Morgan comes to WREX from WPSD in Paducah, Ky., where he has been an executive producer for the morning newscast since December 2011. Prior to WPSD, he spent four years at WLUK in Green Bay, where he produced news and sports.
Costello worked at WREX for a total of 8 years over two stints and will begin his new position as web manager on January 2.
Hayes, the station’s noon anchor, joined the Rockford NBC affiliate in 2005. WREX devoted the majority of its 5 p.m. newscast on Friday to Hayes’ life and memory. “The mood here in the newsroom is very different,” Katie Nilsson said tearfully. “We’re missing something, someone.” Read more
Hayes was diagnosed with advanced leukemia on Tuesday, according to WREX. “So so much pain. Everything hurts. Add nausea & more pain, and that about covers it,” Hayes wrote on Twitter Monday.
According to NewsBlues, Hayes was diagnosed with a bladder infection when she sought medical treatment Monday. She called 911 on Tuesday after her condition had worsened. Doctors diagnosed her with leukemia and performed emergency surgery on Wednesday, as a result of which she fell into a coma.
Hayes, who joined WREX in 2005, anchored the noon newscast. The station will air tributes to her on Friday’s evening newscasts. “The pictures, stories and memories are endless, so we will try to compile the best in the way that we know Jeannie would want us to,” a statement on the WREX website reads.
Wehrley begins October 8 as the host of “Oklahoma Live!,” an early afternoon interview show on the MyNetworkTV affiliate in Oklahoma City.
She will sign off from WREX on October 5. News director Mike Costello told the Register Star that the search for her replacement is underway and the station hopes to debut a new morning anchor in mid to late October.
Early in his career, Scott worked as news director with current WTVO general manager Jon Skorburg. Picken succeeds Kent Harrell who recently left the Nexstar-owned Rockford station for the media group’s Green Bay station, WFRV.
News director Kent Harrell, who has worked at WTVO-WQRF since 2007, will sign off from the stations on Friday. Harrell is expected to be named news director at WFRV, the CBS affiliate in Green Bay, next week. The move is a reunion with general manager Joe Denk, who left WTVO-WQRF for WFRV last year.
Bob Schaper (pictured) is also leaving the stations after just three months as evening anchor and managing editor. He is a former print reporter who told the Register-Star that he plans to return to writing full-time. Read more
Schaper has previously been a reporter at rival WREX and at the Register Star. He began this week at WTVO, co-anchoring the 5 p.m. newscast with Mimi Murphy.
Santucci will be a weekend anchor and weekday reporter at WTVO, the ABC-affiliate. She comes from WCIA, the CBS-affiliate in Champaign, IL, where she was the producer of the morning newscast.
Santucci is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She started at WTVO-WQRF last month.
“Seeing the wires behave that way, in all the years that I’ve been here I’ve never seen them like that,” chief engineer Mike Real said. “They could actually start shaking the tower down, or cause damage to the tower which is what we wanted to check on.”
In addition to the evacuation at WTVO-WQRF, 12 homes near the tower were evacuated Friday night. Read more