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Fox debuts 10 p.m. news on Monday

August 8, 1999

By Jim Kershner
The Spokesman-Review

Monday is launch day for “Fox 28 News at Ten,” Spokane’s youngest, in every sense of the word, TV news operation.

It’s certainly the youngest in terms of sheer existence, since three months ago this news operation existed only in the minds of management. Yet it’s also youngest in the age of the staff and in the audience it hopes to attract.

“Our newscast will be driven by the audience, which is a very media-savvy audience,” said news director Gary Cooper. “That’s why we have a younger generation up here with us today.”

He was referring to the core of the eight-person reporting staff, almost all of whom have come up quickly through the ranks, including news co-anchor Scott Bayens, a 1995 graduate of the University of Houston; sports director Troy Hirsch, a 1990 graduate of Pullman High School and a 1994 graduate of the University of Puget Sound; and reporter Kirsten Joyce, a 1996 graduate of the University of Washington. Other fresh faces include news co-anchor Linda Stratton and weather anchor Paul Horton.

But they also just added a familiar veteran name to the staff, Audrey Port. Port was let go by KXLY-4 last month, and quickly snapped up by Cooper, who was looking for an experienced Spokane reporter.

The broadcast will run Mondays through Fridays, 10 p.m., and the staff promised that the newscast will be “creative” and “cutting edge” but “not rock ’n’ roll news.”

We’ll have to tune in to find out exactly what that means.

Meanwhile, the big question is: Can “Fox 28 News at Ten” break the 10 p.m. jinx in Spokane? Two other 10 p.m. news experiments failed quickly, and the only existing one, KSKN-22’s 10 p.m. newscast (produced by KREM-2), is hanging on by its fingernails in the ratings.

Cooper said the key is good content. That, and knowing the Fox audience, which, in case we haven’t made this clear yet, is a young audience.

Sunday, August 8, 1999

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