Joe Cole returning to Fox - KXRM will launch independent newscast Oct. 2
KXRM/Channel 21 is bringing back former news anchor Joe Cole as its news director and future co-anchor.
“He’s done a great job for us in anchoring the newscast,” said Steve Dant, KXRM’s general manager. “He knows the community. He’s done it all: He’s been a producer, he’s been a reporter, he’s been a weather guy.”
Cole will be in charge of hiring a news staff and launching an independent newscast for the Fox affiliate beginning Oct. 2. KKTV/Channel 11 has produced KXRM’s 9 p.m. news since it began in 2001.
Cole left KXRM and KKTV in September, 2005, to become the community relations director for Falcon School District 49. His co-anchor, Stephanie Pytlinski, has anchored the newscast solo since then. Cole won't return to the anchor desk until KXRM's own news launches in October.
“I always wanted to be in news management,” Cole said of returning to KXRM. “It’s just an exciting opportunity. When the door opens and on the other side is a dream job, you’ve got to jump through that door.”
Dant said KXRM would be hiring about 18 people to round out its news staff, along with building a studio and newsroom and buying vehicles, cameras and other equipment. At first, the station’s 9 p.m. news will still be its only newscast, but the program may be expanded to an hour, Dant said.
In March, Raycom announced it was selling KXRM and sister station KXTU/Channel 57, along with several other stations, to Barrington Broadcasting. The sale should close later this summer.