Fuller to Leave KATV

KATV-TV, Channel 7's co-anchor Karen Fuller has announced she will be leaving Little Rock's perennially top-rated evening news station after nine years, KATV officials announced today.

Fuller will head from Nielsen Media Research Inc.'s No. 56-ranked market for KCTV-TV, Channel 5, in Kansas City, Mo. — the No. 33 ranked market.

Her last day on the air will be Thursday, Sept. 18. KCTV is a CBS affiliate and the Kansas City market's No. 2-ranked station.

"Of course we are extremely sorry to see her leave us," said KATV President and General Manager Dale Nicholson, in a written statement. "This is kind of like losing your daughter to a marriage. You know you will miss her, but you wish her the very best. She has done a great job for us over the last 10 years."

The move comes after Fuller denied rumors in January that she was headed to a news anchor slot at a Minneapolis, Minn., TV station — Nielsen's No. 14 market.

At the time, Fuller said her KATV contract expired in September 2003.

"I've had a great experience at KATV and it was a difficult decision for me to leave, but KCTV in Kansas City presented me with a great opportunity to advance my career at a solid news station in a larger market," Fuller said in a written statement. "Arkansas is my home state. I will miss the station, the news staff and the viewers. The state will always be close to my heart, but I believe this is an excellent career move for me."

She currently co-anchors the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. broadcasts.

A Jonesboro native, Fuller graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a bachelor's degree in radio and television and also spent a semester at the University of Paris in Sorbonne, France.

She got her start in the industry as a reporter/anchor at Mason City, Iowa, and joined KATV in 1993 as a field reporter. A year later she had been promoted to the KATV's top-rated 5 p.m. newscast.

Fuller's husband, Ken Keasler, is a newscaster for KARN and the Arkansas Radio Network. They have two children, 3 years old and 1 year old.

"She's one of the best reporters I have ever worked with," said KATV News Director Randy Dixon. "I've literally been all over the world with her chasing news stories. She's a great colleague and a true friend. We will miss her, but fortunately we have been able to develop a deep bench, and she has helped us to do that."