Jason Ball promoted to news director

KTLA Los Angeles prexy and g.m. Don Corsini is living up to his pledge to add more local newscasts to the station’s sked.

Starting Wednesday, KTLA will add a hourlong newscast at 1 p.m. to its weekday sked, and it will expand its five-hour morning news block by a half-hour with the debut of the “KTLA 5 News at 4:30.”

Amid the push to pump up the volume of news at the station, Corsini has upped Jason Ball to news director. He had been served as assistant news director since joining KTLA from KNBC Los Angeles in September.

The 1 p.m. newscast will be anchored by the “KTLA Morning News” duo, Frank Buckley and Michaela Pereira, with Jessica Holmes handling weather and entertainment news. It will also feature Los Angeles Times business columnist Tom Petruno reporting on Wall Street at the closing bell, and L.A. Times food editor Russ Parsons and test kitchen manager Noelle Carter covering local eateries and offering other food-related segments.

The on-air use of L.A. Times staffers continues the trend of cross-pollinating news resources between KTLA and the Times, which are both owned by Tribune Co.

The 4:30 a.m. broadcast will be anchored by Asha Blake, who already holds down the 5 a.m. newscast.

The new half-hours come on the heels of January’s launch of a 6:30 p.m. newscast. Corsini, who joined KTLA in January after a long run at KCBS/KCAL, has said that aggressive local news coverage as key to the station’s future in a fast-changing media landscape (Daily Variety, Feb. 5).

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