A report out of Austin, Texas, says that KLRT's news director, Michael Fabac, who created the Fox affiliate's hourlong weekday newscast, will be taking over as news director at KXAN, Austin's NBC affiliate, starting in January.
"I think it's an amazing opportunity for me," Fabac said. "I can't wait to get there. The city obviously is a big draw."
Fabac, 33, assembled Clear Channel-owned KLRT's news operation from scratch, launching a nightly 9 p.m. newscast in 2004. Prior to Little Rock, he served as a news director at WNEM in Saginaw, Mich. His first paying TV gig was as a producer at KKTV in Colorado Springs, Colo., followed by stints as a producer at KTVI in St. Louis and WDIV in Detroit. He also served as executive news producer at CBS-owned WWJ and WKBD, both in the Motor City.
"I think Michael will bring a lot of positive energy to the newsroom," KXAN General Manager Eric Lassberg said. "He comes across as a very passionate leader with a lot of integrity."
Fabac's hiring comes at a tumultuous time for the station. KXAN's previous news director, Bill Seitzler, departed last month after less than a year on the job. Lassberg has been on the job for less than six months. An executive producer position remains open. And a number of familiar faces - avuncular weatherman Dan Robertson, weekend newscaster Julie Shields, and reporters Jim Bergamo and Silva Harapetian - also have disappeared from the station's newscasts in recent months. Some were forced out; others left by choice.