Jim Hummel, Marcelle Fontenot Headed to Another Lafayette Station
Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - A credible source tells KPEL News that Jim Hummel and Marcelle Fontenot may be headed to competing Lafayette television station, KADN/ KLAF. The anchor duo bid farewell to the KATC audience from the news desk on Friday.
Hummel, who came to Lafayette in 2009, shared in a Facebook post in September that he expected to move elsewhere after a two year stint in the market. He alluded to his future plans in that same post.
Fontenot, in a Facebook post on the same day, expressed gratitude to the people of Lafayette and Acadiana. In the video, she explained that KATC was not "kicking her out," nor was she "walking out on them." She went on to say, "Change is inevitable. This is just one of those times."
The Opelousas native had been employed with the station for 19 years.
The pair and other members of the KATC news team have known since, at least, August that changes were coming to the news format. Social media posts, beyond the two referenced above, teased that the broadcasting landscape was, indeed, changing.
Katie Lopez Harris, who had co-anchored "Good Morning Acadiana" with Dave Baker since 2018, also left the anchor desk in early September. She has since accepted a position with the Broussard Chamber of Commerce.
Jim, Marcelle, and Katie were offered other positions as KATC prepares for the alteration to the news format. An anonymous source tells KPEL that the morning anchor position was offered to Marcelle, while Jim and Katie were asked to stay on staff as multimedia journalists. All three declined.
E.W. Scripps, the company that owns KATC, announced it will eliminate 300 positions nationally over the next year.
KATC will triple is staff of reporters, and salaries for those positions will increase.
Locally, the station's news format will shift to a combination of pre-recorded segments and live coverage. KATC station manager Sean Trcalek confirmed that weather will always be live.
Veteran meteorologist Rob Perillo will continue to lead the weather team. Daniel Phillips will provide weather each morning, and Bradley Benoit will maintain his position as weekend weatherman. Dave Baker is anchoring "Good Morning Acadiana."
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Gallery Credit: Tracy Wirtz