KBJR and KDLH announce staff changes

KBJR 6 and KDLH 3 personnel changes:

. Jennifer Austin steps up as news anchor at KBJR 6 and Range 11 News Today weekday mornings, beginning Monday.

. Zach Vavricka will anchor KBJR 6 and Range 11 News at Six and Ten weekends, while continuing to serve as news reporter three days a week.

. Starting Monday, Jennifer Walch moves up to news anchor at KDLH 3 news at 5:30, 6:30 and Ten and Northland’s CW News at Nine. She has been filling in at KBJR 6 and Range 11 News Today. Billy Wagness, who has been anchoring the KDLH newscasts, returns to reporting.

. Joining KBJR 6 and KDLH 3 as multimedia journalists are Elsa Robins and Jeremy Brickley. A Wisconsin-native, Robins studied at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brickley was raised in Duluth and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin Superior. He also studied at the London School of Journalism. Both start on June 1.

KBJR 6 and KDLH 3 win journalism awards

Barbara Reyelts
Barbara Reyelts
KBJR 6 and KDLH 3 have been awarded Eric Sevareid Awards from the Northwest Broadcast News Association.

The awards, given out the Midwest Journalism Conference on April 13, include:

. First-place, Talk/Public Affairs — Northland Voices: Ground Zero in the War on Synthetic Drugs (Barbara Reyelts)

. Awards of Merit, General Reporting — Fracking in the Northland (Barbara Reyelts)

Zach Vavricka
Zach Vavricka
. Series — Pros and Cons: Copper-Nickel Mining (Barbara Reyelts)

. Broadcast WritingKevin Jacobsen

. FeatureZach Vavricka

Schneider named KBJR 6 and KDLH sports anchor-producer

Zach Schneider
Zach Schneider
Zach Schneider has been named main sports anchor-producer for KBJR 6 and KDLH 3.

Schneider, a Duluth native, takes over for Tom Hansen, who left the anchor desk last month for a position at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Schneider began his tenure at KBJR 6 and KDLH 3 in 2008 as an intern while still studying at the College of St. Scholastica. After graduation, he worked his way up from being a part-time production assistant to a news multimedia journalist to the weekend sports anchor/producer.

“Zach is a tremendous asset to our team,” said Barbara Reyelts, news director for KBJR 6 and KDLH 3. “He knows our regional teams, coaches and players and is focused on telling their stories — not just showing highlights.”

“We looked at dozens of candidates and kept coming back to Zach,” said David Jensch, vice president and station manager of KBJR 6 and KDLH 3. “He’s a great journalist and has a good vision of how to take our sports presentation to the next level.”

Also joining the sports department as weekend sports anchor and reporter is Sarah Wheeler. A Duluth native, she earned her undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota where she was a Division I varsity soccer player. She also holds a master’s degree in Broadcast & Digital Journalism from the SI Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.

Source: Northland’s NewsCenter press release