grew up there. I’m going to miss the people and the relationships.” Read more
Raath seemed surprised by the start of his sportscast which consisted of video highlights of his work spanning his nine year career at the station. “You know I put together a sportscast,” Raath told his co-anchors Kevin Kelly and Donna Terrell. “And it’s all for naught,” Raath added, “You ambushed it.”
The heart-wrenching came between the awkward with Raath tearfully expressing his gratitude to viewers and co-workers for his time at the station. The first cringe-worthy moment came when Kelly began telling viewers Raath was moving on to better things. Raath was one of many station employees laid-off by Nexstar last week. The last awkward bit was when the trio thought they had said it all about Raath’s departure, but were informed they had one more minute to fill.
KLRT, Little Rock’s FOX affiliate, will debut its first morning show Monday.
Mike Vaughn, general manager of KLRT told TVSpy, “We are excited to offer LOCAL news content at a time all others are offering national content. Monday is just the beginning of the process and we will continue to build as we go. We are very proud of our Fox brand.”
The Nexstar run FOX affiliate is also making changes to its evening lineup by eliminating the 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. news shows and replacing them with a half hour show at 5:30 and an hour show at 9:00 p.m.
The layoffs come less than a month after Mission Broadcasting completed the purchase of FOX affiliate KLRT from Newport Television. Soon after the deal went through, Nexstar, who signed an outside services agreement with Mission, removed the station’s GM and promised more changes to come.
Arkansas Business quotes a KLRT insider who said at least 20 of the layoffs came from KLRT, including news director Ed Trauschke and sports anchor David Raath. Another source said KARK, the Little Rock NBC affiliate, saw eight employees let go including on-air talent Wendy Suares, Adam Rodriguez and Jonathan Athens.
A Nexstar spokesperson told TVSpy the company does not comment on personnel matters.
“I am thrilled to be joining the news team at THV 11,” said Parker. “I have always been committed to great story telling, responsible journalism and becoming a big part of the community. My family is equally excited about making the move to Arkansas.”
Mission Broadcasting has completed the acquisition of two stations in Little Rock, Fox affiliate KLRT and CW affiliate KASN, from Newport Television for $60 million. Nexstar broadcasting will provide services to the two stations through an outsourcing agreement.
“This transaction is consistent with our core strategy to expand our operations and pursue financial and operating synergies to enhance free cash flow,” Nexstar chairman and CEO Perry A. Sook said in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging our knowledge of the Little Rock market, as we provide services to Mission, for the benefit of viewers of KLRT and KASN while creating an even stronger marketing platform for local area businesses.”
Hawley comes from WLTV-WJXX, Gannett’s Jacksonville ABC/NBC duopoly branded as “First Coast News.”
Former KATV anchor and current “First Coast News” anchor/reporter, Heather Crawford, posted a welcome to Hawley on the KATV facebook page saying, “Hi Arkansas friends! I miss y’all! You are going to love the newest edition to the KATV family. Erin Hawley will soon be the weekend anchor. She’s coming to Little Rock from my station in Jacksonville but is a MS native. Good luck Erin!”
Hawley stared her carer with WMBB in Panama City, FL.
Baskin, who has been the chief meteorologist for KLRT since 2009, told TVSpy,”It’s not as bad as it sounds since we don’t have a morning show. I just better not get sick anytime soon!”
KLRT airs a 5:00, 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. weekday newscast as well as a 9:00 p.m. weekend show. There’s no word on when the station plans to shore up its weather team.
Garneau had been with KLRT since 2010. He posted his goodbye to twitter saying, “Tonight is my last night with FOX 16 News.” He included a link to a twitpic with a longer goodbye letting viewers know he was leaving TV to become a teacher. You can view the pic after the jump.
“If a man is measured by the lives he touched–then surely Matt Turner’s reach spanned an entire state.”
Turner, who had been at the Little Rock CBS affiliate for a month, died in a crash on Arkansas’ I-30 over the weekend.
Matt’s friends and family gathered to remember the anchor at the church where his father was once pastor. Hutson spoke with the attendees about the impact Turner had on so many lives in such a short time.
“I don’t have a memory of this church without Matthew. I don’t. Matthew was the greatest role model. My son looked up to Matthew.” says Sheri Shepherd.
“If you looked at the scene here tonight, it’s unbelievable that a 32 year old man could mean at this point in his life to this many people and I think what it tells you is that everyone he met, he had a profound impact on,” says Bo Mattingly.