The award for “biggest press release surprise of the week” goes to KWQC after its double-barreled announcement Thursday afternoon.
The station will begin producing KLJB’s “Fox 18 Nine O’Clock News” as of New Year’s Eve, and in two days will begin supplying news and weather information to the six Clear Channel Media and Entertainment stations in the Davenport market in exchange for the radio hosts providing entertainment reports.
“They are things we’ve been working on for months, and they happen to come to fruition at the same time,” KWQC news director Beth Marsoun said of the simultaneous announcements.
The two radio giants in the Quad-Cities, Clear Channel and Cumulus Broadcasting, had used both KWQC and WQAD personalities, but not duplicating personnel. Aligning Clear Channel with KWQC will give the radio stations the fulltime news coverage that it had been lacking for years, while getting news reports from broadcasters at sister stations in Des Moines.
But Marsoun sees bigger advantages in the pairing with Fox 18. Primarily, it will allow for an expansion in staffing.
Her staff will grow from eight to 10 reporters, and another anchor added to the five full-timers already in place.
“We’re adding people and putting more feet on the street,” she said. “That’s not something that a lot of newsrooms can say nowadays.”
Marsoun hopes the new hires are local. Her newsroom is currently 60 percent occupied by people born and raised in the Quad-City area.
“I think that is really rare, me being one of them,” said Marsoun, a Rock Island native.
KLJB started 9 p.m. newscasts on New Year’s Eve 1999 from the Davenport-based Independent News Network. Two years ago, WQAD began producing the half-hour newscast, expanding it to seven days.
The Clear Channel stations are WLLR-FM 103.7, KMXG-FM 96.1 (Mix 96), KCQQ-FM 106.5 (Q106.5), WOC-AM 1420, WFXN-AM 1230 (Fox Sports Radio) and KUUL-FM 101.3 (Kiss 101.3).
Harvey’s moving up
Just four weeks after the premiere of Steve Harvey’s talk show, KLJB-TV is giving it a better time slot. As of Monday, it’ll be on at 3 p.m., switching with Ricki Lake’s show at 2 p.m.
Ratings for Harvey’s show have been a pleasant surprise to TV pundits, not far behind those of Katie Couric’s new show. I’m semi-regularly watching 9 a.m. episodes on sister station KGCW, and it can be best described as a comedic “Dr. Phil.”
It also gives two straight hours of airtime to the former King of Comedy, whose “Family Feud” airs from 4-5 p.m. on Fox 18.
Stage is set
The Sterling, Ill.-based Cal Stage Band, which frequently plays in the Quad-Cities, is headed for big things tonight.
The group was one of 30 bands chosen from about 2,000 video entries to play on the main stage at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in St. Louis Park, Minn.
The country singer, who headlines the first night of next year’s Mississippi Valley Fair, has 10 locations named after one of his hit songs, with five more coming soon.
Toward the end of October, drummer-vocalist Wyatt Heyvaert will move from the Dirt Road Rockers to Cal Stage Band. Heyvaert lives in Erie, Ill., and is a cop in Colona.
David Burke can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @Entguy1.