New Orleans Station Names New News Director

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

WDSU, the Hearst station in New Orleans, La., has a new news director.

Melissa Dart will start in her new role in the Big Easy on Jan. 1.

She comes from WPTV in West Palm Beach, where she was the assistant news director at 2018.


“We are very excited to have Melissa join our team,” WDSU president and gm Joel Vilmenay said. “Her success throughout her career and her commitment to serving the people of her community with relevant, accurate and important information ensures that she will be an asset to our newsroom as well as our residents in Southeast Louisiana.”

Dart built her career in Florida. She started as a producer in Tallahassee before moving to WPEC in West Palm Beach as a producer. She continued on to Fort Myers and then Tampa, before returning to West Palm Beach as a managing editor and eventually an assistant news director.

“I’m thrilled to join such an outstanding organization in one of the liveliest cities in the country,” Dart said. “I’m honored to lead the WDSU news team on all platforms especially now, when the community depends on impactful and relevant journalism more than ever.”

Dart has covered hundreds of local and national stories. Some highlights include include the production of more than 60 hours of continuous coverage during Hurricane Irma and serving as an executive producer for coverage of the Republican National Convention in Tampa in 2012.

She succeeds Akili Franklin, who left to join WDSU’s sister station in Greenville, S.C.