WKPT, the ABC affiliate in the Tri-Cities area of northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virgina, is resurrecting its news department. WKPT last produced its own newscasts in 2008.
“Over the past few months we’ve built a homegrown news team,” Jim Bailey, WKPT director of news and public affairs, told TVNewsCheck. “Our assistant news director, all of our reporters, my co-anchor and our meteorologist are all from the Tri-Cities area.”
Bailey began rebuilding the news department when he started at the station in January 2012.
WKPT has spent nearly $250,000 adding staff and new equipment.
“We’ve been producing eight-minute news briefs anchored by Jim Bailey for several months while the new full team was being assembled,” said George DeVault, WKPT’s general manager. “Now we again have a traditional television news department such as we had from 1969 to 2002. Kingsport again has a full-service television station with ‘People you know…. News you need!’”
The station currently airs a 6:00 p.m. and an 11:00 p.m. newscast. The shows are produced in the WKPT studios.