Changes at KUT: More news on weekends, new reporter hired

Claire McInerny (KUT photo)

With “Car Talk” wrapping up production after 30 years on the air, 90.5 KUT-FM has made some adjustments to its weekend schedule.

The new weekend lineup, which took effect this month, features eight additional hours of news programming and new time slots for a number of shows.

“Weekend Edition” now ends at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday – running for an extra hour both days – and BBC World Service starts three hours earlier Saturday and Sunday, hitting the airwaves at 10 p.m.

A new addition is NPR’s “Only a Game,” airing at 6 a.m. Saturdays. The sports magazine show is hosted by NPR commentator Bill Littlefield.

Meanwhile, some of the station’s lowest-rated programs have been dropped from the weekend lineup, including “Public Radio Remix,” “Studio 360,” “Bullseye with Jesse Thorn” and “The Splendid Table.”

“Discontinuing shows is always a difficult decision and will disappoint some listeners,” KUT said in a written statement. “The goal of the new schedule is to deliver more of the news programming that has been so successful for KUT 90.5 across the week.”

View the complete KUT schedule at kut.org.

Speaking of KUT, there’s a new addition to the station’s news team.

Claire McInerny is taking over the education beat at Austin’s NPR affiliate.

She arrives from Bloomington, Ind., where she worked as a producer, newsreader and education reporter at NPR station WFIU.

McInerny has a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

Fox 7 promotes from within to fill ‘Good Day’ anchor slot

Tania Ortega (Fox 7 photo)

Reporter Tania Ortega, a regular presence on Fox 7’s morning newscasts for almost five years now, is taking over as anchor of the weekend editions of “Good Day Austin.”

Ortega replaces Ann Wyatt Little, who recently left to work as an anchor/reporter at sister Fox station WJZY in Charlotte, N.C.

“Tania has covered everything from hurricanes and tornadoes to features for ‘Good Day Austin,’ ” Fox 7 vice president and news director Pam Vaught said. “Because she is tuned in to the city of Austin and the interests of its people, Tania is the ideal person to take over this anchor position.”

Ortega arrived in Austin after holding a variety of positions at two separate TV stations in Waco. She’s a graduate of San Diego State University.

“After four and a half years of reporting on location for ‘Good Day Austin,’ I’m excited to provide viewers with the news of the day and the human interest stories they love, all from the anchor desk,” Ortega said.

The weekend edition of “Good Day Austin” airs from 6 to 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

KXAN names new weeknight anchor

Sydney Benter (KXAN photo)

KXAN has wrapped up its search for a new weeknight anchor to sit alongside veteran Austin broadcaster Robert Hadlock.

Sydney Benter will take over for Shannon Wolfson, the city’s NBC affiliate announced Tuesday.

Wolfson revealed in August that she’ll be leaving the station in late November to focus more time on her family and to do some traveling.

Benter arrives from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she works as an anchor and reporter for the city’s CBS and MyNetworkTV affiliates.

“I’m looking forward to joining an award-winning team with such a strong commitment to quality storytelling,” Benter said. “In a day and age when news is available 24 hours a day and in 140 characters or less, KXAN’s in-depth, investigative approach sets it apart from all the rest.”

Benter will start in mid-December, according to KXAN, co-anchoring the station’s top-rated 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts, as well as the 9 p.m. newscast on sister station KNVA, Austin’s CW affiliate.

“Sydney is a stand-out storyteller who has a captivating and compassionate way of communicating,” KXAN news director Chad Cross said.  “Her dynamic reporting style will complement our team.”

A Cincinnati native, Benter has a journalism degree from the University of Cincinnati.

“At KXAN, we remain focused on delivering the most compelling and informative local reporting that touches the daily lives of our viewers,” said Eric Lassberg, vice president and general manager for KXAN and KNVA. “After conducting a nationwide search, we found Sydney aligns with our in-depth, investigative brand.”