WZMQ 19 Launches Live, Local News Monday Oct. 3
WZMQ 19 will begin broadcasting news live from the station's new studios in historic downtown Marquette, Michigan, on Monday, Oct. 3.
Sarah Blakely returns to local television to anchor 19 News weeknights at 6/5c and 11/10c p.m.
Sarah arrived in the U.P. in 2012. She is a former morning and evening news anchor and was previously a reporter at the NBC station. She has also anchored news in South Dakota. A native of Indiana, Sarah graduated from Purdue University. She will also oversee the station’s news department as Executive Producer.
She will be joined by weather forecaster Ariane Stassek. Ariane graduated from Central Michigan University and began her broadcasting career in Marquette. She is a certified teacher with extensive educational experience. Before returning to the U.P., she spent time working for CBS Radio in Portland, Oregon.
Karl Bohnak joins WZMQ 19 after more than three decades as Chief Meteorologist at Marquette’s NBC affiliate. The Mining-Journal called Karl “the Upper Peninsula’s weatherman” after a 33-year forecasting career on local television. Karl will produce the weekly segment “That’s What Karl Says” each Wednesday at 6 p.m. Karl will focus on fascinating weather history and major weather events in the U.P. As the author of four books about U.P. weather history, Karl is uniquely positioned to bring the stories of big storms and weather phenomena to life.
Megan O’Connor is another former local anchor appearing weekly on 19 News. She will host “What’s UP with Megan O’Conner” Tuesdays at 6 p.m. with a unique perspective on local events and celebrations.
Longtime radio host Jim Koski will produce a weekly commentary titled “Life in the 906” Mondays at 6 p.m. on WZMQ 19. Koski is well recognized for his work in radio, community events and with WNMU-TV at Northern Michigan University.
“It’s important that journalists understand and appreciate the communities they serve,” said John Christianson, chief operating officer for Lilly Broadcasting. “We are very fortunate that every person on the WZMQ 19 team was already living in the U.P. when they joined the team. Having people like Sarah, Megan, Karl and Jim to provide additional context and background is a huge advantage.”
Also joining the 19 News team is Luke Ghiardi, sports director for MediaBrew Communications. Luke will produce a weekly segment titled “Cover 2” each Thursday that tells the story of local athletes and teams achieving success. Each Friday, WZMQ’s Scott Minshall will have a unique look at teams and players and their relationships with the U.P. with a segment titled YOU-P Sports.
The station built a new set, studios and newsroom at 142 W. Washington St. in Marquette. The second floor was gutted and completely remodeled to become the station's new home. Some construction continues in the back half of the building to complete the project.
19 News at 6 will include a live interview segment with local newsmakers called “Insights” hosted by Sarah Blakely. 19 News airs at 6/5c just before the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell. The late news begins at 11/10c.
WZMQ became the Michigan Upper Peninsula's CBS affiliate in late January. While the new station was built and local staff was hired, staff in Pennsylvania produced the station's news on a temporary basis.
“We are so excited to finally be ready to move into the new facility and become even more fully engaged," said Christianson. "This is a big step but not the last one."