A new local news choice is on-the-air in Northeastern Arkansas.

KJNB-LD 39 / Jonesboro, Ark. (“FOX 39”)
KJNB-LD 39.2 / Jonesboro, Ark. (“CBS 39”)

A new choice for local news in Northeastern Arkansas has it the airwaves.

Waypoint Media has launched another new news department called Northeast Arkansas News. Partly produced out of Little Rock with local reports done by reporters across Northeastern Arkansas, it offers three half-hour weeknight-ONLY newscasts:

  • 6:00-6:30 p.m. on CBS 39 (KJNB-LD2)
  • 9:00-9:30 p.m. on FOX 39 (KJNB-LD1)
  • 10:00-10:35 p.m. on CBS 39 (KJNB-LD2)

No newscasts are offered on weekends. The 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts compete against the 1,000-ton gorilla and the long-time leader in the market KAIT 8 (ABC/NBC) for local news there. The 9:00 p.m. news, however, is exclusive to KJNB 39 since KAIT 8 doesn’t produce a primetime newscast at all (due to having two major network affiliations that offer their own programming during the 9:00 p.m. CT hour).

Lon Tegals is a veteran journalist who has become the station’s news director:

“I’m very excited to provide Jonesboro with a choice when it comes to local news coverage. My parents live in Northeast Arkansas and have felt having a choice for local television news would be a good thing. Northeast Arkansas News will offer Jonesboro and the surrounding area a compelling brand of news that will give a new voice of local events and happenings.”

Tegals has more than 30 years of experience working at TV stations, including leading the launch of WXXV 25’s news department in Biloxi, Miss. which now airs news throughout the day on both its FOX (7-9am and 9-10pm) and NBC (5-7am, 12, 5:30 and 10pm) channels.

The anchor team will include Sarah Blakely, an alumna of Purdue University’s Brian Lamb School of Communication and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree.

Mike Reed, the C.E.O. and owner of Waypoint Media, which owns KJNB 39, said that the stations will give viewers another outlet for local news, information and weather:

“Ever since we started the station, we’ve been asked when we were going to offer a local newscast. We are excited to bring a fresh perspective on the local news, events and happenings of Northeast Arkansas. It’s a strong community and we want to reflect the great things happening in our newscasts.”

FOX 39 is on Suddenlink Cable Channel 11 and CBS 39 is on Channel 13.

So another new choice that’ll compete against the long-time king Region 8 News (KAIT 8) in the market. I’d say it about time they’ll have that choice.

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