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Little Rock-Pine Bluff

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.

KATV Anchor Leaving TV for University Job

munoz_katv croppedKATV anchor Christina Munoz is leaving the Little Rock ABC affiliate to work as associate VP of Communications, PR, and Marketing at the University of Central Arkansas, according to Arkansas Business.

“She is trusted and respected by her peers and widely recognized as one of the best communicators of our time,” UCA president Tom Courtway said in a statement. ”Her professionalism, expertise and reputation are unmatched in the communications field.”

Munoz has worked at KATV for almost 10 years. Before working at KATV, she was a reporter and fill-in anchor at KDLH in Duluth, MN. She will be going by Madsen, her married name, at the university.

Sunday Political Show Jumping Little Rock Stations

KATV304Little Rock political show “Talk Business & Politics” and host Roby Brock are moving from NBC affiliate KARK to ABC affiliate KATV Sunday.

“Roby has built a strong following in Arkansas with his in-depth coverage of local business and politics,” said KATV news director Nick Genty in a statement. “We welcome him to our team and know that our strong coverage with ‘KATV’s Election Central’ will get even stronger as a result on the air and online at KATV.com.”

The show will air at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning following ABC’s “This Week.” KATV anchor Scott Inman and reporter Janelle Lilley will join the show.

Brock will also appear on KATV’s newscasts as a regular political commentator and analyst.

Jocelyn Tovar Leaving KARK-KLRT

jocelyn tovarJocelyn Tovar is leaving KARK-KLRT to join the Markham Group as director of communications and press relations, Arkansas Business reports.

“I look forward to being a part of its future success by using the skills I learned from inside various news organizations to promote its continued growth,” Tovar said in a statement.

KARK-KLRT news director Austin Kellerman told TVspy Tovar’s last day will be next Wednesday February 26.

Tovar joined the Little Rock duopoly in 2012. Previously, she worked at KTXS in Abilene, Texas.

KTHV Adds Two Reporters from Closed Virginia Station

grossman_raymond_kthvLittle Rock, AR, CBS affiliate KTHV has picked up two reporters from the now closed TV3 in Winchester, VA.

Dan Grossman, who had worked at TV3 for a few months before it shut down in December, started at KTHV earlier this week.

Alyssa Raymond starts Monday. She had been with TV3 for two years.

KTHV news director Dave Parker told TVspy, he is “very excited that we were able to get 2 quality reporters to help us here at THV11 and also offer new opportunities to both Dan and Alyssa. Truly a win-win.”

KATV Meteorologist Apologizes for Bad Forecast

yakoubian katv croppedKATV meteorologist Todd Yakoubian apologized to viewers on his blog and his facebook page after he said he blew a recent forecast.

“I don’t think anyone takes it as bad as I do when it comes to busting a forecast. I’m very sorry,” Yakoubian wrote on his facebook page. “For the longest time, there really appeared to be a winter weather threat, but the first clue nothing would materialize happened last Sunday night. I remember seeing the afternoon and evening model runs really cut back on the precipitation and that’s when I should have bailed on the snow forecast.”

As of this writing, 2,681 people liked his facebook post. For perspective, the Little Rock DMA has about 571,000 households.

[Arkansas TV News]

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