KGW News Director Says Recent Departures ‘Very Hard to Replace’

By Kevin Eck 

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After Russ Lewis left Portland NBC affiliate KGW last week and sports anchor Joe Becker retired in April, the station’s news director told The Oregonian the two would be very hard to replace.

“Those are two terrific employees, who did a great job for audiences over the years,” said news director Rick Jacobs. “‘They represented KGW to the best of their abilities. They’re going to be very, very hard to replace. Very big shoes’ to fill”

Jacobs said Ashley Korslien would move from weekend mornings to weekday mornings alongside Brenda Braxton, Stephanie Stricklen, Rod Hill and Chris McGinness.

Filling in for Korslien, who makes the move after July 4, will be reporter Maggie Vespa.

Since September last year, the station has also seen Reggie Aqui go to KGO in San Francisco, and morning meteorologist Nick Allard leave for KIRO in Seattle.

“We’ve had a lot of stability over the years,” Jacobs says, “and I guess in a rapid fashion, we have a lot of openings on air.”