WAPT Promotes Lee Neely to News Director

By Kevin Eck 

Jackson, Mississippi ABC affiliate WAPT has promoted assistant news director Lee Neely to news director effective April 8.

Neely takes over for Rick McLaughlin who, the station said, is leaving WAPT for a job in Ohio.

“Rick’s role in our station’s success cannot be overstated,” said WAPT president and general manager Peter Keith. “We wish him all the best as he transitions into his next role.”


Neely joined Hearst in 2002 as an editor at WYFF in Greenville, S.C. He went on to become a producer and later an executive producer before joining WAPT in 2017.

“Lee takes over a successful news operation that has risen to become the #1 TV station in the Jackson market, with 16 WAPT News at 6 the most-watched newscast in the state,” added Keith. “He perfectly combines decades of experience with genuine care for each member of our news team. His record for building winning brands, developing teams, and executing strategies speaks for itself, and we look forward to watching our community impact grow further under his leadership.”