Insight Communications' cn|2 channel has launched an American Idol-style casting call for local residents interested in co-hosting Kentucky Sports TV with KentuckySports Radio.com founder Matt Jones.
Those interested can shoot their own videos and submit them online at Apps.facebook.com/KSTVCastingCall or drop them off at Kennedy Book Store through Saturday. An in-person casting call was held in Lexington on Saturday, though another will be in Louisville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 4 at Sam Swope Honda World.
Online voting from June 9 to 17 will help determine the top 15 videos. The finalists will be featured on television through July 8 with voting taking place on the Facebook page. The winner will be announced Aug. 1.
Local online news site launched
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Former Mayor Jim Newberry has partnered with Kentucky news veteran Judith Clabes to launch a free Kentucky-focused online news site at Kyforward.com.
The site will focus on what its founders, who say they had mulled the idea for years, think are under-served niches in local media.
"We're not going to do the breaking news that traditional media does," explained Clabes, who was editor of the Kentucky Post in Northern Kentucky and later became CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. "We won't be the site of record, which is a whole other responsibility that the Herald-Leader has in particular.
"It's sort of easier to say what we won't do."
The company has office space on South Broadway near Maxwell Street and has about a dozen employees including six reporters and editors who also produce online video and other content in its newsroom.
"We think we can do good storytelling using all the tools in the multimedia toolbox in a very professional way," Clabes said.
The organization will be supported by online advertising sales, but is being supported by private dollars for now.
"It's mostly Jim's and mine to start," she said of the source of funding. "We're putting together legal paperwork to offer shares to people who might be interested."
Comings and goings
■ NBC affiliate WLEX (Channel 18) has hired a fourth meteorologist. Mat Ortiz works weekends and came to the station from the Fox affiliate in Albany, Ga.
■ WTVQ (Channel 36) has hired Christine Winter as a reporter and occasional anchor, replacing Kellie Wilson, who left the station earlier this year.
Winter comes to the station from Waco, Texas, and will be tapped to co-anchor the 11 p.m. news with Tom Kenny while Megan Skaggs is on maternity leave, said News Director Doug Hogan. Kenny will anchor solo in the early evening hours, while Winter reports during those times.
■ WTVQ has hired meteorologist and Lindsey Wilson College instructor Stefanie Davis as interim weekend meteorologist. Geoff Cornish, who filled that role, has moved to mornings while the station replaces Mary Wasson, who recently left for a position in Austin, Texas.
■ Insight Communications has hired former Herald-Leader sportswriter Chip Cosby to work at cn|2. Cosby will host a new sports program on the channel. The show's debut date has not been finalized. He had worked at the Herald-Leader since 1997 and covered University of Kentucky football and University of Louisville basketball.
Celebrate NPR's big day
WEKU will celebrate NPR's 40th anniversary with a brunch headlined by former All Things Considered host and Kentuckian Noah Adams. The brunch will be at 10 a.m. June 4 at the Headley Whitney Museum. To learn more or purchase tickets, visit WEKU.fm.
WKYT's site honored
WKYT.com was recently awarded the Edward R. Murrow award for best television Web site for the second year in a row by the Radio-Television Digital News Association.
The CBS affiliate (Channel 27) competed against the sites of television stations in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. The station will go on to compete on the national level in the online journalism category.
WTVQ has upgraded its weather graphics to high-definition. The upgrade doesn't include the station's radar system but is instead its various on-air maps that show data such as temperature.
■ WKYT weekend meteorologist Kari Hall is expecting her first child in November. She and her husband of five years expect to learn the gender of the baby soon. Hall said she plans to blog about her pregnancy on WKYT.com. "I'm going to make it a little entertaining," she said.
■ WTVQ meteorologist Cornish and his wife recently welcomed their first child, a girl.