Atlanta Television World About To Be Schooled In Sensationalism

kctvmournskrisblacksdepartureMURDER MURDER SHOOTING TERRIBLE STORMS Looks like Kirk Black, the general manager of KCTV, is headed down to a land of cavaliers and cotton fields called the Old South, where he will take the reins at WGCL in Hotlanta. TORNADO APPROACHING SAYS KATIE HORNER Black’s legacy? Let’s say… a relentless focus on the worst possible news you can deliver.

When Black first swept into KCTV’s sleepy newsroom, he saw a lot to fix. If a station could be said to be mired in second place, it was Channel 5 in 2001. Its promotions, programs and newscasts appeared punchless against No. 1-rated KMBC-9. The news, in particular, had lost its sense of urgency and relevance. More alarming to Black, whose background was sales, the audience for KCTV news was getting smaller and older, which meant its revenues would continue to dwindle.

Black hired a new news director, Regent Ducas, whose frenetic newsroom style led to the newly energized product viewers started to see. Ducas adopted a “live, late breaking, investigative” format that had proven popular in other cities. Then, with the help of a team of younger, out-of-market reporters he hired to replace the older ones — many of whom left unhappily — KCTV-5 news took Kansas City by storm.

The KC media world will be sorry to see Black go, of course. Who else could provide such excitement in the local news? Wonder how he broke the news to his family? “HUGE NEWS FOR THE BLACK CLAN TONIGHT! EAST SIDE SHOOTING! KILLERS ON THE LOOSE! PACK YOUR BAGS, KIDS, BEFORE THE BLIZZARD ARRIVES!”

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