It cost WLKY $225 to send him on his way

ssloan@herald-leader.comDecember 15, 2008 

Lanny Brannock, the former Frankfort reporter for CBS affiliate WKYT, recently got cut from his latest reporting gig in Louisville as part of a cost-cutting measure.

But if the job loss wasn't surprise enough, his ride home was.

Brannock lives in Paris and routinely drove one of WLKY's trucks from his home to his job covering Frankfort for the CBS affiliate.

When station management called him in Dec. 4, he drove the truck as usual.

After being told he was cut, Brannock assumed a colleague would have to drive him home, an "unfortunate soul that kept their job at WLKY who has to listen to me all the way home talk about just losing my job while they kept theirs," he wrote on his MySpace blog.

Not so.

The station had a cab waiting outside, "meter already running." Not to worry. The station picked up the $225 tab.

The job loss comes just 11 months after he was cut from state government, just a year after he started with former Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration after leaving WKYT.

But he's taking a positive approach to the new job hunt.

"I don't have to work Christmas now," he said. "I get to be home with my children for Christmas and New Year's...

"The only bad thing I would say is it's difficult not to have a job in this economy, but that's part of the reason the job was eliminated."

WDKY asks FCC for new digital channel

Fox affiliate WDKY-56 has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to allow it to change its digital channel.

The station is currently on VHF channel 4 and has asked to be on UHF channel 31.

The FCC switched Fox to that digital channel at the same time it switched WKYT to VHF channel 13.

But Lexington had previously been a UHF-only market, so many viewers have been unable to pick up the stations with their UHF-only antennae, said WDKY chief engineer Dave Kollar.

Also, because many VCRs and video game consoles have channel four modulators built in, that output can interfere with the station's signal, Kollar said.

Changing the channel number is "in our community's best interest," he said.

The FCC denied a previous WDKY request, but Kollar said he believes it will be approved this time.

Comings and goings

WLEX reporter Chase Cain is leaving the station to take a reporting job at Louisville's WHAS. Cain will also do fill-in weather work at WHAS as he has at WLEX, said WLEX News Director Bruce Carter. Cain is enrolled in Mississippi State University's meteorology program.

His last day is Dec. 26, a day on which he'll appropriately be filling in for Chief Meteorologist Bill Meck.

The station has a couple of strong candidates to fill Cain's role, Carter said.

■ WLEX has hired Jackie Congedo, a reporter from WJLA in Washington, D.C., to fill another reporter opening.

Congedo has been a community reporter in one of the station's suburban bureaus.

She starts Dec. 29.

■ WLEX has also hired former Cumulus Radio reporter Kendra Steele to fill a vacancy as a part-time online news producer.

Steele was recently cut by Cumulus as part of a restructuring that eliminated most of the radio company's local news staff.

Carter said the part-time job was perfect for Steele's personal life because she's going back to school to get a master's degree.

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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