Matt Stewart, who was given his walking papers in May after eight years at KCTV, will be moving down the road to join WDAF-Fox4 as a morning reporter, according to sources.
His first day will be Tuesday, September 4, and he will be doing reports in the mornings from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m along with the noon show. He will probably also be a fill-in anchor as needed.
“I am really excited to stay in Kansas City and work for such a great station,” Stewart told Bottom Line. “I’ve always admired the way WDAF puts together their morning show – it’s loose, fun and informative at the same time. I’m looking forward to showing more sides of my personality every single morning while working hard to break stories and give viewers the news they need to know to start their day.”
Stewart had been the morning and weekend co-anchor at the CBS affiliate with Kelly Jones for about a year, replacing Greg Adaline, who had been in the position for about a year and who has since moved to WLNS in Lansing, MI.
Stewart officially signed off August 2 and a new morning team of Alexis Del Cid and Dave Hall were brought in.
Jones was given a new position as co-host along with Lisa Holbrook on a new morning lifestyle show called ”Better KC”that will debut September 10.
All the turmoil surrounding his departure at KCTV has taken its told on the popular broadcaster.
“I won’t lie. It’s been a challenging year for me professionally,” he says. ”But I am thrilled that news director Bryan McGruder, morning executive producer Jana Calkins, and general manager Cheryl McDonald realized what I could bring to their show – knowledge of the issues important to Kansas Citians delivered by an experienced, familiar, and trusted broadcaster.
“I love Kansas City. My dream has always been to report and anchor here, and I feel blessed that I will get to continue to do that for many years to come,” he adds.
The battle for ratings in the very important morning news arena could now become very interesting in Kansas City. Fox 4, which was the morning ratings leader for years until it began finishing second to KMBC in mornings in the latest ratings books. The addition of Stewart will bring a familiar face to its broadcasts and the Fox station has also replaced the late Don Harman with Karli Ritter as its morning meteorologist.
On the other hand, Del Cid, a morning show professional from Portland, and Hall, a solid anchor from Las Vegas, are becoming more comfortable in the KC market. The duo should be in high-gear entering the upcoming November TV sweeps period, which starts October 26.
Stewart began his career as a photographer at WOWT-TV in Omaha. Before coming to Kansas City, he was a reporter/anchor at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, KHGI-TV in Kearney, Neb., and WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio.
The Omaha native has collected several awards for his reporting during his 15-year career, including Associated Press honors in both Nebraska and Ohio. He also received Emmy recognition for spot news reporting by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences.
Stewart recently wrote a book about his football playing days as a walk-on at Northwestern University where he received his journalism degree.
He and his wife, Chrissy, reside in Lenexa with their three young children.