KARK Faces of the News

Published 04/14 2014 12:28PM

Updated 04/14 2014 10:31PM

KARK anchors at the
KARK anchors at the "Big 4" desk. (Left to right): Ron Sherman, Tom Bonner, Rob Wiley, Dave Woodman, Tom Siler and Roy Mitchell.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Long before Bob Clausen and Ashley Ketz took their seats at the KARK news desk, dozens of others graced our cameras.

When the station first went on the air in 1954, the newscasts were divided into segments with no interaction between the newscasters.

The newscast went something like this: a newsman came on first, delivered the day's top stories and tossed to the first commercial break. After that, the weatherman (now called meterologist) would have his turn, followed by the sports anchor. News programs in those days typically ran about 15 minutes.

Some of those listed below were only on the air briefly while others had long careers with KARK. The list is not complete and some of the time periods are not certain, since we've had to rely mostly on the memories of others, but it includes:
  • Bill Cassaday - delivered the news on KARK radio and television in its very early days. He remained with the station as a staff announcer. In the 60's, he anchored the news programs "Roadshow" at 4:30 p.m. and "Nightbeat" at 9:05 p.m.
  • Frank Dill - delivered the news in the 1950s. Click here for more information.
  • Les Bolton - delivered the news in the 1950s/60s. He died in 1988.
  • Don Corbet - delivered the news in the 1960s/70s. He died in 2003.
  • Bob Buice - did mostly farm news.
  • Ted Biggs - delivered the news in the 1970s.
  • Ann Sawyer - she did the noon news in the 1970s.
  • Roy Mitchell - he joined the station in the early 70s and would become an Arkansas news legend, remaining with the station until his death in 1989.
  • Carolyn Long - joined the station in 1978 as co-anchor to Roy Mitchell. Their pairing, along with Tom Bonner's weather and Dave Woodman's sports would make them a dominant force in Little Rock television news for more than a decade. She also produced a very popular segment on adoption called "Wednesday's Child."
  • Ron Gardner - weekend and fill-in anchor in the 1970s. He left KARK in 1984.
  • Bob Vernon - he joined the station in the 1980s for a few years.
  • Craig Wilson - he was on the news desk in the 1980s.
  • Cynthia Rowland - morning anchor 1980-83.
  • Jerri Jackson - she joined the station in the 1980s and was with KARK about 10 years.
  • Perry Boxx - he joined the station in the 1980s and was with KARK a few years.
  • Stacy Allison - she was with the station as weekend anchor in the 80s.
  • Steve Barnes - he was with the station off and on the 80s and 90s.
  • Bob Donaldson - he was with the station in the 80s/90s.
  • Deborah Mathis - she was with the station 1976 - 1981.
  • Doug Krile - he was with the station 1986 - 1997. 
  • Carole Copeland - she was with the station in the 90s.
  • Margaret Preston - she was with the station 1986-1996.
  • Betsy Pilgrim - she was with the station in the 90s.
  • Sonja Deaner - she was with the station in the 90s.
  • Jack Martin - he came to KARK from Armed Forces radio and television in the late 1980s and left for a job in Pittsburgh in 1992.
  • Kent Bates - he was with the station in the 90s.
  • Bob Clausen - KARK's main anchor today, Bob joined the station in 1994 and has been here ever since.
  • Kevin Steele - weekend anchor 1996-1999..
  • Claudia Coffey - weeknight evening co-anchor 1998-1999.
  • Deanna Durante - she was with KARK as weekend anchor in the 2000s. She left in 2005.
  • Denise Kirkland (Whitaker) - she was with the station in the late 90's into the mid 2000s.
  • Lyndall Stout - weekend anchor 2003-2005.
  • Alice Stewart - fill-in anchor 1998-2005.
  • Sarah Zapp - morning show anchor in early 2000s.
  • Jancey Sheats - she joined the station as weeknight anchor in 2005 and is now a fill-in anchor and producer of the Community Service Awards.
  • Barbara Roberts - she was with the station in the early 2000s.
  • Melissa Simas - she joined the station in 2006, working as reporter, morning/noon news anchor and evening anchor before leaving KARK in 2011.
  • Lauren Trager - weekend anchor left the station in 2012.
  • Wendy Suares - KARK 4 Today anchor 2010-2013.
  • Jessica Dean - she joined KARK as weekend anchor in 2010 and by the next year was moved to the evening news desk with Bob Clausen. She left KARK in 2013 for a news anchor job in Philadelphia.

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