Thursday, April 23, 2009

Abby Heads Home

A heads-up - your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) will be on hiatus through early next week. Most likely, we'll return sometime Monday or Tuesday.

In the meantime, we'll continue to use our Twitter feed (seen at left) to pass along any breaking local media news, as we did Wednesday afternoon on this item...

ABBY'S RETURN: You can take the morning news anchor out of Tennessee, but you apparently can't take the Tennessee out of the morning news anchor.

When Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 reset its morning show in 2007, the Cleveland station added an unusual combination - pairing long-time chief meteorologist Mark Nolan as a co-anchor with Abby Ham, a popular morning co-anchor at Gannett's sister station in Knoxville, TN, WBIR/10.

In hindsight, we should have seen her return to some point.

This, from our item shortly before her debut as co-host with Nolan on "Channel 3 News Today":

The article linked above says Abby is engaged to be married, and she'll tie the knot in Knoxville in 2008 - where she says she'll also return for holidays and the like.

Returning to Knoxville is just what Abby Ham is doing, and indeed, as WKYC/3 senior director and "Director's Cut" blogger Frank Macek notes, she's returning right where she left off in late 2007 - to her old job as morning co-host of WBIR's "10News Today".

Quoting WKYC news director Rita Andolsen in the article:

"Abby joined WKYC in November 2007 and has been a wonderful addition to the morning show," says Andolsen. "Her heart is calling her home to her family in Knoxville."

It's a hometown pull Ham acknowledges to WKYC's Frank Macek:

"Cleveland has been so wonderful to me. The people have welcomed me with open arms and I have had a blast with my co-workers. This was a personal decision that took a lot of thought and prayer. My family lives in Knoxville and I miss them terribly. It was just too hard to be away." "I have truly met some of my dearest friends here in Cleveland and at WKYC. The people here are so genuine and I know they will be friends for life. And... I will never stop rooting for the Cavs," she added.

Well, Tennessee has only one NBA team, the Grizzlies, and they A) aren't in Knoxville and B) stink. Heh.

Abby Ham's old station is pulling out the stops to welcome her back. In an article on the WBIR site:

Ham made quite an impression among Channel 10 viewers during her first stint in East Tennessee. (WBIR general manager Jeff) Lee said being able to welcome Ham back home "is a win."

Ham did make an impression here, as well. But she appears to have clearly clicked with the smaller market of Knoxville on a higher, more personal level, and is heading back.

WBIR's item notes that Abby's replacement will be heading into a job in the sales department, an opportunity the station says she wanted.

Back at 13th and Lakeside, there's no word who might take Abby Ham's place alongside Mark Nolan...


Ann said...

All we know is that she'll be tiny. It's so ridiculous how Nolan towers over Abby and Hollie. My guess is that they'll keep Maureen as a morning correspondent, since she's all they have left at reporter in the AM.

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

This does not surprise me at all. Ham's original replacement, Lisa Cornwell, left the station in August, deciding to move back to her home state of Arkansas into a sales/PR firm there. But kudos to Abby for making this move, after all, as you pointed out, if you've got strong connections to a place, it's hard to stay away...

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

Oh forgot to make the Ohio connection to the last comment...Cornwell actually worked in Cincy at WCPO-TV prior to the move to WBIR-TV...