KDKA shuffles its anchors

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Two years after leaving as WPXI's weekend anchor, Keith Jones will return to the market as the new 5 to 7 a.m. and noon anchor on KDKA-TV.

Jones, who has been evening and late news anchor at WOWK in Charleston-Huntington, W.Va., in the interim, will be paired with Kelli Olexia.

Jones, who will begin work at KDKA by the first week in October, said although he enjoyed the hours he could spend with his family while working in West Virginia, his 9-year-old daughter's rare, incurable heart disease made being closer to Pittsburgh medical facilities a smart move.

"Anytime there's a [medical] issue, we're back there anyhow," Jones said, "so it's a perfect fit that made sense."

Sonni Abatta, who's been filling in on KDKA's morning news since the dismissal of Bruce Pompeani early this year, will move over to the new 7 to 9 a.m. newscast that debuts on sister station WNPA Sept. 12. KDKA reporter John Cater will anchor with Abatta.

That same morning, Martha Stewart's new syndicated show premieres on KDKA-TV at 9 a.m., bumping "Pittsburgh Today Live" to 10 a.m. Jennifer Antkowiak continues as host of that program with Jon Burnett on a few days each week. Because she will be doing four hours of weather reports on KDKA and WNPA each morning, Rebecca Hower will no longer be on "Pittsburgh Today Live" regularly.

When KDKA general manager Chris Pike announced the addition of the WNPA morning news last month (replacing the syndicated "Daily Buzz"), he also announced the station will hire 14 staffers to help produce the program, including an additional reporter and videographer and more staff to augment the station's Web presence.

In addition, KDKA-WNPA hired East McKeesport native Jim Lokay, a reporter at Time Warner's cable news operation in Syracuse, N.Y., to be an on-air morning traffic reporter. Lokay previously worked for Metro Networks in Pittsburgh after graduating from California University of Pennsylvania.

TV editor Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Ask TV questions at www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A.


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