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Jackson, MS

Katina Rankin Resigns from WLBT

rankin dutched wlbtWLBT morning anchor Katina Rankin has resigned from the Jackson, MS, NBC affiliate.

Rankin wrote on her facebook page, “Thank you and GOODBYE! After much prayer and fasting, I’ve decided to resign from my position at WLBT-TV.” She gave no reason for the resignation.

Before coming to WLBT, Rankin worked at WTVD in Raleigh-Durham, NC, as an anchor and reporter.

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Meteorologist Ethan Huston Joins WGAL

Ethan HustonMeteorologist Ethan Huston has joined WGAL, the NBC affiliate in Lancaster, Pa. It is a move within Hearst for Huston, who previously worked at WAPT in Jackson, Miss.

“Ethan brings a great deal of experience to the News 8 Storm Team, and we are thrilled to have him as a contributor to our around-the-clock weather  coverage,” WGAL news director Dan O’Donnell said in a statement. “His addition solidifies the team of meteorologists dedicated to providing forecasts aimed at keeping our viewers across the Susquehanna Valley informed of weather conditions that affect them.”

Huston will appear on the noon newscast Monday through Wednesday and the weekend evening newscasts.

Megan West Moves to Evenings for WAPT

Megan-West-jpgWAPT has announced morning anchor Megan West will anchor the 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. news.

For the past four years, West has co-anchored the Jackson, MS, ABC affiliate’s morning show.

“No more 1:30 a.m. alarms,” West said in a statement. “For much of the past eight years, I’ve loved being part of the way people in Central Mississippi start their day. Now I want to be the voice they hear as they are ending it.”

She will join co anchor Stephanie Maxwell starting next Monday, March 24.

Bert Case to Debut on WAPT

bert case_croppedLongtime Jackson, MS, anchor  Bert Case makes his return to ABC affiliate WAPT.

“Having one of Mississippi’s finest journalists join 16 WAPT News means we will serve our viewers better than ever,” WAPT GM Stuart Kellogg said in a statement. “I’ve known Bert for more than 30 years and I’m so excited that he is now on OUR team!”

Case started as news director at WAPT in 1970 before leaving for cross-town NBC affiliate WLBT in 1974. He left WLBT in January, months shy of his 40 year anniversary.

Case will do investigative reports for the station’s evening newscasts. He will also serve as consumer advocate.

Bert Case Reportedly Leaving WLBT Just Short of 40 Year Anniversary

bert_case_croppedBert Case, longtime reporter and anchor for Jackson, MS, NBC affiliate WLBT, is leaving the station just months shy of his 40th anniversary, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

The Clarion-Ledger said Case has been asked to retire on January 31.

But the station’s GM disagreed. “It’s his choice,” WLBT GM Dan Modisett, told the paper which also wrote “State Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said the decision seems misguided.”

“Bert is an institution in this state,” said Horhn. “He is a much beloved newscaster who has been so much a part of the success of WLBT. I can’t imagine the station without his voice.”

Case started working in Mississippi in 1965 as news director and anchor for WJTV and WAPT in Jackson. He started at WLBT in May 1974. He has worked as news director twice between 1981 and 1986. He has been an anchor and reporter since 1986.

C.J. LeMaster Joins WLBT From WTVA

cj lemasterAfter five years in Tupelo, WTVA weekend anchor C.J. LeMaster is set to join WLBT in Jackson, Miss.

“In broadcast journalism, it’s a rarity to be able to start in your hometown, but I’m thankful for that, with people I look up to. What I’ve learned here will help me invaluably later in life, and I’m incredibly thankful for that as well,” LeMaster wrote on Facebook.

LeMaster will be the weekend anchor at WLBT, the NBC affiliate in Jackson.

Mississippi ABC Station Hires Two

bradley_ortega_waptJackson, MS, ABC affiliate WAPT has added a nightside reporter and morning anchor.

Tiffaney Bradley (pictured left) has joined WAPT as a morning anchor and reporter. Bradley comes from WGXA in Macon, GA. She has also worked at WDSU in New Orleans.

WAPT has also hired Jennifer Ortega (pictured right) as nightside reporter. She was an anchor and reporter at WCBI in Columbus, MS, and has also reported for the Spanish language station Hola TV in West Palm Beach, FL.

“Bringing in talented journalists is key,” said WAPT news director Ben Hart. “We are building a news team in Jackson that should rival any team in the country. Tiffaney and Jennifer are just the latest proof that WAPT news is the one to watch.”

Meteorologist Brittany Bell Joins WAPT

Meteorologist Brittany Bell has joined WAPT, the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Miss. It is a move within Hearst for Bell, who has been a meteorologist at KHBS-KHOG in Fort Smith, Ark. since 2012.

“Weather has always been my passion, and I’m so fortunate that I have the opportunity to do what I love surrounded by my family and friends,” Bell said in a statement.

Bell, a Mississippi State graduate, will be the station’s weekend evening meteorologist. More from WAPT after the jump. Read more

Former WLBT Meteorologist Eric Law Indicted on Child Sex Charges

Former WLBT meteorologist Eric Law was indicted Wednesday on child sex charges. He is accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year old girl, according to the Jackson NBC affiliate.

Law was arrested in March and charged with two counts of sexual battery and two counts of gratification of lust. At the time of his arrest, WLBT suspended Law indefinitely; in newscasts reporting on his indictment Wednesday, the station referred to him as a “former” meteorologist.

Law’s trial has been set for July 15.

Facebook Messages Reveal Sexual Contact Between WLBT’s Eric Law and Underage Girl

Facebook messages revealed the sexual contact between WLBT meteorologist Eric Law and 15-year-old girl, according to his arrest report. Law was arrested last week and charged with two counts of sexual battery and two counts of gratification of lust. The Clarion-Ledger has details from the report:

“(Redacted) stated she and Eric would go to the ‘law and order’ room (redacted) and this is when they would engage in sexual behavior,” the report says.

Rankin County investigator Sheila Tucker advised Madison police that she viewed “many Facebook messages” that had been turned over to the Rankin sheriff’s office showing messages about sexual contact between Law and the juvenile, according to the report.

Tucker interviewed the girl who said all incidents took place when she spent the night at Law’s house, the report said.

Law has been suspended from the NBC affiliate in Jackson, Miss.”until further notice,” according to the station.

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