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Springfield, MO

Polly Van Doren Named WKBW News Director

Polly Van Doren will take over as news director of Buffalo ABC-affiliate WKBW.

Van Doren comes to Buffalo from Springfield, MO, where she has been news director of KOLR-KOZL for 14 years. Leo Henning was named general manager of the stations last week.

Before joining KOLR-KOZL, Van Doren worked at WTVW in Evansville, where she was an anchor and managing editor, and WPSD in Paducah, where she was an anchor and reporter. She begins at WKBW on September 20, replacing John Di Scullo, who left WKBW in July for crosstown rival WBBZ.

Leo Henning Appointed VP-GM of KOZL-KOLR

Nexstar Broadcasting has announced Leo Henning will be vice president and general manager of KOZL, an independent station in Springfield, MO, effective immediately. Henning will also oversee KOLR, Mission Broadcasting’s CBS-affiliate, which Nexstar operates under a joint operating agreement.

Henning comes from Saukview Media, where he is the president and CEO. Prior to that, he spent five years at Barrington Broadcasting, where he was group head of several stations, including WNWO in Toledo, KRCG in Columbia, WHOI in Peoria, KHQA in Hannibal, WLUC in Marquette and KTVO in Kirksland. Before joining Barrington, Henning spent 33 years at Quincy Newspapers’ Broadcast Group.

“With his local broadcasting expertise, strong client relationships, and dedication to the local communities he has served for many years in the Ozarks and Midwest, we are confident that Leo is the ideal person to lead KOZL’s television and e-media operations,” Nexstar COO Brian Jones said in a statement.

KOLR-KOZL Adds Ashley Ketz, Aaron Nolan

Ashley Ketz and Aaron Nolan, a married couple who currently work at rival stations in Fort Smith, are joining KOLR-KOZL in Springfield, MO this fall.

Ketz joins the stations as the weeknight co-anchor, alongside David Oliver, for the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts on CBS-affiliate KOLR. She comes from KFSM, the CBS-affiliate in Fort Smith, where she is the primary anchor.

Ketz’s husband, Nolan, also joins the station as the co-anchor of the 9 p.m. newscast on independent station KOZL. Since 2009, Nolan has been a general assignment reporter at KNWA, the NBC-affiliate in Fort Smith.

Joe Hickman Returns to KYTV After Heart Attack

After two months off the air, KYTV sports anchor Joe Hickman returned to work yesterday and revealed he suffered a heart attack earlier this year.

“We didn’t make a big announcement at the time because I was told that I needed to get some rest and recovery for awhile, and keep things private,” Hickman said in his first appearance on the air yesterday. “I’d never been in the hospital before even before this.”

Hickman has been a sports anchor at the Springfield NBC-affiliate since 1984. He thanked viewers and colleagues for their support, calling special attention to sports director Ned Reynolds, who Hickman said worked “full-time, around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week” in his absence.

“Now I can take my afternoon nap again,” Reynolds quipped.

After 5 Years in the Army, Jerry Jacob Returns to Springfield’s KYTV

Jerry Jacob, a former anchor-reporter at KYTV in Springfield, MO, is returning to the station after five years in the U.S. Army.

Jacob worked at KYTV for 11 years before enlisting in January 2007. He completed active duty obligations last month after tours in Iraq, Haiti and Afghanistan.

KYTV news director Scott Brady said in a statement that Jacob will cover the 2012 elections on air and online. He will also work on special reports and be a fill-in anchor for the evening newscasts. His first day will be February 20.

Emily Wood Joins KYTV In Springfield

Emily Wood has joined KYTV, the NBC-affiliate in Springfield, MO, as a reporter and co-anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast.

Prior to joining KYTV, Wood, a native of the Ozarks region in Missouri, was the morning anchor at KWTV in Oklahoma City. Her first day on the air for KYTV was yesterday.

“Life happens fast,” Wood said during the 5 p.m. newscast yesterday. “It’s good to be back on my home turf. It’s good to be back in the home area.”

Wood worked at KWTV for 2 years. Prior to that, she was at WJTV in Jackson, KMIZ in Columbia, MO and WGEM in Quincy, IL.

Jamie Warriner Joins Springfield’s KOLR-KOZL As Chief Meteorologist

Jamie Warriner has joined KOLR-KOZL in Springfield, MO, as chief meteorologist. His first day is October 24.

Warriner was previously the morning meteorologist at WAWS-WTEV in Jacksonville. Florida News Center reported last month that Warriner’s contract with the station was not renewed after nine years.

In the announcing Warriner’s hire, vice president and general manager Mark Gordon said Warriner will replace Ted Keller on the weekday evening newscasts. Keller — who has been with the station for 25 years — will move to weekends with the expanded role of “Severe Weather Specialist.”

KSFX Rebranded as KOZL After Losing Fox Affiliation

Nexstar-owned KSFX, which is losing its Fox affiliation in the Springfield, MO market this fall, will debut expanded newscasts and new station call letters when it becomes independent on September 1.

The station will become KOZL, “Ozarks Local.” As part of the re-branding effort, the station will add an additional hour of news to their morning show, expanding it from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and an additional half-hour newscast on Sundays at 6 p.m. No anchors have been announced for the additional programs yet.

“Launching ‘Ozarks Local’ reflects our deep commitment to the community and focus on addressing the interests of our audiences in the Ozarks area,” vice president and general manager Mark Gordon said in a statement. “We will be more than doubling our locally-produced programming by this fall.”

Other changes to the station’s lineup include the introduction of a weekly business show Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and an hour-long afternoon lifestyle program that will air weekdays at 4 p.m. The show also plans to add a half-hour long sports show on weekends at 10:30 p.m.

KYTV Will Produce Newscasts for Sister Station K15CZ Beginning Next Month

KYTV, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, MO, will produce an additional hour and a half of newscasts for sister station K15CZ, the CW affiliate, beginning August 22.

The K15CZ morning show will add a third hour from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays. It will be anchored by KYTV’s Maria Neider and Paul Adler, with weather contributions from meteorologist Brandon Beck.

The second new broadcast will be 30 minutes of local news at 9 p.m., seven days a week. Anchors will be KYTV’s Lisa Rose and Ethan Forhetz, with chief meteorologist Ron Hearst and sports director Ned Reynolds contributing.

“KY3 has earned a reputation for outstanding journalism, dependable weather coverage and excellent community service,” president and general manager Brian McDonough said in a statement. “It seems natural to extend KY3 News to The Ozarks CW. As the pace of our lives grows even faster, access to timely and accurate information becomes more critical.”

Springfield’s KYTV Hires Attorney in Effort to Keep Court Documents Open

KYTV, an NBC-affiliate in southwestern Missouri, has joined local newspaper The Springfield News-Leader in trying to keep a guardianship case open to the public.

The two media outlets have hired an attorney with extensive experience on First Amendment cases to argue that court documents should remain open in a case involving John Q. Hammons, an ailing local businessman whose friends are working to have a public official put in charge of his guardianship.

Hammons, 92, currently lives in a nursing home and eight of his friends have joined together to argue that Jacquie Dowdy, Hammons’s legal guardian and former business associate, is keeping him unnecessarily secluded.

Through his legal representative, Hammons asserts that he is concerned that a court case could violate his right to privacy. Read more

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