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Posts Tagged ‘Rob Heverling’

Three Newsroom Managers Depart Little Rock’s KARK

Three newsroom managers have left Little Rock’s KARK this month. News director Rob Heverling, assistant news director Jeff Whatley and executive producer Stephanie Jackson all ended their employment with the NBC-affiliate on March 2, according to ArkansasBusiness.com.

KARK general manager Mike Vaughn confirmed the three are no longer employed at the station, but did not address the circumstances behind their departures.

“It’s our company policy that we can’t comment on personnel issues,” he said, noting that the positions were not eliminated and that the station is searching for replacements. Read more

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KARK Names Austin Kellerman News Director

Austin Kellerman has been named news director at KARK, the Little Rock NBC-affiliate announced this week.

Kellerman comes to KARK after serving as news director at KTAB-KRBC in Abilene, TX.  Before Abilene, Kellerman worked as the morning show executive producer at CBS O&O KTVT in Dallas and, before that, as an executive producer at KTAL in Shreveport.

The move represents a promotion within Nexstar Broadcasting.  KARK and KTAB-KRBC, as well as KTAL, are owned by Nexstar.

“Austin has done a tremendous job in the company and has proven himself as both a leader and an innovator,” KARK vice president and general manager Mike Vaughn said in a statement.  “Austin’s enthusiasm and passion are a great fit for the KARK team.” Read more

KARK Juggles Anchors For Evening Newscasts

KARK, the NBC-affiliate in Little Rock, is making some changes to the evening talent lineup.

Starting Monday, weekend anchor Jessica Dean (pictured) will co-anchor the station’s 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts alongside current anchor Bob Clausen. She will replace Melissa Simas, who will contribute to those two newscasts as a reporter, while also continuing to anchor the 5 p.m. news.

“Melissa is an exceptional anchor/reporter and has made it clear that her passion is reporting stories and digging into important issues that affect Arkansas,” KARK news director Rob Heverling said in a statement. “We are pleased Melissa will have a much greater influence on how we shape our coverage of the news of the day.”

Dean, Simas and Clausen will be joined by Keith Monahan, who is the station’s new chief meteorologist. KARK reporter Lauren Trager will take over weekend anchoring duties from Dean.

KARK Now Searching for Meteorologist to Replace Brett Cummins

“We are in the process of interviewing meteorologists for our open position,” KARK news director Rob Heverling told TVSpy today via email, talking about the vacancy left by Brett Cummins, who resigned from his chief meteorologist post last week after he was found asleep in a bathtub with a dead body.

While the station searches for Cummins’s replacement, weekend meteorologist Greg Dee is working weekday mornings and Darby Bybee, who joined the station last month from Lincoln’s KLKN, has taken over Cummins’s former spot on KARK’s nightly newscasts.

The Little Rock NBC-affiliate currently has a job posting up on its website. Read more

Family Says Kid Found Dead with KARK Meteorologist Was ‘Easily Influenced’

The family of the the 24-year-old man who was found dead in an empty bathtub alongside KARK meteorologist Brett Cummins released a statement on Wednesday saying that he was “easily influenced.”

Dexter Williams reportedly snorted illegal narcotics with Cummins before he was found dead, with a chain dog collar around his neck, in the bathtub where he and the weathercaster had spent the night.

Police are telling Little Rock news stations that they’ve received preliminary autopsy results in the death, but so far they have declined to release those findings. Read more

Rival Stations Cover KARK Meteorologist’s Role in Bathtub Death of 24-Year-Old

On Tuesday evening, every news station in Little Rock covered the untimely death of a 24-year-old man who was found dead in a bathtub alongside KARK meteorologist Brett Cummins.

While KARK, an NBC-affiliate, disclosed on-air that its longtime weathercaster was connected to the death, rival stations provided more in-depth coverage of the incident, even though not all of them mentioned Cummins by name. Read more

Mike Francis Joining WXIA, Oh Wait, Not So Fast

Yesterday there was word from Little Rock that longtime KARK weathercaster Mike Francis was leaving to become chief meteorologist at Atlanta’s WXIA. In the past 24 hours, though, Francis’s attorney has been forced to do damage control because it turns out that he hasn’t yet finalized a deal with ‘XIA.

Rick Carr, Francis’s attorney, spoke with TVSpy this morning and described how KARK jumped the gun in celebrating the veteran meteorologist’s move to Atlanta after 10 years in Little Rock.

Francis’s contract was up for renewal at KARK and the NBC-affiliate was waiting on a decision after submitting its final offer when the meteorologist informed station management that he was moving on, mentioning his (potential) new job in Atlanta.

“Mike’s an excitable guy and just got caught up in the moment,” Carr told TVSpy. Read more

KARK’s Mike Francis Moving to WXIA in Atlanta

Veteran meteorologist Mike Francis is leaving Little Rock’s KARK, where has has been for 10 years, for WXIA in Atlanta. He will be the station’s chief meteorologist.

KARK, the Little Rock NBC affiliate, announced Francis’s 48-market jump yesterday. News director Rob Heverling said, “We are very proud that he has developed so much during his tenure here that he has been able to make a positive impression on a top-ten TV market.”

Francis was named chief meteorologist at KARK, where he does the morning newscast, in 2008. His last day at the NBC affiliate will be July 1.

“Leaving Central Arkansas will not be easy for me,” Francis said. “The times we’ve shared together have given me and my family the opportunity to get a leadership position in one of the biggest TV markets in the country and we’re very grateful.”

>Update: Francis’s offer at WXIA has not yet been finalized, according to his attorney, Rick Carr.