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News staff whittled at Fox 28

January 21, 2001

By Jim Kershner
The Spokesman-Review

KAYU-28’s “Fox News at Ten” swept three of its four anchors out the door during a major housecleaning last week.

News anchor Craig McMorris, weather anchor Paul Horton and sports anchor Troy Hirsch are all gone.

The only anchor left is Linda Stratton, who will now be flying solo on the newly revamped broadcast at 10 p.m.

This mass departure was prompted by the station’s decision to go back to a half-hour broadcast, Monday through Friday. One year ago, the station expanded its weekday broadcasts to an hour and added weekend broadcasts.

That simply didn’t pay off in the ratings. The weekend broadcasts didn’t find an audience, and weekday viewers were bailing out of the second half-hour. “Spokane viewers have told us they prefer our original half-hour length,” said station spokesman Rick Andrycha.

So on Monday, the station announced it was cutting back the hours and had to prune the staff accordingly. It was a “basic expense move,” Andrycha said.

Besides Stratton, the on-air staff now consists solely of reporters Dan Mitchinson, Rob McMillan, Hayward Martin and Leanna Humphries. Mitchinson will take over weather anchor duties. There will be no sports anchor, although Martin will do the sports reporting.

Andrycha called the decision “difficult.” Hirsch and Horton were both original members of the anchor team from August 1999. McMorris came on in February.

All three are on the lookout for new jobs. Maybe you’ll see them on other stations soon; Andrycha said they have been released from the noncompete clauses in their contracts and are free to seek work locally.

Sunday, January 21, 2001

From → KAYU

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