MEDIA NOTEBOOK

Anchor to join marketing firm

Combs leaving WKYT and WDKY

ssloan@herald-leader.comSeptember 28, 2009 

Miranda Combs, co-anchor of the highly successful 10 p.m. news on Fox affiliate WDKY (Channel 56), is leaving next month to take a public relations job at Preston-Osborne.

Combs has been at CBS affiliate WKYT (Channel 27), which produces the Fox news, since October 2002.

"I'm tickled at the opportunity to work with Phil (Osborne)," she said. "He's going to be a wonderful mentor."

She said the move will also allow her to spend more time with her family.

"My husband and I are so excited to spend weekday evenings together," she said. "It's going to be a big change, but I'm ready."

It will also be a big change for a newscast that's had the same anchor team — Combs and Marvin Bartlett — since February 2004.

Robert Thomas, news director at WKYT, said he's working with WDKY to determine who will replace Combs after she leaves Oct. 14.

"We're fortunate in the fact that we have lots of strong people on our staff who are very interested in this position," he said.

He added that Combs' contributions to the newsroom will be missed.

"She not only anchored the 10 o'clock news. She went out every day and reported news and gathered news, and she was very strong at both," he said.

WTVQ expands at noon

Earlier this month, ABC affiliate WTVQ (Channel 36) expanded its half-hour newscast at noon to a full hour.

General Manager Chris Aldridge said the daytime hours sell well among advertisers, and the additional time allows for more in-depth interviews and other news content from the station's news team.

Judge Joe Brown previously ran in the 12:30 p.m. slot. It now airs at 9 a.m. and again with a different episode at 4:30 p.m.

Aldridge said the station doesn't have certain expectations for the ratings of the 12:30 p.m. newscast.

"It takes a while to build," he said.

In other news, the station is also moving back its start time for Good Morning Kentucky to 5 a.m. beginning Monday. Earlier this summer, it began airing at 5:30 a.m. because, Aldridge said, far fewer people watch early morning news during the season "because of school being out and because of vacations."

Gillespie returns to WKYT

Former WKYT reporter Joe Gillespie is returning to the station as a part-time weekend assignment editor.

Gillespie previously worked as news director, anchor and reporter for WVLK-AM 590 but was among the staffers cut during a November 2008 restructuring by the Cumulus Broadcasting station.

Since that time, he's been doing freelance writing and public relations work.

"It feels awfully good to be back in news," Gillespie said last week.

Thomas said Gillespie's experience "is really going to help us on the weekends as we cover news."

KET channel changes

KET's channel lineup will change beginning Oct. 1. The channels KET1 and KET HD will be merged into a single channel called just KET that will be airing at all hours and provide high-definition programming when available.

By merging the channels, KET will be able to expand KET KY (the Kentucky Channel) to air at all hours, the network said in a news release.

KET KY was previously turned off at night so the network's transmission capacity could be used for the HD shows.

New WTVQ reporter

WTVQ has hired a new reporter. Cate Slattery is working Tuesdays through Saturdays as a reporter and photographer.

Slattery, who is from Cincinnati, previously worked at stations in Lafayette, La., and Charleston, S.C.

Woodsongs adds stations

The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour has added 180 nations to its listener base as part of a partnership announced last month with the American Forces Radio Network.

WoodSongs is joining A Prairie Home Companion and several other National Public Radio shows on the networks, WoodSongs organizers said in a news release.

The show, recorded at the Kentucky Theatre, will air on Sundays on the American Forces Radio Network with a repeat broadcast on Wednesdays.

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

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