Here's why you haven't seen that 30-second "Good Morning Beautiful" promo for WCPO-TV's Good Morning Tri-State newscasts recently.
Two of the Black journalists prominently featured in the video – Jasmine Minor and Timyka Artist – have left the station.
Artist, who has not anchored weekend morning newscasts for several weeks, says she's no longer employed by WCPO after five years hosting Good Morning Tri-State on weekend. She posted the news on Facebook Sunday, and did not mention any new job.
"For now, I plan to spend lots of quality time with my family/friends and traveling as much as I can until I am ready for my next big adventure," Artist says. "This show may be over, but as we say in the broadcasting business, stay tuned."
Morning news reporter Minor left the station last Wednesday, April 21. The former Division I tennis player for the University of Oregon says she's "heading to a new opportunity and taking another step in this beautiful journey," according to her Facebook post. Minor was hired in 2018 from the Fox affiliate in Fort Meyers, Fla.
When I emailed WCPO-TV Vice President Jeff Brogan about their departures, he didn't provide any specific details. I also asked if he was committed to filling the Minor and Artist vacancies with African Americans or minorities.
"It's not that unusual to have employees coming-and-going in this business as journalists grow their careers," Brogan says.
"As positions open, we look around our industry to find the best journalists to join our awesome team. Our goal is to reflect the community with our coverage and that comes with having a diverse news team – it's one of our top priorities."
Channel 9 has the most diverse newsroom of the four Cincinnati TV stations with newscasts. Almost one-third (10) of the 33 on-air Channel 9 staffers are minorities, according to the station's website.
The 10 are news anchor (Adrian Whitsett), one weather anchor (Sherry Hughes), two sports reporters/anchors (Keenan Singleton, Reggie Wilson) and six reporters (Monique John, Whitney Miller, Raven Richard, Larry Seward, Lisa Smith and Kristen Swilley). Six have been hired in the past 24 months (John, Miller, Richard, Seward, Whitsett and Wilson).
The "Good Morning Beautiful" promotion, adapted from the song by Luke McMaster and Jim Brickman, premiered last year. Minor and Artist appeared twice in the 30 seconds, along with shots of anchor Julie O'Neill; meteorologists Jennifer Ketchmark and Austin Winfield; reporter Ally Kraemer; and traffic reporter Sina Gebre-Ab. Whitsett was added after he arrived in October.
Artist came to Cincinnati in 2015, after nearly 10 years at Pittsburgh's WPIX-TV. The Temple University graduate previously had worked as executive producer of the Radio Times talk show on Philadelphia's WHYY-FM; an associate producer for NPR's Talk of the Nation in Washington D.C.; and a producer, reporter-host for WUPW-TV in Toledo.
Here's the full message posted by Artist Sunday:
"YES it’s true ... after 5+ years of hosting Good Morning Tri-State Weekend Edition, I AM NO LONGER at WCPO 9. It has been a tremendous honor to serve you for so many years. Your constant support and encouragement have made me a better journalist and an even better person. I am forever grateful. For now, I plan to spend lots of quality time with my family/friends and traveling as much as I can UNTIL I am READY for my next big adventure. The sky’s the limit, and I’m floating on a cloud.
"Please continue to support all of my friends and colleagues at WCPO. They are some of the hardest working people I know. THIS show may be over, but as we say in the broadcasting business, stay tuned... the BE$T is yet to come. And if you happen to see me around town, don’t hesitate to say 'hello.' Smooches."
After getting a sports marketing degree from the University of Oregon in 2015, Minor earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism in 2017 from Northwestern University. While in Chicago, she was an on-air NFL draft reporter for CSN Chicago (Comcast SportsNet), now called NBC Sports Chicago.
She posted this message April 21:
"SOME NEWS! Today was my last day with WCPO 9. I’m excited to say I’ll be heading to a new opportunity and taking another step in this beautiful journey!
What a road it has been with all of you. Thank you for letting me into your homes and allowing me to tell the stories that matter. The last couple years, you all have blessed me so much with your welcoming kindness and I thank you, dearly, for challenging me to be better and better each and every day.
Thank you for laughing, crying, learning and growing with me. I will miss you all. I’ll be announcing my next step soon! Please stay in touch!"