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February 08, 2008

KTTC wrap-up story

After all the discussion, this story seems kind of anti-climatic. Don't expect any great revelations. However, here is some of what I've worked up on the changes at KTTC/KXLT.

The full piece will appear in print on Monday. I needed something else to finish off my business page.

 

“Who is that?” is a question many KTTC-TV and KXLT-TV Fox 47 news viewers are asking these days.
Kttc_talent_2508
With seven new on-air personalities and the recent addition of nightly news anchor Rachel Wick, officials at the Rochester stations say the question is understandable.

“We’ve had more change in the past seven months than in the past 17 years,” says Jerry Watson, KTTC vice-president and general manager.

KTTC, an NBC affiliate, shares studios with KXLT, a Fox affiliate.

It all started when long-time nightly news anchor Betsy Singer left in July to take a job with Faith Christian School in Rochester. Since then, KXLT anchor Amy Kuns, weekend weather forecastor Ken Quattrin, KTTC reporter Jenna Gordon, News Director Mark Carros and others have left.

The majority of the departures were due to contracts expiring, says Williams.

“Each situation has been different with very specific circumstances,” says Tom Overlie, who has been at the KTTC anchor desk for eight years.

As one of the most familiar on-air personalities at the station, Overlie says he’s often asked about the changes at the station. “I understand,” he says. “Change is unnerving. People have a lot of questions.”

Some speculate that ratings are driving change, but Watson said that’s not true. “We don’t have a ratings problem,” he said, showing sheets of the most recent ratings with KTTC newscasts at the top.

Whatever the reason, the departures brought many new people onto the staff as well as moving some people into different jobs.

• Jen Hoff moved to the KTTC-TV Weekend newscast.
• Crystal Oko took Hoff’s position as a reporter for Fox 47.
• Ali Lucia replaced Kunz as anchor of the Fox 47 newscast.
• C.J. Spang became the weekend sports reporter at KTTC.
• Fanna Haile-Selassie was hired as a new KTTC reporter.
• Steph Anderson went on the air this past weekend to report the weather as Quattrin’s replacement.
• Meghen Sparks starts today as a replacement for Gordon. Noel Sederstrom is starting today as news director, as a replacement for Carros. Sederstrom comes from Portage, Mich. He has been a news director there for the past eight years.

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We live in a world where technology allows everyone to voice their opinion for any and all to see in an instant. Good, bad or otherwise people like to read and spread gossip. So, that leads me to this posting. First of all, Jeff Kiger, you are a true professional and I greatly appreciate you and your work as well as so many of the talented journalists at the Post Bulletin. I actually logged on today because Matt Russel is doing a story on Ken and me and our ministry that we're working on for KFSI, the Christian radio station here in Rochester. Attached is Faith Christian School where I also teach a media course to high school students.

Last summer my second, 4-year contract was coming to an end. They approached me to sign on for another four years and while I contemplated, discussed with my husband and seriously thought about resigning...we decided that the 2-11 pm shift was not working for our family. We have two beautiful little boys and not being home in the evening was becoming more and more difficult as time went on.

The opportunity to put together an internet ministry for KFSI and teach at the school came about only by the grace of God. It was a true blessing and something I truly wanted to do. Ken gave me his support and KTTC's General Manager, Jerry Watson gave me his blessing. We cried, hugged and said our goodbyes after 8 wonderful years. I have no regrets only wonderfully blessed memories.

Ken started volunteering with me at my new job on his days off. He was a HUGE part in getting this ministry (www.faith-stories.com) shameless plug, I know :-) off the ground. We decided when I left KTTC Ken would fulfill the rest of his contract and we would move on...Ken has been working weekends since we've been together and we knew we wanted weekends together as a family.

The day his contract was up, in mid-January he and Jerry Watson sat down and made the split official. That's all. No big announcement, no big fanfare just two entities going in separate directions.

Ken and I could not be happier as we know this is an answer to many, many prayers.

Thanks to all of the kind people who have written and for the many people who are letting us know that they're praying for us.

Simply~
Betsy Singer

The only reason KTTC/KTLK is at the top of the ratings is because KARE 11 is blacked out of our market.

I did not like it when Becky left and I am disappointed hearing that Ken has left KTTC. I guess I am one of those that do not like changes. I enjoyed Ken's weather reports and I think it is rude the way some are talking about him. I will always remember Ken and Becky as being a beautiful couple. We would see them around Rochester and admire how they respected one another. Thank you Becky and Ken for being an example for the rest of us! We will miss you both. God bless.

I beleive Becky's real name is Betsy.

who is Becky?

Betsy-

i don't get it

if u new ken waz gonna leave when his contract was up, y wuznt there a big send off

how come there wuz no announcement or big deal b4 he left since u guys new abt it since last summer

sumthing smells fishy about ur post

Gretchen - trying to figure out your shorthand is like a brain teaser. You must be a wizard with the IMs. :)

I completely agree and was wondering the same thing. Ken was so self-promotional while doing the weather (i.e. a “Ken’s accuracy” graphic) it's hard to believe that he wouldn't say a word about his pending departure.

I suppose that's getting close to name-calling again, so I digress, but I don't think Betsy's story is 100% true.

As far as the new people - I like Crystal's bubbly personality - it's nice to see some people enjoy their work. Are the new folks green? Of course they are - it was pointed out in the other thread that this is really a starter market, so it's to be expected. They'll improve. Hopefully having a stable manager/station director will give the new folks direction and help get their feet under them. I just hope that when they do get up to speed, they stick around for a while!

I think Ali has greatly improved in the few weeks she's been there as 9 p.m. anchor. Of course, as long as Randy is staying, I'm happy. He even makes the cold weather bearable!

Everyone is laying low until their no-compete agreements expire - then you'll see the same faces pop up on KAAL. That's how this game is played.

I'm sorry but Ali can't read, which is supposed to be her job. Send her back to school, and then give her another chance.
Also I think Tom should go. He's just not very good considering the amount of time he's been around. I think the other anchors in the morning slot and in the evening are adequate or better.
Just my thoughts.

You have to give some breaks to these new young people. They are fresh out of college and its a learning process just like every other person goes through when entering the professional workforce after graduating from college. I realize they should learn this stuff in their communications/journalism courses, but its just a complete different thing when you actually enter the "real world" as a professional.

Ali did a tremendous job when she worked with FSN North as an intern this past year. You just have to give them some time. This is a small market and its where many people begin their careers.

Unfortunately, as soon as most of them get good and comfortable, they move on to greener pastures. But you can't really blame them for moving on either.

I don't mind the new people. They are doing as well as they can. What I'd like to see are some quality news reporting. I think this week I saw the same story 3 days in a row... and it was old news the first day it was on the air.

I don't mind the new people. They are doing as well as they can. What I'd like to see are some quality news reporting. I think this week I saw the same story 3 days in a row... and it was old news the first day it was on the air.

That is why I rely on the PB's website for the most and latest news!!!

Not so damn fast.
KAAL hired a green news director from Lansing over the summer and he's managed to tick off nearly everyone in the news room.
People who work there tell me it's like the Titanic after it hit an iceberg.

"Everyone is laying low until their no-compete agreements expire - then you'll see the same faces pop up on KAAL. That's how this game is played.

Posted by: John | February 12, 2008 at 07:17 AM"

Holy crap - talk about foreshadowing! I just saw Betsy Singer anchoring on KAAL. Ugh.

AJYSYT-

You called it! Betsy was anchoring KAAL tonight!

How soon until Ken joins 6 News First? If Ken does return, can someone at the PB do a story on his weather credentials? He is not a meteorologist.

I too saw Betsy on KAAL tonight.
Even after being gone a long time she still does a much better job than that tom guy on KTTC.
Keep on Keeping on, Betsy.

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