Spring Awakenings (and media movements)

Ryan Burchett has increased the size of his kegerator.

The February book is well, in the books and already there’s change happening all over Iowa’s TV and radio newsrooms.

We’ll start in the east in the Quad Cities. KWQC Chief Meteorologist Ryan Burchett is now a civilian. He’s giving up TeeVee (that’s the way QC Times columnist Bill Wundrum writes it) to head to the hills of LeClaire and make booze with his brother. The pair have opened the Mississippi River Distilling Company. It is possible thanks to new Iowa laws and is called a microdistillery which will make River Baron Vodka and River Rose Gin at first.

Ryan and I go back to Mason City and KIMT. He moved to KGAN then a huge leap to Lafayette, LA and KLFY TV. David Paul (another Mason City alum) left WQAD to go to Channel 10 and  became chief when Ryan moved back to Iowa.

Erik Maitland, back to the QC.

A familiar face to TV6 fans is returning. Erik Maitland is leaving his post in Minneapolis at Fox9 to come back to be the new chief. He’ll be battling his old office-mate Terry Swails as TS is now at WQAD. Maitland, also worked in the River City, just a couple of years before me and after WHO’s Ed Wilson.

Back to the ABC affiliate in Moline, (Alan) Baker‘s Boys and Girls debuted a new set this week. The HD ready set is sharp and matches what TV6 did a few months back in ripping out the familiar and replacing it with the HD shine.

I’ve looked through some old VHS tapes this week and found some old WQAD newscasts with Mark Martin at the helm in the mornings. He was paired with Julie Sisk who is still with the station, now paired with Jim Mertens. Jimmy said the new HD set will replace the gray in his hair. Now that’s TV magic.

Miranda Khan (www.MirandaKahn.com)

I’ve also reconnected with former main female anchor Miranda Khan. She’s out of TV news and into corporate TV. You may see her in a commercial or infomercial soon. She’s living/working in south Florida.

She was WQAD’s main female anchor during the 2000s and was paired with Matt Hammill.

KWWL is making changes as well.

The NBC affiliate is sending Bob Waters back to weekend nights to replace Brady Smith. Channel 7 management is looking to bring in a new face for the mornings with Sunny Layne. Waters replaced Chris Carter.

Shawn Terrell in his WHO-TV days.



Shawn Terrell used to work at KCRG and soon he’ll be talking past tense with WHO-TV in Des Moines. The Channel 13 sports reporter/anchor is not signing a new contract and is headed in a new direction. He’s looking for a new gig that doesn’t necessarily mean spending every Saturday night at work.

Fun connection with me and Shawn, he grew up in the northwest Iowa town of Peterson. He played basketball under Jesup HS alum Kendall Rachuy at Sioux Central. I went to senior prom with his sister Dena. Congrats to her on completing a half-marathon recently.

Katelyn Ford Smith.

During the noon Wednesday on WHO-TV, a familiar face to Iowa and Illinois TV viewers appeared. Katelyn Smith was doing a story out of Pennsylvania and did a stand up to intro the piece. Smith, is married to former WOI-TV reporter Joel Smith. The two met while at Channel 5. Back then, Smith, went by Ford. She was moved from WHBF to WOI a few years back. Also at WGAL in Lancaster, PA is former KGAN anchor Brian Roche.

Tuesday marked the last day for Matt Perrault on the radio in Des Moines. At least for now. The New Englander is heading back home to be the new co-host of The Hometeam on WGAM in New Hampshire and will get to do some fill-in work on WEEI, the power sports station in Boston. He was partnered with Ken Miller on KXNO afternoons following Murph and Andy. No word on a replacement yet of if Rob Howe of Hawkeye Insider will return in making appearances on 1460.

That makes two big fills now needed at Clear Channel in Des Moines. Joel McRea and Van Hardin are also looking for an afternoon host on WHO-AM to replace Steve Deace.

Greg Berry of KIMT.

Perrault spent some time in Alabama which is where Greg Berry will soon be heading. The current KIMT news director is headed south at the end of March to begin as assistant news director at CBS42 in Birmingham.

Greg started as weekend sports guy (we overlapped by 5 days at KIMT back in 2000), switched to morning news anchor and eventually to news boss.

And to think it all started on Blue Blazer Sports. It is a shame they didn’t have YouTube back in the 90s and those tapes are lost forever…. what a shame. (right guys, those tapes are lost, right?)

Brent Balbinot, formerly of KXIC.

And this just came out today, AM800 KXIC in Iowa City has let sports director Brent Balbinot go. He was the host of Good Call. He’s also the voice of Iowa Women’s basketball and Iowa baseball. Those positions are through Learfield and at last check, he was keeping those positions.

So, the next time you ask, whatever happened to… we’ve got you covered on who got fired, why did they leave and where did they go.

Other notes we should post? Send them to me IPTVPaul@gmail.com


  1. Paul, isn’t Van and Joel have to fill three spots? Word is Jon Miller’s stepping down as WHO’s Sports Director. Deace and him are going to team up again to do an one-hour show on SportsByline radio (the same national network Marty Tirrell is on).

    • You’re right, I meant to include Miller’s spot as well. I don’t know if that gets filled or not. It could be the same person as Perrault’s job. How can you forget one of the metro’s best radio combos, Deace and Miller.

  2. I would be willing to bet Andy Fales will replace Shawn Terrell at WHO-TV — he’s a total sports guy, and is pretty much the only logical person to offer the gig to.

    And with all the sports radio guys leaving, looks like it might be time to polish up the ol’ resume again…

    • I don’t see AF going back to sports. Maybe. But he’s a great news reporter for them right now. He makes you care about the story. Great storyteller. Get the resume polished…

  3. Hi Paul: KWWL has lost so many viewers around here since that Sunny Layne came on. And then with Eileen Lown doing the weather they are just terrible to listen to at 5 am. I like Bob Waters, so many people I talk to are ready for Steele to retire too. We have to listen to Hudson news every week!!!

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