Hubbard’s KSTP Minneapolis put out a press release today that starts with the following: “While the Twin Cities’ media community suffers layoffs, downsizing, and budget cutbacks, locally owned and operated television station KSTP-TV, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is showing their dedication to local news reporting by bringing fresh faces to the anchor desk and producing local news in high definition.”
At first I was like, yay, 5 Eyewitness News! Way to go! Then I did a Google search and of course discovered that the release failed to mention that the station laid off 18 news staffers in December. At the time, Emmy-winning reporter Kristi Piehl who was among those who got the axe, said: “It’s a big enough chunk that people who are there wonder how we’re going to do a newscast on TV.”
Fast forward six months, and the station’s touting its new hires and its June 14 move to HD broadcasts. So the press release was a little disingenuous, but at least they’re moving forward and hiring.
John Mason, who has been on the station’s anchor desk since 2004, has been promoted to managing editor. Mason has brought on some new talent.
Bill Lunn, formerly the morning news anchor at WMC Memphis, is coming on board to anchor the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts alongside Leah McLean. Megan Newquist will anchor the 4:30 pm newscast, joining the station from WTVQ Lexington, Ky. And Rebekah Wood, formerly the co-host of Twin Cities Live, will join the station’s morning news team with Art Barron and Vineeta Sawkar.
The station also is switching over to HD broadcasts, complete with a new set and new graphics, on June 14, two days after TV stations finally make the switch to digital. (I’m still going to be surprised if the transition actually happens and there’s not some Congressional delay at the last minute. I really wasn’t expecting to still be alive when TV stations finally converted, and I’m not a person who thinks I’m going to die young .)