FRANKFORT — Bill Bryant, a veteran broadcaster and anchor at WKYT-TV in Lexington, was named host Thursday of Comment on Kentucky, a public affairs show of the Kentucky Educational Television network.
For more than 40 years, the show has brought together journalists to discuss the week's top stories in the state. It airs live at 8 p.m. Fridays.
Bryant, a native of Williamsburg, has been interim host for the show since veteran broadcaster and educator Ferrell Wellman retired from the job in February 2014. Wellman succeeded veteran journalist and author Al Smith, who helped originate the show and hosted it for 33 years.
Comment on Kentucky is the longest-running public affairs show on the KET network, focusing on political and government news.
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Smith said he was glad to hear that Bryant was named permanent host of the show.
"I've followed him, and he's done a good job," Smith said. "I marvel at his stamina. He's very fair and even-handed. I like the reporters he has brought to the program. He's very familiar with the state's culture and its political history, and he respects the opportunities of the job and the position with KET."
Wellman said Bryant has "a flawless reputation. He knows the state and he is an experienced journalist."
Wellman also said Bryant was his choice to fill in for him when he had to be away from the show.
With more than 30 years of experience at WKYT, Bryant will continue in his role as morning anchor and managing editor for the CBS affiliate station.
"I spend the week in a busy Kentucky newsroom keeping up with what's going on, and then we gather some of the state's best journalists to talk about what happened and where we may be headed," Bryant said. "It's an honor and a challenge to facilitate an informed discussion of news, timely issues and challenges facing the commonwealth."
Shae Hopkins, KET's executive director and CEO, said Bryant "will continue keeping KET audiences well informed through in-depth analysis and discussion of the key news affecting our state each week."
Bryant attended Cumberland College before earning his degree in broadcasting and political science from Eastern Kentucky University. EKU has honored him by inducting him into the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
He currently co-anchors morning and noon news programs for WKYT and their partner station WDKY, and he is host of Kentucky Newsmakers, a weekly public affairs show on WKYT.