KATC Extends Contract with Long-Time Lafayette, Louisiana, Meteorologist Rob Perillo
Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - Viewers in south Louisiana have watched the drama unfold as KATC parent company E.W. Scripps adjusts the way it broadcasts news. The ABC affiliate has seen numerous staffing changes amid the reorganization, and people have wondered how it will affect the weather team, including Acadiana's most recognizable meteorologist Rob Perillo.
Long-time anchors Jim Hummel and Marcelle Fontenot parted ways with the station in September and have since signed on with TV 3 competitor KADN/KLAF. Morning anchor Katie Lopez Harris had exited a couple weeks before, and meteorologist-turned-anchor Dave Baker will wrap up his tenure with KATC on December 31.
Perillo announced on social media, including a photo of him holding a piece of paper, that he has signed another five-year contract to keep him in Acadiana and at KATC. You can see the post below.
The popular meteorologist has provided forecasts for Lafayette and the Acadiana area for 35 years and says,
And I'm excited to be part of the "news 3.0" transformation" in KATC’s neighborhood network initiative.
KATC has taken heat because of the new model and the retooling of the anchor role. Pre-recording, or producing stories, for air is standard practice in the television news industry. The most recent Scripps iteration, essentially, changes the methodology of how the news outside of those recorded stories is delivered and the responsibilities anchors on air and also creating content.
KATC General Manager Sean Trcalek told KPEL News,
...weather will always be live, remember....
The current weather line-up includes Perillo during the night newscasts at 5, 6, and 10, Daniel Phillips mans the weather desk Monday through Friday mornings, and Bradley Benoit provides forecasts on the weekend shows. Baker has been stepping away from the anchor desk in the morning when Phillips is absent.
KATC is currently staffed with 13 reporters, each covering an assigned parish. Trcalek assures viewers that the new model allows them to cover more local stories.
Lafayette will see a dramatic INCREASE in local content, with nearly triple the number of LOCAL reporters working all across Acadiana rather than in-studio, hired at an all-new high rate of pay for the industry. A change in approach backed up by research and designed to insure that Acadiana gets more of what the current News environment calls for…the sky isn’t actually falling - but if it does, KATC will be there to cover it - LIVE - with a LOCAL staff larger and better trained than ever before…
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Gallery Credit: Bonnie Foley