New Host D.J. Williams Gives KARK NFL Cred

New Host D.J. Williams Gives KARK NFL Cred
D.J. Williams (File)

There has been some recent shuffling of staff at KARK-TV, Channel 4, including the addition of a professional football player to the morning shows and the return of a familiar face to the Little Rock market.

The station announced last week that D.J. Williams has joined “KARK 4 Today” as a co-host, alongside anchors Mallory Brooks and Aaron Nolan and meteorologist Natalie Walters. Williams, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2011 after playing for the University of Arkansas, started last Monday.

KARK News Director Austin Kellerman said in a statement that Nolan helped identify Williams as a potential co-host.

“Aaron picked up on the chemistry D.J. had with our team during a recent visit to the station. It just made too much sense not to try. D.J. is a special person with a personality sure to reach beyond television sets,” Kellerman said.

Williams won the 2010 John Mackey Award, which recognizes college tight ends for performance on the field, as well as for demonstrating leadership and sportsmanship. He said in a statement that he hopes to continue his NFL career in the spring, but was excited about the position.

“I’m very excited about giving people the motivation to get up at 5 in the morning,” Williams said. “It’ll be a very exciting show with a very excited team who is happy to show up to work each day — even if it does mean waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning.”

The same day, the station announced that Pat Walker, who has served as the weekend meteorologist, will take Greg Dee’s spot as the meteorologist on the morning show. That position was vacant after Dee left for a job at WKYC in Cleveland.

Walker, a native of Ward (Lonoke County), joined KARK in 2013 after stints at KSAN in San Angelo, Texas; KSWO in Lawton, Oklahoma; and the Independent News Network in Davenport, Iowa.

“I am glad over the last two years I have earned the trust of KARK management and viewers in Central Arkansas,” Walker said in a statement. “Growing up in this area, it’s always been a goal to bring Arkansas their forecast each morning before they start their busy days.”

Kellerman said that it’s the station’s goal to provide “more news, more weather, more traffic and more personality than anyone else in Central Arkansas.”

“With the addition of Walker and Williams, I’m confident we’ll create a ‘must watch’ morning show that will get people ready for the day ahead,” he said.

A third staff change at the station was announced on Wednesday with the addition of Melissa Dunbar Gates as a freelance reporter. Gates previously worked at Gannett-owned KTHV-TV, Channel 11.

Kellerman said in an email that Gates’ first day was Wednesday and that she will appear on morning shows on KARK and KLRT-TV, Channel 16.