Smith has worked for the station (as a traffic reporter on “Chopper 8”) for the past eight years. Yesterday, KLAS news director Ron Comings told the newsroom that Nexstar had decided to eliminate the choppers from its traffic program.
Smith shared the news with his Facebook fans last night, writing:
I’m sad to announce that my flying days over Las Vegas are over. I’m no longer an employee of Channel 8 and “Chopper 8” has been eliminated. As you may have heard, KLAS-TV Channel 8 was sold to a new company called Nexstar Broadcasting. They own mostly small market TV stations and do NOT see the value in having a TV Helicopter. Channel 8 is a great station that I was proud to work for. I had the privilege to work with a great group of talented journalists. I will miss working with each and every person at the station.
Smith went on to say that when Comings broke the news to the team, he burst into tears. Smith says his immediate plans are to take a break (maybe travel), before getting back on the air, somehow.
Smith elaborated on his firing on Twitter, where he defended his team:
For what it’s worth. My managers fought hard to keep Chopper 8 and my job but KLAS is no longer run by a family, but by stock shareholders