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Welcome to Tulsa News Today - the informative blog on Tulsa TV News Stations!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Arkansas Anchor Headed To Tulsa

Niele Jones Is Coming To Tulsa
Tulsa News Today is learning new information about KNWA-TV (Arkansas) news anchor Niele Jones returning to Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, according to her station bio.

Jones ahs worked at KNWA in Fayetteville since 1997. She currently holds the lead evening co-anchor position. She also worked as the station's morning co-anchor and weekend anchor before earning the evening gig. Her last day at the anchor desk in Arkansas is Friday, October 2nd.

At this time, we cannot confirm which Tulsa TV station she will be joining. A source has told us she is joining fellow NBC affiliate KJRH 2NEWS here in Tulsa as the replacement to Deana Silk on "2News Today." When we receive a double confirmation, we'll let you know.

Andrew Kozak Announces Last Day

Former Fox 23 and Current Tulsa's Channel 8 Morning Meteorologist Andrew Kozak has announced his final day in Tulsa will be this Wednesday, September 17th.

Andrew is leaving Tulsa and is joining the NBC affiliate in Memphis, TN.

At this time, there has been no mention of a replacement. The job listing is still available on KTUL.com.

Tulsa News Today would like to wish Andrew the best in all future endeavors.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

KJRH Loses Another On-Air Talent

Reporter Brandon Richard is the latest
to leave KJRH 2NEWS.
KJRH 2NEWS Reporter Brandon Richard has left the station to join CBS affiliate KCTV-TV in Kansas City. His last day at the station was this past Friday, September 5th. Richard has been with the station for around 2 years.

It seems as if the Tulsa NBC affiliate has been in disarray lately, with losing several talents, as well as not having replacements for those departures. "2News Today" and "2News Midday," are still without co-anchors/replacements. Evening lead anchor Russ McCaskey is filling in until they are able to hire a replacement, as well as Weekend Morning Anchor Breanne Palmerini.

In the past year, KJRH has lost quite a few notable on-air talents, such as Chief Meteorologist Dan Threlkeld, both of their morning anchors Deana Silk and Justin Wilfon, "Problem Solvers" Pete Knutson and Michelle Lowry, as well as reporters Casey Roebuck and Dan Pearlman. Not to mention, there has also been a lot of departures behind-the-scences, according to sources. It seems as if KJRH should re-hire their "Problem Solvers" to get to the bottom of what seems to be a downward slope at this Scripps station.

Whenever new morning co-anchors are announced, Tulsa News Today will be the first to inform you. Stay Tuned.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Justin Wilfon Signs Off From KJRH

Justin Wilfon's Farewell Selfie
Tulsa News Today was the first to report that KJRH 2NEWS Morning Anchor Justin Wilfon would be leaving the station in August, to join KSHB-TV in Kansas City. He'll be hosting a new show titled "The Now." Today was the day.

Wilfon was surprised at the end of "2News Midday," his last broadcast in Tulsa. His former co-anchor Deana Silk, who just left KJRH last month, returned to wish him farewell. That wasn't the only surprise. His fiancee and KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 Morning Anchor Laura Neal also appeared on KJRH television. We even saw what he'll be doing once he arrives in Kansas City. At the end of the show, many fellow KJRH employees gathered to take a giant "selfie." Wilfon then signed off one last time.

Videos on Wilfon's last day, including his sign off, can be seen by clicking on this link. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yvonne Lewis Is Retiring From KTUL

Yvonne Lewis
It was announced that longtime KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 Weekend Anchor/Reporter Yvonne Lewis is retiring.

Lewis has been with KTUL since 1986. She is currently Tulsa's longest running weekend news anchor. According to the Tulsa World, she is just retiring from news. “I’m like a blank canvas. I have surrendered to God and am allowing Him to complete His masterpiece,” Lewis said. “I will say this is definitely a faith walk.”

Her last day will be sometime in September. She was honored tonight at the Tulsa City Council Meeting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Andrew Kozak Leaving Tulsa For Memphis

Andrew Kozak
Better late than never, right? After being tipped off by many Tulsa News Today readers, we can now confirm that KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 Meteorologist Andrew Kozak is leaving Tulsa for Memphis, TN.

Kozak has worked at two Tulsa TV Stations, first at Fox 23, and currently at KTUL as the weekday "Good Morning Oklahoma" and "Good Day Tulsa" meteorologist. He has gained national news attention for his hand-drawn forecast, which debuted when Channel 8 was having technical issues. The one time event sparked his own morning segment, "Kickin' It Old School," where viewers could send in their own created forecasts.

This is most likely the first of two blows coming to Tulsa's Channel 8 morning shows. Once Laura Neal's contract is up, we can only assume that she'll follow her fiancee (former KJRH Anchor Justin Wilfon) to Kansas City.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Veteran Tulsa Reporter Takes On A New Career

Sharon Phillips
On August 11, veteran Tulsa news reporter Sharon Phillips announced that she is taking on a new career: a mother.

Phillips worked at KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 as a Reporter/Producer, before joining KOKI Fox 23 in January 2008, where she finished her career.

She has won many awards, and was one of Fox 23's longest running on-air employees.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Russ McCaskey takes part in "Ice Bucket Challenge"

Russ McCaskey, KJRH Lead Anchor
KJRH 2NEWS Lead Anchor Russ McCaskey took part in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" recently.

The "challenge" is to donate $100 to ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease research, or have ice-cold water poured on you. McCaskey took the ice bucket! Many more people all over the States are also taking part in this challenge, including Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lavato, and many other journalists. The last phase of the challenge is to challenge someone else.

McCaskey challenged KJRH Sports Director "Big" Al Jerkens, who took the challenge LIVE on the air Friday night on the 10:00 news.

The video/KJRH story of ice-cold water being poured on McCaskey can be seen by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tulsa's Channel 8 Has A New Owner

Recently, KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 was sold to Sinclair Broadcasting Group from Allbritton Communications. The station will still operate as an ABC affiliate. The deal was first brought up on July 29, 2013. After nearly a year of delays, the sale was final on July 24, 2014. KTUL came has a package deal with six other Allbritton stations, for $985 million. Sinclair completed the sale on August 1, 2014. Sinclair Broadcasting Group operates the largest number of local television stations.

KOKH-TV (Fox 25) in Oklahoma City, is also owned by Sinclair.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

KOTV, KTUL Personalities Voted "Best In Oklahoma"

In June of 2014, Oklahoma Magazine listed their "Best of the Best" for 2014.

In the 'Local TV Personality' category, News On 6 anchors Chera Kimiko, Terry Hood, and Craig Day were all dubbed the best in the Tulsa news market. Kimiko was voted because she "provides dependable news to those tuned in to her nightly newscasts. The magazine said that Hood "is known for her stellar reporting as well as her touching stories." According to the magazine, Day "wins over audiences for his reporting and coverage of breaking news events."

In the category of 'Best Meteorologist,' News On 6 also dominated the category. Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer was voted because he "delivers accurate forecasts as well as breaking weather coverage." Veteran KOTV Meteorologist Dick Faurot was also voted, because he "is a reliable voice during fair and stormy weather." KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 Meteorologists Mike Collier and Andrew Kozak were among many other Oklahoma Meteorologists nominated. The two "are recognized for their weather prediction," according to the magazine.

Woman Charged In Death Of KJRH Employee

According to The Tulsa World, a woman from Collinsville, OK has been charged in the death of former KJRH Photojournalist/Editor Cameron Hood.

The traffic accident occurred last December, in the City of Owasso, OK. Hood was only 24-years-old.

Monday, August 4, 2014

KOTV Adds Erin Conrad To Roster

Erin Conrad
KOTV News On 6 recently added Erin Conrad to their on-air roster, as a reporter.

Conrad graduated from the University of Kansas in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Communication Studies. She comes to the Tulsa CBS affiliate from KTEN-TV in Southeastern Oklahoma.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dr. Phil Stops By News On 6

Daytime talk show host Dr. Phil stops
by News On 6
(Photo from L. Fullbright's FB page)
Dr. Phil McGraw, host of his own TV show on CBS, stopped by News On 6 today.

He met with employees and shot a few promos alongside News On 6 Anchor/Crime Reporter Lori Fullbright. Photos can be seen on Fullbright's Facebook page.

McGraw also stopped by KOTV's sister station, KWTV News 9, in Oklahoma City to shoot a promo about the "Feeding America" campaign. McGraw is a native Oklahoman.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Caitlin Alexander Is Moving On From KTUL

Caitlin Alexander
KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 is losing reporter/video journalist Caitlin Alexander. Her final day with the station is today, Friday, July 25, 2014. Alexander joined the ABC affiliate in May of 2012.

According to her Facebook page, she has accepted a job at WREG-TV in Memphis, TN. She posted the following on her Facebook page: "It's time to thank you guys. We have awesome viewers and story-sharers in Tulsa, and it's been a privilege to work with you these past 2+ years.  I have some news. Today is my last day at Tulsa's Channel 8. I've accepted a reporting position at WREG in Memphis. I am very excited for this opportunity, but it doesn't make saying goodbye to T-town any easier. I hope you'll stay tuned to Channel 8-- but also click to Channel 3 next time you're in Memphis for some great BBQ."

Tulsa News Today wishes Caitlin the best in all future endeavors.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kozak: "I'm here for awhile though."

Andrew Kozak
Tulsa News Today has began to receive comments/emails about KTUL Meteorologist Andrew Kozak departing from the station.

We reached out to Andrew, and he replied, telling us that he "can't comment right now, unfortunately. Love the morning show, Keith, and Laura."

Kozak is the weekday meteorologist for "Good Morning Oklahoma" (4:30-7:00am), as well as co-host/meteorologist for "Good Day Tulsa" (9:00-10:00am).

We have also tried to reach out to KTUL General Manager Pat Baldwin for a comment. If any new developments occur, we'll be the first to let you know.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Justin Wilfon Will Host New Show, Leaving Tulsa

Justin Wilfon
KJRH "2News Today" morning anchor Justin Wilfon has confirmed that he will be leaving the station in late August.

Scripps Media, the parent company of KJRH, is launching a new show titled "The Now," in which Wilfon will host. He'll be moving to sister station KSHB-TV in Kansas City to perform his new role.

Wilfon also commented: "I’ll miss my 2 Works for You family and Tulsa, but I’m happy to be staying in the company. I’m very much looking forward to this big adventure in KC."

Wilfon's departure simply adds insult to injury for KJRH television, as his co-anchor, Deana Silk, announced she would be leaving the station at the beginning of August. In the past year, KJRH has also lost on-air talents including then-Chief Meteorologist Dan Threlkeld, then-Problem Solvers Michelle Lowry and Pete Knutson, and longtime reporter Casey Roebuck.

Tulsa News Today wishes Justin the best in all endeavors.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dave Davis Is Now A Co-Anchor

If you don't tune it to KOTV's weekday noon newscast, you might have a reason now.

On July 8, the station promoted Dave Davis to co-anchor, alongside current anchor Havonnah Johnson.

Davis still serves as a reporter for "Six in the Morning."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tulsa's Top Ten - Meteorologists

Occasionally, Tulsa News Today will feature a "Top 10" List featuring the best of Tulsa's media. This month, we're listing Tulsa's Top 10 Meteorologists (from 2000-present).

#10- Andrew Kozak, Tulsa's Channel 8. Andrew Kozak first got his feet in the water in the Tulsa market when he joined Fox 23. In 2012, he came to Tulsa's Channel 8 to eventually become the "Good Morning Oklahoma" and "Good Day Tulsa" meteorologist (where he can still be seen today). Kozak has gained national attention when he hand-drew his weather forecast after a technology malfunction.

#9- Mike Collier, Tulsa's Channel 8. Mike Collier first joined Tulsa's Channel 8 in 2001 as a weather producer. Since then, he has served as meteorologist for "Good Morning Oklahoma," "Good Day Tulsa," and most recently on the weekend editions of KTUL. Collier approaches each weathercast with a serious, but laid-back personality that is "truly comforting" as one viewer has expressed.

#8- Taft Price, 2NEWS. Taft Price is currently the weekend morning meteorologist for KJRH 2NEWS. Prior to joining KJRH at the end of 2011, Price served as weekend evening meteorologist at KTUL. He could also have been found during any significant weather event, alongside Frank Mitchell in the station's weather center.

#7- James Aydelott, Fox 23. James Aydelott was first seen in Tulsa as morning meteorologist for the popular KOTV broadcast "Six in the Morning." After a brief Tulsa hiatus, Aydelott returned to Tulsa to become the Chief Meteorologist for Fox 23 News, where he still can be seen every weeknight at 5:00, 6:00, 9:00, and 10:00. Whenever severe weather is approaching, or is already knocking on your door, many viewers have expressed they turn to Aydelott for "comfort and updates." 

#6- Dick Faurot, News On 6. Dick Faurot is currently the oldest on-air meteorologist in Tulsa. Last year, he celebrated 20 years with News On 6. Faurot has served as meteorologist for just about every single newscast, whether it be morning, night, weekend, or holiday. Faurot's out-of-the-studio activities, such as "Fishing with Faurot," as well as his "dynamic duo" severe weather coverage with Travis Meyer, have landed him at #6 on our list.

#5- Alan Crone, News On 6. Alan Crone can currently be seen every weekday morning on the popular show "Six in the Morning" on KOTV. Crone joined the station in 2006, replacing then-morning meteorologist James Aydelott. Crone's on-air chemistry with anchors Rich Lenz and LeAnne Taylor, as well as accurate and "cheerful" morning weathercasts have landed him the #5 spot.

#4- Dan Threlkeld, 2NEWS. Dan Threlkeld served as Chief Meteorologist for KJRH 2NEWS until August 28, 2013. We may never know the complete story on his departure from the station. Thinking more positively, Threlkeld had a great personality and a great attitude when delivering the forecasts each night.

#3- Frank Mitchell, Tulsa's Channel 8. Frank Mitchell was an icon at Tulsa's Channel 8. In addition to serving as meteorologist for the popular "Good Morning Oklahoma" newscast, he is well-known for proposing to then-co-host Terri Bowers LIVE on the air! Fast forward to 2005, Mitchell would replace the departing Travis Meyer as Chief Meteorologist. He kept this role until September 18, 2012, when he decided to take more of a "normal" career, to spend more time with family. 

DISCLOSURE: Tulsa News Today had a tough time deciding who should be #1 and #2. Jim Giles and Travis Meyer are both fixtures to Oklahoma weather.  

#2- Jim Giles, News On 6. Jim Giles is without a doubt an Oklahoma Weather Expert and Icon. He was Chief Meteorologist for KOTV from 1981 until his retirement in 2006. Giles passed away the following month after his retirement. Giles was inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007. That same year, the University of Oklahoma (where he received his Master's Degree) named a classroom after him. Giles is also known for his "Giles Coats For Kids" campaign, as well as his safe rooms.

#1- Travis Meyer, News On 6. Travis Meyer left KTUL as Chief Meteorologist, to join News On 6 for the same position in 2005, replacing weather icon Jim Giles. Meyer had a lot of experience prior to becoming Chief. He's "weathered the storm" with many, from tornadoes to blizzards. You can still see him on the weeknight 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 editions of News On 6.

Honorable Mentions: Michael Grogan (News On 6), George Flickinger (2NEWS), Jon Slater (Fox 23)

3 Tulsa Stations Win at Emmy Awards

Tulsa's Channel 8, Fox 23 News, and 2NEWS all won at least one "Heartland Emmy Award" this past Saturday night, at the ceremony in Norman. News On 6 was also nominated in some categories. Below are the winners representing the Tulsa news market.
  • Daytime Newscast (Medium Market) - Fox 23 News at Noon/Michelle Linn
  • Evening Newscast (Medium Market) - Fox 23 News at 5/Ron Terell
  • Weekend Newscast (Medium Market) - Fox 23 News Saturday/Farron Salley
  • Politics/Government:"Mayoral Election Bout" - Burt Mummolo/KTUL
  • Photographer: "Donkey Ball" - KTUL/Producer Robin Collett
  • News Producer: "Tracking Your Tax Dollars" - KJRH/Producer Amy Bryant  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Deana Silk Departing From KJRH

Silk, co-morning anchor for 2NEWS
Deana Silk, co-anchor of "2NEWS Today" (5-7a, weekdays) and "2NEWS Midday" (11-11:30a, weekdays) has announced she will be leaving the station on August 1st.

According to her bio on KJRH.com, Silk has worked with the NBC affiliate since January 2005.

The following was found on her Facebook page: "BREAKING: ok well it's not really breaking news but it's big news for me and my family! It's with mixed emotions that I tell all you amazing viewers that my last day at KJRH will be August 1st. The past 10 years have been exciting, challe...nging... a dream come true! I have met so many wonderful people and have made lifelong friends. I will miss the crazy news business but I'm excited for a new challenge and new adventure with my family. Thank you Green Country for accepting and supporting a small town girl from Alva!"

Before becoming lead weekday morning anchor with Justin Wilfon, Silk was the Weekend Morning Anchor. A replacement has not yet been announced.

Tulsa News Today wishes Silk and her family the best in all future endeavors.