News director Finch out at Channel 6

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Two of the four Indianapolis television stations are without news directors after WRTV-TV Channel 6 parted ways with industry veteran Kevin Finch, less than two years after hiring him.

A WRTV spokesman on Thursday confirmed that Finch was no longer with the station, but declined to provide details, citing station policy that prohibits commenting on personnel matters.

WISH-TV Channel 8 is also without a news director after terminating Patti McGettigan in August after 17 years with parent company LIN TV Corp., which is based in Rhode Island.

Finch, a longtime TV news director and producer, arrived at WRTV in April 2011 and was one of the first hires for the station’s new general manager, Larry Blackerby.

Six months later, media company The E.W. Scripps Co. bought WRTV and eight other TV stations from The McGraw-Hill Cos. for $212 million in cash.

Finch did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday.

Rick Gevers, a locally based agent for on-air news people, said Scripps will need to provide stability at WRTV for the station to have success. The station, he said, has had six news directors in the past decade.

“I think the station has had a lot of turnover in the news director ranks,” Gevers said “[WRTV does] have a new owner, and I don’t think that’s [Scripps’] style to have a revolving door.”

Since the departure of anchors Clyde Lee and Diane Willis a decade ago, WRTV has lagged well behind WTHR-TV Channel 13 and WISH-TV Channel 8 in local news viewership.

In the past three years, the station's ratings have grown worse. WXIN-TV Channel 59 has expanded its news offerings to become more competitive and put WRTV into fourth place in several time slots.

Before joining WRTV, Finch wrote and produced documentaries for cable networks at Calamari Productions, a video production house. He previously spent six years at WISH, where he was assistant news director before being promoted to news director in 2007.

He also spent 13 years at WTHR, where he was executive producer of special projects and news co-brands.


  • Problem with the USPS
    I have a problem with the South Indianapolis USPS office. A package that was address to my wife just got lost because the stupidity of their employee and NO HAS DONE A THING to solve the problem. The Manager of the office Mr. Marcel, who after over 2 days of supposedly investigation could not even tell me where or what happen, is just a useless individual... Actually the entire USPS is a useless organization and I can tell you that it is doomed to disappeared if we the Americans do something about it. I have try to contact the Consumers Affairs Division and after leaving 5 messages have not received even a call from them... THE SYSTEM JUST SUCKS... And this is just the USPS, what we can expect out of the rest of the government!!!! CRAP... It is a very scary situation for us in USA... We are loosing our country and looks like no body cares!!! How stupid we can be?
    I worked briefly for WRTV and I can attest that the environment there is not pleasant and in many ways, they are technologically challenged, especially compared to the other local stations. While working there it felt like it was the 1990's in the way they did things and in their capabilities. Even the newsroom itself is sub-par and news directors are not the only positions with a high turnover. The same goes for producers and reporters and assignment editors. That place is a train wreck.
  • Tough Business
    I guess I don't understand what people are looking for in news personalities. I don't believe I have a favorite. They all seem acceptable to me. And I don't know how the ratings work. If my wife has the news on in the background and I have ESPN on in the den, what is being rated? With DVR's and hundreds of channels, the competition for our attention is fierce. There is just no comparison to the past - today is a totally different world. And of course, it is all abut advertising and who doesn't turn away during the ads anyway.
  • Not the Same
    WRTV hasn't been the same since the mid-1990's. I think it can all be traced back to when Debbie Bush was hired as News Director. She went in and started messing with the on-air talent eventually pushing out Clyde, Diane, Swoop and Ed Sorenson.
  • Could it be
    Boner decisions like not giving Rafael more leeway to zero in like Dave Barras, his rival did, on the biggest financial crimes story to hit indiana newsrooms, or putting their best crime reporter Jack Rinehart in the background....I mean, this is the NEWS, not ETV...Hello...
  • Good Luck, Kevin
    I worked with Kevin a WTHR. Smart, passionate and someone you want on your side. Sorry, for whatever reason, things didn't work out at RTV. Good guys always land on their feet and I wish Kevin the best.
  • Things have changed
    Times have changed. Those guys (all white men by the way) had their time. It just ain't 1979 anymore....
  • Bring back your successful roots
    WRTV used to be the "news station" when Howard Caldwell, Clyde Lee, Field Anchor Ken Nelson, Sports with Craig Roberts and Weather with Bob McClain ruled the airwaves. It was a legendary team. That was a power packed news team and package never seen before or since then. Of course you have to be over 45 to remember this. Bottom line... Go back to the way WRTV used to report the news and present it. Even structure the newscast they way it was back then. The news personalities were truly part of the community and also became an institution here. There is no real continuity and connection with channel 6's news anymore. They had more of a "conservative" approach to news which reflected the state as a whole back then and is that way now. They have lost that. There was a time where WRTV's news ratings were 3 to 4 times the ratings of the others and in numerous cases more than doubled the ratings of channel 8 and 13 combined back then. Go back to what made you successful in the past and stick with it. Those above 45 remember this all too well. We miss it. Start with having the news directors to the anchors and reporters watch archive newscasts from June 1st 1979 to June 1st 1980 timeframe. Classic news coverage and ground breaking for the time. We may never see another news team as powerful as Howard, Clyde, Ken, Craig and Bob but we can surely build something that is a lot better than what we have now. Don’t forget your past. WE haven’t and want it back.

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