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KOZL "Ozarks Local" Makes its Debut

(Springfield, MO) -- More local news and sports programming is coming to the Ozarks today as  KOZL, Ozarks Local, debuts with a new, expanded morning newscast from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m.
(Springfield, MO) -- More local news and sports programming is coming to the Ozarks today as  KOZL, Ozarks Local, debuts with a new, expanded morning newscast from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Mark Gordon, KOZL vice president and general manager, announced the station's call letters are changing, as will programming throughout the day and evening prime time hours. KSFX will no longer be a Fox network affiliate as of September 1. KOZL will remain on the same channel and cable/satellite positions, Gordon stressed.

KOZL will upgrade the number of hours of local news, sports and information programming from 12 to 24 hours weekly.

"We are excited to be able to double our local news," Gordon said.  "We will truly become a local newscast, giving people news and information at the time and place they want it."

KOZL is expanding the Monday through Friday morning news program an additional hour, with Ozarks Local: The Morning Rush from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., beginning September 1.  It will be the only live, local morning newscast running until 9:00 am.  The show will continue to feature current news anchors Rob Evans and Shannon Miller, along with new staff meteorologist Chris Smith, who comes from WHAG in Hagerstown, MD. Chris is a native of the Philadelphia area, and holds a degree in meteorology with a math minor from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. His first day on the air is September 1.

Ozarks Local Live at 4 will air from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning September 6. The lifestyle and information program will feature long-time Ozarks personality Tom Trtan. Trtan has been with the station for 25 years, most recently as the meteorologist for the morning newscasts. "As much as I enjoy doing weather, I really enjoy talking to people, getting to know what they do and what their interests are.  That's really in my wheelhouse," Trtan said.

"During the new Ozarks Local Live at 4, we'll share insights on all things lifestyle," adds Lissa Hamblen, executive producer.  "If we tackle a relationship problem, you'll be hearing opinions and insights from local experts, people viewers can actually CALL if they want. Want to know how to line dance? The instructor we feature will be someone you can find teaching classes in your community. Love the recipe we showed on Monday? That chef's restaurant is not in New York. It's here where viewers can follow up and try the food. It's really the viewer's program. What they tell us they want, we'll deliver. "

KOZL is also adding the Ozarks only local 6 p.m. Sunday newscast, anchored by Brian Richardson.

"We're also very excited to be able to bring viewers the only live weekly half-hour local sports shows, with Ozarks Sports Saturday and Ozarks Sports Sunday, premiering the first week in September," Gordon said.  The shows will air at 10:30 p.m. weekend nights.  "These shows will be the only truly local sports programs of their kind, featuring stories unique to the Ozarks.  This will not be a highlight reel," Gordon added.  KOZL sports anchor Nick Carboni will host the new shows.

"No other TV station in the market will have the kind of analysis Nick and his weekly roundtable will share," said Hamblen. No other TV station will give local sports fans extended access to hometown sports heroes. Young athletes will get some much deserved airtime. And sports fans can sound off a bit on trades, injuries, contract talks, coaching changes, etc."

Gordon also said KOZL will not only upgrade local news and sports, but will also offer SEC Basketball this season, airing games live on Wednesday nights during the winter and double-header games on Saturdays. Gordon says a local business show is also coming soon.  More local programming announcement are planned in the coming weeks, he said.
"We are also hiring more people to make it all happen," said Gordon, who plans to hire 5 additional full-time employees.

"Really, the focus is what our title is," Trtan emphasized.  "Local people, stories, and slant is paramount.  Our strength to the community as broadcasters, is keeping it local."
"We will be offering more original programming now, than when we were a Fox network affiliate," Gordon added.

Read the company's formal news release

See the new KOZL programming schedule 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Did Fox Programs Go? 
As of September 1, Fox programs will be carried by KRBK. 
Contact station officials with questions or complaints at (417) 522-0020

What If I Can't Get the New Fox Signal?
Contact KRBK with questions or complaints at (417) 522-0020

Why Did This Happen And What Can I Do About It?
It happened as a result of a decision by Fox Broadcasting after long and protracted negotiations.  This was not a decision we wanted to happen.  We enjoyed a long successful partnership with Fox and are disappointed that they made this decision. 

If you want to make your feelings known you can call the Fox Comment line:
310-369-3066 or email askfox@fox.com <mailto:askfox@fox.com>.

What's Next for KOZL?
KOZL will continue to be a strong over the air television station, on the same channel cable/satellite positions, with the centerpiece, and  continuing to be KSFX News at 9, the Ozarks only prime time newscast, as well as Ozarks Local: The Morning Rush news from 7a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 

In addition, Ozarks Local Live at 4 will bring fresh, innovative local lifestyle and entertainment information to our viewers.  You will continue to see great sitcoms including Two and a Half Men, My Name is Earl, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and According to Jim. 

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