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Bailey back at WKYT, but like weather, it's temporary

Chris Bailey's back at WKYT ... kind of.

The morning weatherman who recently moved to a West Virginia station began a four-day stint Sunday night as a temporary fill-in because two of WKYT's three meteorologists are off.

Bailey swapped jobs at the end of June with Todd Borek of WSAZ, which broadcasts in Huntington and Charleston, W.Va.

WSAZ is also owned by WKYT's corporate parent, Gray Television.

Bailey said the work schedule at WSAZ was better suited to his family's schedule.

But now WSAZ has agreed to lend him back because Borek's on his honeymoon, and chief meteorologist T.G. Shuck is at a weather conference.

Bailey, who worked 10 years at WKYT, will work the evening shifts through Wednesday night, said News Director Robert Thomas.

The station is concerned that viewers will think Bailey's back for good.

"It's great that he's coming back and filling in for us, but I'm just figuring that we're going to get a gazillion e-mails," Thomas said.

"In the time since I've been here, there's been nobody who has left who has had such a flood of calls and e-mails," Thomas said.

The station's other meteorologist, Lauren Raymer, will do the weather in the morning and at noon.

Shuck will be back on the air Thursday evening. He's off to attend the National Weather Association conference in Louisville, where he will lead a seminar on research he conducted.

He examined severe-weather policies at Commonwealth Stadium, Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and Churchill Downs in Louisville, and the Kentucky Horse Park to "determine if there's a plan to keep fans safe."

The impetus, he said, was the tornado that struck the Georgia Dome earlier this year during the Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournament.

"There's been some people to look at it nationally," Shuck said. "I thought it would be neat to localize it."

While there are evacuation plans, some don't necessarily have specifics on what qualifies as safe shelter, he said.

"I look at it like there's no huge revelations in this," Shuck said. "But if it gets people talking and moving in the right direction, that's what I'm looking for."

Ryder Cup ratings

The Ryder Cup's visit to Louisville's Valhalla Golf Club wasn't exactly the advertisement for Kentucky that some might have hoped.

The average numbers of viewers for the two telecasts were the lowest since 1991, according to data released by Nielsen.

About 3.62 million viewers tuned in either live or by watching on digital video recorders on the same day, Nielsen said.

Comings and goings

■ Reporter Sarah Lane recently left WLEX-TV to return to the U.S. Equestrian Federation as senior director of creative communications.

Lane came to the NBC affiliate from USEF in February 2006 and recently gave birth to her first child, a boy.

"It was a good opportunity for her, and it's much more stable hours than being in television news," said WLEX news director Bruce Carter.

■ WLEX also recently re-signed chief meteorologist Bill Meck to a five-year contract, Carter said. Terms were not disclosed.

■ ABC affiliate WTVQ-36 has found a permanent replacement for retired weatherman Brad James.

Geoff Cornish of Joplin, Mo., started last week as the station's new weekend weather anchor, said General Manager Chris Aldridge.

Aldridge said Cornish and his wife are from Pennsylvania and "they want to be in closer driving distance to home."

■ WTVQ morning anchor Tom Kenny has returned to the station after being off the air since mid-June dealing with complications from what was expected to be routine knee surgery.

Kenny was diagnosed after the surgery with a staph infection.

He returned about a month ago and has been anchoring the noon news and doing some reporting, Aldridge said.

"We saw that being the best fit for him coming back because of the hours," Aldridge said. "He's recuperating nice and doing very well, certainly back to full strength, but has some limitations on his movement."

■ WTVQ is getting a new set, expected to cost in the low- to mid-six figures, that will debut Oct. 30. That's the first day of the Nielsen November ratings period.

The last newscast on the old set was Friday. During construction, the news will be broadcast from the newsroom.

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