The KOLO team you know and trust has undergone some staff changes in the past month. Some staffers, like Jean Casarez, have made incredible career leaps. Others were not so lucky. On Jan. 1, Terry Cole replaced Tim Perry as general manager and Matt James replaced Brad Brokaw as news director (see RN&R, “Pay per news,” Aug. 8, 2002). Cole says his first efforts will be to modernize the station.
“Our plans are that we are trying to make things better,” Cole says. “We are trying to update our equipment. There are no plans for changes in personnel.”
But there already have been a few minor changes. For example, Amanda Sanchez has taken her sunny personality from weekend weather to weekday morning reporting. And Dick Stoddard is doing the weekend forecast. There are plans to bring in new faces but no word yet on whose they will be.
Anchorwoman and reporter Jean Casarez left Channel 8 back in mid-December, as did reporter and sports anchorman Henry Wofford. Wofford moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he became sports director for WZZM 13 on Jan. 6. Casarez moved to New York and debuted as a Court TV anchorwoman and correspondent on Jan. 29.
“I love Reno, I love Channel 8, and I never had an intention to leave,” Casarez says. “But Court TV saw my work and they flew me out to New York for an interview.”
Of the three finalists up for the anchor position back in October, two already lived in New York, so she didn’t expect to get the job. When they called, she was ecstatic.
“This is a dream,” she says. “This is national news. I will be going around the country covering high-profile trials. On Monday [Feb. 3] there is a trial beginning in Montana … a 37-year-old murder case. … [Court TV] has offered to fly me to Reno for the weekends. My husband is still in Reno, but he will be joining me in New York mid-year.”