Leslie Turk

KATC's Fontenot rises to top anchor post

by Leslie Turk

Marcelle Fontenot, who has been co-anchoring the 6 p.m. newscast Monday through Friday at KATC-TV3 for two years, has been promoted to the anchor desk for the 5 p.m. and coveted 10 p.m. newscasts. She will work alongside veteran anchor Hoyt Harris. Fontenot replaces Julie Kelley, who abruptly left the station in August after what General Manager Andrew Shenkan called a "staffing modification to [the station's] news anchor team structure" that was to go into effect a few days before Kelley left. Kelley had been with KATC for a decade.

The decision to employ a single female anchor was in part financially driven, in terms of marketing of the anchors as well as paying multiple anchors, Shenkan says. The station notes that its two-anchor evening news team creates the only such format in the Acadiana market. "We believe this move will benefit our viewers by having the only consistent news anchor team covering news stories throughout the entire evening," he says.

An Opelousas native, Fontenot has risen to the top spot after only two years of experience at the anchor's desk. She joined KATC in 2001 as an intern and after graduating from Southern University went to work for KDCG-TV in Opelousas as producer and host of its Parental Vision program. In 2004 she returned to KATC as a reporter and within two years was promoted to co-anchor at 6 p.m.