Media notebook

Media Notebook: Rob Bromley is back at 11 p.m.

ssloan@herald-leader.comOctober 24, 2011 

Veteran area sports anchor Rob Bromley is back on CBS affiliate WKYT's 11 p.m. newscast. Bromley has taken back his previous time slot after Brandon Fisher, who joined the station in 2008, left to become a pharmaceutical salesman in Lexington.

"There's no one who's as synonymous with local sports as Rob Bromley," said WKYT News Director Robert Thomas. "Rob is the longest-running on-air person in this market."

Fisher said that while he still had another year on his contract at WKYT, "an opportunity came about to get into the pharmaceutical industry, and I felt like it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

"It was tough to say goodbye to the sports industry and WKYT but, for me and my future, it was the right call," he added.

Bromley had been anchoring the station's sports coverage at noon and in the early evening. Going forward, Bromley will be on the 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

"I wanted to streamline the anchor teams," Thomas said. "We have an anchor team at 5, 5:30 and 6 that does really well, and I wanted the exact same team doing the 11."

In another change of pace, Bromley will not provide sports coverage as Fisher had during the 10 p.m. newscast WKYT produces for Fox affiliate WDKY (Channel 56).

"Part of what we want to do is differentiate the 10 p.m. from the 11 p.m. newscast," Thomas said.

Anchoring the 10 p.m. newscast will instead be former weekend sports anchor Brian Milam, who joined the station in mid-2010. WKYT has hired Lee K. Howard from KAMR in Amarillo, Texas, to become weekend sports anchor.

Anchoring sports during the noon newscast will be Dave Baker, whose primary gig with the station will continue to be in sales.

Win some, lose some

Nielsen ratings in July showed WKYT and NBC affiliate WLEX (Channel 18) neck and neck in household ratings for newscasts. The stations split victories under the measure with WLEX winning at 5 and 6 a.m. and 6 and 11 p.m., and WKYT winning at noon and 12:30, 5 and 5:30 p.m.

"For us, it was proof that there were some inconsistencies in the May 2011 ratings results," WKYT's Thomas said, referring to a report that saw WLEX win all but the noon and 12:30 p.m. newscasts. "We were pleased to see that in the early evening, we bounced back to have clear wins at 5 and 5:30, not only in overall household ratings but also among ratings in the metro area."

WLEX News Director Bruce Carter noted that viewership in July is far from normal because of summer vacations, good weather and other reasons.

"It's one of those typical July ratings books," he said. "It's really hard to judge things with so many fewer people watching."

Directors double as designers

For those wondering about the inspiration for WKYT's recently unveiled new set, credit its own employees. Most stations hire outside designers when building new sets, but WKYT's new look was designed by Thomas, the news director, and Kellen Dargle, the station's promotions director.

"We put our heads together by discussing the sets from around the world that we thought looked sharp but were also functional," Thomas said. "Our goal was to come up with a look that is contemporary but also has a true Kentucky flare, such as the stone fence in our interview area and the glowing blue accent lights."

New studio in works

KET is consolidating its two Louisville facilities into one downtown production studio. The project, expected to be completed by January 2012, will create just the second street-side public television studio nationwide, according to KET.

The new space is adjacent to KET's community outreach office, at 620 West Main Street in Louisville. The PBS member network will close its current production facility, which has been located at Jefferson County Public School's Lam Building on Bishop Lane.

The upgraded facility will allow KET's Louisville Life program and others produced there to be created in high-definition and allow for live participation from Louisville in programs being produced in Lexington, according to a statement.

KET's Hopkins on board

KET Executive Director Shae Hopkins has been named to the board of the new federal Digital Promise research center. The federal center organized by the U.S. Department of Education examines how to bring more digital learning to schools nationwide.

Comings and goings

■ WKYT has hired its second reporter as part of the expansion that came with launching its 10 a.m. newscast. Brittany Pelletz started Oct. 11 and came to the station from KRBC in Abilene, Texas. That's the same station where WKYT's other reporter hired for the expansion, Tim Johnston, worked most recently.

■ WTVQ has hired Lauren Jones as its new weekend meteorologist. Jones fills the role vacated when Geoff Cornish moved into the morning meteorologist role after Mary Wasson left for a position in Austin, Texas. Jones most recently worked at a station in Odessa, Texas.

Interim weekend meteorologist Stefanie Davis has returned to her position at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia but will be back soon. She is part of the station's fill-in plans when Chief Meteorologist Jennifer Schack goes on maternity leave. Schack is due in late November.

Congratulations

WKYT weekend meteorologist Kari Hall gave birth to her first child, a boy, on Sept. 28.

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

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