Monday, September 10, 2007

Former KSN news director ready to take on Kansas City market

In an article in Saturday's Kansas City Star, new KSHB news director Rick Iler said he plans to move his station out of third place and shoot for number one. Iler was KSNF news director in the late 1990s and most recently has been assistant news director at a Phoenix station:

I’ll take some time to evaluate things and look at our competitors’ shows,” he says. “This is a nice situation. In the past I’ve gone into stations that didn’t have a great product and morale was down, and those stations are hard to turn around. It’s not like that here.”

Still, it would appear that Iler is going to need to field some new talent if Channel 41 wants to knock off Larry and Lara at KMBC.

“Here’s the thing for us,” Iler says. “We have to look at what we really do well and find a way to do it better. And we have to look at our weaknesses and find a way to strengthen them.”

So should viewers brace for another round of “if it bleeds it leads”?

“No, not at all,” Iler says. “My passion is breaking news and breaking weather. I’m not a bleed-lead type of guy. I mean, I just came from a station that was like KCTV, so I’m used to that type of news. But I’m interested in stories that affect people today, human interest stories in addition to the breaking news and breaking weather — because that’s where you’re going to win.”

By the way, not all “breaking news” is created equal, Iler says. Some stations overuse the term. “You have to be careful not to water down the meaning of breaking news,” he says.

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