KATV, KTHV Shuffle Anchors Among Evening, Morning Newscasts

by Joanna Kauffmann  on Friday, Jun. 10, 2011 1:36 pm  

There's more shuffling underway at Little Rock's television news stations.

Beth Hunt, co-host of KATV-TV, Channel 7's "Daybreak" and "Midday Arkansas" will be moving to an evening broadcast to cover for some of her co-workers.

Mark Rose, KATV's general manager, said Hunt will be moving to the 5 p.m. time period to provide relief for anchor Heather Crawford, who's on maternity leave. Once Crawford returns, Hunt will stay on to provide relief for another anchor, Christina Munoz, who will also be taking maternity leave.

The moves come after former KTHV-TV, Channel 11 morning show co-anchor Alyson Courtney moved to KATV and joined its morning show, "Daybreak," at the end of May. Rose said Courtney's move gave the Allbritton Communications-owned ABC affiliate flexibility to change lineups. 

"It gave us an opportunity to provide some relief," he said. "That was a great opportunity for us, to have that bench strength."

The morning show at KTHV, the Gannett Co.-owned CBS affiliate, is also going through changes.

Melissa Dunbar-Gates, who had been filling the position left vacant when Courtney left KTHV, will no longer be working full-time for the station. Dunbar-Gates, who has 1-year-old twins, will remain with KTHV in part-time capacity.

"I will be transitioning from Monday through Friday to the Saturday morning show," she said, adding that she looks forward to continuing to be a part of the KTHV family, while being able to spend more time with her own family.

Dunbar-Gates started her Saturday duty on June 4, and Friday was her last full day with the station.

That leaves Ashley Blackstone and Tom Brannon to handing weekday morning newscasts. The pair will joined by Alyse Eady on Aug. 1.

Blackstone moved from the weekend evening news anchor chair to mornings a few weeks ago. Report and anchor Pam Baccam taking over Blackstone's weekend duties.



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