Monday, August 24, 2015

Annie Chang joins News On 6

At the beginning of this month, News On 6 added reporter Annie Chang to their roster. She comes to Tulsa from WSBT in South Bend, Indiana, where she was a reporter and fill-in news anchor for two years.

To read her full news biography, click here.

Chang is also available on Facebook and Twitter.

KOTV Anchor to report from Louisiana

Rich Lenz
KOTV Morning Co-Anchor
This week marks the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It was one of the five deadliest hurricanes to ever impact the United States. It slammed into many parts of the southern U.S., especially New Orleans, Louisiana where many were trying to weather the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome.

Hurricane Katrina also devastated News On 6 morning anchor Rich Lenz. At the time, Lenz was a sports director/anchor for WDSU-TV in New Orleans. However, during the storm, Lenz transitioned to a reporter. Lenz and his family lost their home in the storm. Shortly after that, Lenz moved his family to Tulsa, where he would accept the job offer to replace Casey Norton as co-anchor of "Six in the Morning" with LeAnne Taylor.

On Wednesday-Friday nights this week, Rich Lenz will be providing live updates and stories about the anniversary of the storm on the 10:00 newscasts. He'll broadcast live in New Orleans.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

First Take: KTUL's New Primetime Lineup

Yesterday, Tulsa News Today broke the story that KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 would name Mike Collier as the station's next Chief Meteorologist, replacing the departed Jennifer Zeppelin.

Today, Collier confirmed the announcement through a Facebook post, as well as an article on the front page of KTUL.com.

My first take is that the 30-something Collier has some big shoes to fill. Channel 8 has always had a great Chief Meteorologist. For instance, the past three have been Jennifer Zeppelin (Oklahoma's first ever female Chief Meteorologist), Frank Mitchell (who was widely admired throughout Green Country), and Travis Meyer (who is a broadcast weather veteran). Many wanted Collier to take the reigns back when Frank Mitchell left in September of 2012. However, Zeppelin ended up taking the job. Collier has worked his way up in his 14 years at Channel 8. He started back in 2001 as the station's weather producer, and has worked on every newscast since then. The more I think about it, the more I am happy with this decision. Channel 8 has been in a slump the past couple years, but they made the right decision in giving the people what they want. And the people want Mike Collier as Chief (just look through his Facebook page). I look for Mike to be extremely prepared and professional when it comes to severe weather, as he has credited Zeppelin, Mitchell, and Meyer in shaping the weatherman he is now.

Another thing that comes to my mind is that Tulsa's Channel 8 will have a terrific primetime news team lineup. After legends Carole Lambert and Charles Ely left the evenings back in 2011, Channel 8 has been trying to fill the gap. They literally switched eras, going from veterans Lambert and Ely to morning anchor Kristin Dickerson and other evening anchor Mark Bradshaw.

So, your new Tulsa's Channel 8 news team at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 will be anchored by Mark Bradshaw and Kristin Dickerson. Mike Collier will be the meteorologist, and John Moss will be the Sports Anchor. At first sight of this new team, I immediately think it will be a breathe of fresh air for the viewers and the station. Bradshaw and Dickerson have been co-anchors since 2011. Dickerson and Collier worked together for years on Good Morning Oklahoma and Good Day Tulsa. John Moss will be a perfect sports anchor, in delivering the headlines with a GREAT on-air personality.

The tides have turned on Lookout Mountain, as we now have a new, energetic news team we can rely on and enjoy in the whole City of Tulsa! I look for this new four-person evening team to have great chemistry. It will be easy to watch and enjoy Tulsa's Channel 8 each weeknight, yet-again.

Congratulations to Mike Collier. Your new gig is well deserved.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

KTUL expected to announce Collier as new Chief

Collier
KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 is expected to announce Mike Collier as Chief Meteorologist tomorrow (Sunday, August 9). If our outside and inside sources are correct, Collier will be succeeding Tulsa's first female chief meteorologist, Jennifer Zeppelin, who departed the station this past Friday. Zeppelin is headed to Omaha, Nebraska as her husband has accepted a new job.

When Frank Mitchell left the station back in September 2012, Collier was a strong candidate. Obviously, the station selected Zeppelin instead. According to an inside source, management is giving the Tulsa people what they want in naming Mike Collier the Chief. Collier has been with the station since 2001, when he joined as a weather producer. Since then, he has been on just about every weather program the station has to offer. He worked as the "Good Morning Oklahoma" and "Good Day Tulsa" weatherman, and most recently has worked weekends and a few weeknights.

Clint Boone was also rumored to have been mentioned as a candidate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tulsa Talents take part in Fashion Show

Each year, numerous Tulsa TV news personalities take part in the Tulsa Salvation Army Auxiliary fashion show. The clothes are provided by local business Miss Jackson's in Utica Square.

Area news personalities serve as the models/escorts for the event.

News On 6 anchors Terry Hood, Lori Fullbright, Chera Kimiko, as well as meteorologist Michael Grogan took part. Tulsa's Channel 8 Chief Meteorologist Jennifer Zeppelin, as well as reporter Kim Jackson volunteered. Fill-in Meteorologist Bud Ford also made an appearance as a volunteer. KTUL Lead Anchor Kristin Dickerson assisted in emceeing the event. From KJRH 2NEWS, anchor Breanne Palmerini, investigative reporter Marla Carter, and meteorologist Brittany Rainey volunteered, as well as anchor Russ McCaskey serving as an escort.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

KOTV Chose Not To Renew Anchor's Contract

If you've watched KOTV News On 6's weekday noon newscast recently, you must have noticed that anchor Havonnah Johnson has been missing. She has confirmed that the CBS station did not renew her contract.

Can you blame them?

Johnson arrived back in the end of 2012 to replace departing anchor Jamie McGriff. She came in from sister station KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City, where she was only a reporter. Right from the start, she has been criticized for her dull anchor performance. KOTV's noon newscast has always been a show with exciting hosts, including Glenda Silvey, Kim Graham, and McGriff herself. Once she took over, the ratings shifted more to Fox 23's noon program. You can't solely blame Johnson, however. She was simply a nightside general assignment reporter with little to no anchor experience, in addition to serving as a reporter on Six in the Morning.

It took News On 6 a long time to realize that fellow KOTV morning colleague Dave Davis needed to be added as a co-anchor to save the show. He was promoted back in the summer of this year.

Johnson is now a "life coach," according to her new Facebook page. Channel 6 has a job listing for a new noon anchor, and we'll let you know (eventually) who it is.

Friday, November 21, 2014

FAQ: Where's Bud Ford?

Tulsa News Today has received many questions regarding KTUL Meteorologist Bud Ford.

If you're a country music fan and listen to 106.1 "The Twister," you know exactly where he is.

Turns out, Bud's daytime job is actually to co-host the very popular "Bud and Broadway" radio show. Ford is known for his presentation of the weathercasts on Tulsa's Channel 8 newscasts. You may still catch him from time to time on Channel 8, filling in.

Jennifer Loren Leaving News On 6

KOTV News On 6 is losing longtime primetime news anchor Jennifer Loren.
Jennifer Loren leaving KOTV
Loren has been with the station since 2006. She has anchored the 9:00 newscast since its inception. It was first a half-hour newscast until summer 2012, when the show expanded to a full hour and Chera Kimiko joined the program. Loren has also filled in on just about every newscast that airs on channel 6.

In addition to her anchoring duties, Loren has been an award winning investigative journalist. She has been apart of the "6 Investigates" team. As Loren prepares to depart from KOTV after tonight's 9:00 newscast (in which the her replacement will also be announced), she is taking a slew of awards with her, including a "Tulsa News Today Personality of the Month" honor.

Jennifer is headed for Cherokee Nation Businesses, assisting their multimedia platforms.

News On 6 5:00 Anchor Craig Day will be the replacement, in addition to his 5:00 newscast.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Clint Boone Returning To KTUL

In August of 2012, KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 underwent a massive change in their news line-up. Longtime anchor Carole Lambert's retirement shook up the news division. In that time frame, Lambert's then 25+ year legendary co-anchor Charles Ely left the evenings, to anchor the weekday 4:00 newscast to this day. It would also mark the end for KTUL Sports Director Chris Lincoln. Mark Bradshaw, the 4:00 and 5:00 anchor stepped up to replace the Ely/Lambert duo, and took morning anchor Kristin Dickerson with him.

Then, a month later in September 2012, longtime KTUL Chief Meteorologist Frank Mitchell announced his departure from the station. Many viewers of this ABC affiliate began to assume that Channel 8 was in a "slump." The ratings also took a bit of a nose dive.

Fast forward to 2014. Channel 8 seems to have recovered a bit, and their morning broadcast, Good Morning Oklahoma, seemed to be rolling smooth with new additions Laura Neal and meteorologist Andrew Kozak, who garnered national attention once. The station also has a strong backbone in naming John Moss the Sports Director. All of a sudden, nearing the end of this year, news broke that KTUL veteran weekend anchor Yvonne Lewis, as well as morning meteorologist Andrew Kozak would be departing the station. KTUL General Manager Pat Baldwin has endured a lot of talent losses and shake-ups in the two year span. Instead of letting things get out of control, Baldwin stepped up to the plate and has made two great hires to the Channel 8 station.

KTUL is bringing in Northwestern Arkansas anchor Niele Jones. They are also bringing Clint Boone back to Tulsa. Boone was a meteorologist with the station, until he was fired in 2008 due to economic problems at the station. With two new talents with Tulsa ties, I wouldn't be surprised to see a new spark on Lookout Mountain.

Janai Norman Moving On From Fox 23

KOKI Fox 23 is losing general assignment reporter Janai Norman. Norman joined the Fox affiliate in March of 2013.

She will be joining Cox Media Group sister station WFTV-TV in Orlando, FL.

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

KJRH Intoduces New Morning Anchor

KJRH 2NEWS has introduced Elizabeth Beaubien as new anchor of "2News Today" and "2News Midday." Beaubien is the successor to Justin Wilfon and Deana Silk, who both departed over the summer.

Beaubien comes to the NBC affiliate from KMIR-TV, where she was the lead evening co-anchor.

Longtime KJRH Lead Anchor Russ McCaskey has been filling in on the popular morning newscasts until a permanent replacement was named. McCaskey is believed to return to the evening lineup, only he will now be the solo anchor for the weeknight 5:00 newscast. His now former co-anchor Karen Larsen will anchor the 6:00 and 10:00, per sources.

Tulsa News Today was informed that KNWA anchor Niele Jones would be joining 2NEWS by an obviously incorrect source. It appears that Jones will be succeeding the departed Yvonne Lewis over at Tulsa's Channel 8.

Many KJRH viewers have already sounded off about Elizabeth Beaubien. Tell us what you think below:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

3 Headlines For September 30th

Fox 23 Reporter Ian Silver
1. Fox 23 is losing general assignment reporer Ian Silver. Guess where he's heading? Memphis, TN! However, according to our "Fox 23 mole," Silver won't be involved in the news industry anymore. The station may also be losing reporter Janai Norman, but we are waiting on a double confirmation.

2. This past weekend former KJRH 2NEWS Anchor Justin Wilfon and current KTUL Tulsa's Channel 8 Anchor Laura Neal tied the knot. Wilfon is already working on his new show in Kansas City, and it is believed that Laura will be following him once her contract expires.

3. KTUL and KJRH still have critical anchor jobs unfilled. The ABC affiliate is tasked with finding a new Weekend Anchor, as Yvonne Lewis wrapped up her time last Sunday. They also need a new Meteorologist to replace Andrew Kozak. The NBC affiliate still has yet to confirm both replacements for their popular "2News Today" morning broadcast. However, we reported earlier this month that a 2NEWS source has informed us that Arkansas anchor Niele Jones will be filling one of the two vacated positions.

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.

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