Over the years, many men and women have anchored the morning news on WPSD TV, called AM NEWSBEAT, then Today and now the format has since changed to a 2 hour version with the first hour called SUNRISE and the second hour Today  with two anchor people and a weather person.  However, although channel 6 wasn't the FIRST to do a morning program, they do remain as one of this area's BEST morning news shows!!  This is my salute to all the men and women who have gotten "up with the chickens" over the years....
The Current Anchors
Suzanne Farmer  managed to grace us with her warm personality and beautiful smile every morning, even though she was up with the chickens every day!!  On April 28, 2004 she passed the torch on to Pam Spencer when she left channel 6 to take a position in marketing and public relations at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah.

Suzanne, who grew up in London, Ky and is a HUGE(no, that's not a strong enough word...RABID!!!)Kentucky Wildcats fan(she covered the team in 1996, 97 and 98 while they were on their way to the NCAA title and runner-up title). Also, whatever you do, don't bring up that the show(her favorite) Frasier is going off the air! 
She's also won some awards while at WPSD...among the awards she's recieved are the Kentucky Associated Press Awards in Breaking News and Public Service Reporting.  She also served as the Education reporter at WPSD and is active in the March of Dimes. At homeSuzanne, along with her husband Todd,  stay busy with daughter, Reagan Farmer.   Suzanne is also the proud "parent" of her yellow lab...(okay it's a Golden Retriever) Lucy....
John Champion joined the WPSD team and morning show in 2001, but it wasn't the first time he had an association with WPSD.  When he was a teenager he was one of the ORIGINAL Weather Watchers back in 1986 and later returned to WPSD as an intern with WPSD legend Cal Sisto!
Kara Brooks, an Indianapolis, Indiana native, handled the morning show duties on Saturday Morning and later the evening newscasts on WPSD on the weekend. Ms. Brooks recently received the Grand Worthy Matron's Community Service Award and was named 2003 BPW KY Southwest Region Young Careerist. She also recieved second place honors from the Kentucky Associated Press Awards in 2002 for "Best Continuing News Coverage", "Best Reporter" and "Best News Series".  Ms. Brooks left WPSD in the spring of 2005 to return to her native Indianapolis as a reporter for WXIN Fox 59.
Pam Spencer was already known for a few years as a weather authority on WPSD  until she became  co-anchor of Newschannel 6 Sunrise and Today as well as the midday newscasts.

Ms. Spencer hails from Memphis, TN and got her first job as an intern at a tv station in Knoxville before heading to Marquette, Michigan where she served as a weather anchor and reporter. She headed closer to home when she came to WPSD in July 2000. Ms. Spencer is married to Mark, they are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Miranda Skye,  and they are the "parents" of two doggies, Dingo and Murray.  Pam left WPSD in August of 2007 and now serves as the Public Information Officer for the city of Paducah, KY.
The morning news on Channel 6 was started in 1979 by WPSD TV legend Tom Butler. Called, AM Newsbeat, it was only a half hour but was packed with all the news you'd need for the day. The first anchor was Bill Barnhill, a McCracken county native. Mr. Barnhill was hired due to the fact that he could do both the news and weather, a requirement as there was only one anchor in the half hour newscast.

After Barnhill departed, other anhcors followed, inluding Polly Van Doren, Steve Patton and Terry Reeves. Polly Van Doren would leave the morning to become one of the anchors of the 10 o'clock broadcast. She left WPSD to go to a station in
Springfield, MO(KOLR TV 10) where she is news director. She is now married and goes by the name Polly Van Doren-Orr.

Mr. Patton came over from WSIL TV in Harrisburg. He was the evening anchor at channel 3 before coming to Channel 6 in the early 80's. He left to work at Paducah Community College in their Public Relations Departement.

Terry Reeves anchored also in the 1980's, but would later become News Director at WPSD. He would return to the morning news in the 1990's.(see below)

I began watching the morning show in 1989 and had watched faithfully through 1994, but due to a change in my work schedule, could no longer view the show. I did catch the show throughout the years and watched as the show changed formats, anchors and names(to Newschannel 6 Sunrise and Today).
A Little Early Riser History
(special thanks to Tom Butler)
The former Early Risers.....
Some get to sleep a little later.....some don't!
Jim Hackler was the anchor in the late 80's, early nineties back when the show was 30 minutes and called AM Newsbeat.  Mr. Hackler has worn many hats in the years since he left WPSD in August of 1991.(including a stint as a stand-up comedian!).  He now works as an environmentalist and has a fantastic website called THE URBANE ENVIRONMENTALIST(click on link). 
David Rose was the morning anchor in the early 90's. Prior to his anchor position David served as a reporter for WPSD and was awarded "Reporter of the Year" from the Associated Press of Kentucky for his coverage of Operation Desert Storm. Mr. Rose left WPSD to anchor at a San Antonio, TX. station. Rose moved on to Chicago where he launched the 3 hour morning news telecast "Good Day Chicago" on FOX. From 1995-97, Mr. Rose was a reportor and anchor on the nationally syndicated show EXTRA where he met many celebrities and even got to cover the Oscars! Afterward David moved on to KCOP TV in Los Angeles where he won a Golden Mike award for his investigative reporting. From 2002-March of 2007, David was the anchor of Good Morning Tri-State AND the highly rated early evening newcast on WCPO TV in Cincinnati, OH.  There he was awarded the 2007 Best Anchor award in the large market Category in Ohio given by the Associated Press Broadcasters Association.  David has now moved on to Q 13, Fox News in Seattle, WA where he anchors the news at 9pm and 10 pm.  David also hosts WASHINGTON'S MOST WANTED a weekly crime fighting show that has helped capture numerous fugitives since November 2008.
Johnette Worak is now one of the main anchors on the 5 and 6 o'clock news shows on WPSD, but she started out at WPSD at the Illinois channel 6 newsroom where she did the update reports during the Today show along with David Rose and Jim Hackler in the early 90's.
After David Rose's departure, Johnette anchored the AM news with Lew Jetton on weather in the early nineties.
But before WPSD Ms. Worak served as a reporter and weekend anchor on WSIL TV in Harrisburg, Il.
Johnette in 1986 at WSIL TV 3.
Lew Jetton  came aboard WPSD in 1989(where he has done weather and sports),Meteorologist Lew Jetton was the morning weatherman for most of the 1990's before moving on to the midday and early evening newscasts in 2001. Mr. Jetton is a gifted musician and has recorded 2 albums of blues with his band 61 South. The first cd is called State Line Blues and features songs that Mr. Jetton wrote himself. The cd has won many awards from respected Blues magazines and has been played in many countries around the world.  Lew has followed up State Line Blues with a new CD, Tales From a 2 Lane. Visit Lew's website by clicking here!

Lew left WPSD on May 23, 2007 after 18 years there.  Lew has  taken a Marketing Management position with the Paducah Area Transit System(PATS). 
I got to meet Lew in 2002 during his gig with 61 South at Herrin Festa Italiana 2002!
Lew in the early 90's
State Line Blues is Lew Jetton & 61 South's EXCELLENT cd!
Terry Reeves not only anchored the morning news, he served as the News Director at WPSD during the 80's. Mr. Reeves left WPSD after many years of service to take a position as the Communications director at Dippin Dots.  Terry is now the "Concierge" for EntrePaducah, where he helps entrepreneurs with their business endeavors.
visit website by clicking on link.
Ron Rhodes was the meteorologist on Newschannel 6 Today back in the mid-nineties. Mr. Rhodes is now the chief Meteorologist for WTVW Fox 7 in Evansville, In(where he resides with his wife Marcia and son Jordan.
Karl Parker anchored the  morning show in the mid-nineties.  Parker left to return to his native New Jersey area..
Jennifer Gladstone co-anchored the morning news in the 90's. After growing tired of the early morning shift, Ms. Gladstone returned to her hometown of Atlanta, GA to take a position at WGCL TV as a reporter and fill-in anchor. She  left WGCL for an anchor postition for Sinclair Broadcasting. Her news segments aired on various Sinclair Broadcasting stations around the country!  Jennifer now is the morning anchor(an early riser again) at WBFF Fox 45 in Baltimore, MD.   Ms. Gladstone is also married with a child and  an adult competitive figure skater!
Jennifer(in the middle), the award winning skater!
Mike Mallory joined the WPSD family in 1998 as the anchor of Newschannel 6 Today with a popular segment called "Mallory's Gallery", which featured his wacky sense of humor. He went on to anchor the midday and 5 o'clock news with Johnette Worak.  On April 26, 2004 he made a triumphant return to the glorious life of a morning show anchor!

Mr. Mallory also is an avid sports fan and a self described "baseball purist" He also enjoys coaching his sons' baseball teams.(He along with his wife, Jenny are the parents of 3 sons...Will, Alex and  Matthew)

I personally have this fear that I'll wake up on a table on my next birthday with Mike Mallory and an antique dealer standing over me deciding how much I'm worth.........
Erin Green left WPSD in 2001, but before she came she was a contestant on star search where she lost to Tatyana Ali,who appeared on the show The Prince of Bel Aire with Will Smith(so what! Erin got to work with Lew Jetton, Berndt Petersen  and Mike Mallory)......this clip has been repeated on Vh1 many times.

Erin was favorite at WPSD and remains one of my most searched here on the "Early Risers Club".  However, I am unsure of her current whereabouts.
Erin, as she appeared on Star Search
Tisha Thompson, a Potomac, Maryland native, seemed destined to be a news reporter. Her great-grandfather was a publisher. One of her grandfathers was a reporter for the Associated Press and the other was a newspaper publisher where his wife was the society editor. An uncle was the editor of Sucessful Farmer Magazine, while an Aunt was the food editor for Better Homes and Gardens. Ms. Thompson's mother is Lea Thompson, a correspondent for NBC.

Thompson earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University where she interned for MTV News in New York(where,in her teens, she caused a stir when she asked President Clinton "Is it boxers or briefs" during an MTV forum on Youth and violence) and later for ABC News(with Sam Donaldson, no less).

Ms. Thompson continued her education at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, MO(where she graduated at the top of her class!) While there she was the Missouri State Capital reporter for KOMU-TV, KMOX-AM and KBIA-FM. She also anchored the news at KOMU in Columbia.

Tisha was honored with the 2001 Stephen A. Trenkman Excellence In Broadcasting Television Award. Also, she is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honor society, the Society of Investigative Reporters and Editors(IRE) and the Society of Environmental Journalists(SEJ).

Tisha Thompson earned her right in the Early Risers Club as she used to anchor the morning news on Saturday Mornings with Pam Spencer on weather as well as being an investigative reporter for the station. She left WPSD in the Summer of 2003 to return to her Maryland roots to work at WMAR Channel2 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Ms. Thompson recently got some national exposure when CNN interviewed her about her boxer or briefs question to Pres. Clinton.
Berndt Petersen won many awards during his  stay at WPSD. They include 16 Associated Press awards, inluding one for best reporter of both 2000,2001 AND 2002! He's also won the Edward R. Morrow Award for feature reporting. In October 2001, Berndt became the first reporter at WPSD to win an Emmy Award. Not bad for someone that originally went to college to major in Accounting.   Berndt added another Emmy at his current station WFTV for his story "Too Many Lights".

  Berndt  left WPSD in March of 2004 to take a position at WFTV  an Orlando, Florida television station.

While living in Paducah, you could often find Berndt at the golf course....and don't mess with his cats.  Berndt is the proud owner of two cats, most famously, Newman, whom  Berndt lost for a few weeks when he got away during a trip to the vet, but triumphantly found after a long search!  Berndt is also very interested in the Civil War and would often attend the reinactments and the costume balls held in our area.

Honorary Member of the Early Riser's Club
April Cochrane has appeared many times over the years on the morning show at WPSD to promote the latest plays at Paducah's Market House Theatre. She's always enthusiastic and friendly and earns the right as an honorary member of the Early Risers Club! To view the Market House Theatre webpage click HERE.
Before my old guest book went down(SIGN THE NEW ONE BELOW)......Polly Van Doren-Orr left a nice message.  Luckily I salvaged it before it disappeared into cyber-space..here is the entry....
Wow!! I'm a flash from the past!! I thought I was the only person who remembered my morning show days. My first appearance was in July, 1981 and I was a scared rabbit. I learned so much about the business from the likes of Tom Butler, Ernie Mitchell, Doug Harnice, Sam Burrage, Ron Beaton and Al Tompkins (now of Poynter Institute). Truly proving there are fewer than six degrees of separation in the world is the fact that Mike Mallory and I were co-anchors from 1990-1994 in Evansville, Indiana. Be nice to the people you know now....you never know where you'll meet up with them again! Thanks for the great memories.-Polly Van Doren-Orr
Contact the Webmaster
David on Extra
David in the early 90's on  AM Newsbeat on WPSD
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with WPSD TV.  To Visit the OFFICIAL site of WPSD click here.  Thanks to all who helped on this site and all images were taken from various sources.  If any of the images used on this site violate copyright laws, please contact the webmaster and they will be removed.
To see some "where are they nows" on former news personalities in the Southern Illinois area, click on map below for my site SOUTHERN ILLINOIS TELEVISION BLASTS FROM THE PAST.
Staci Bynum has joined the Early Risers Club as she anchored Newschannel 6 Saturday.  Staci moved on toanother local station WSIL TV  3, where's she was a full time "Early Riser" as the co-anchor of the morning news there.  Recently Staci left the television business to work in another field.   She is an SIU grad who interned at Channel 6 before becoming a reporter.  .   She and and Husband Matthew have a beautiful daughter, Christina.
Berndt's last day at WPSD(March 26, 2004)....tears were shed and gifts were given.
Emily(Webb) Elliot was on the staff at WPSD from 1995-2001.  She had done many jobs there including directing the morning and midday newscasts.  She now is married and works at KTUL in Tulsa, OK.  She has a GREAT webpage which you can visit by clicking  HERE
Suzanne Farmer
Lynda Hammond anchored Newschannel 6 Today in the mid-nineties.  She now is in Phoenix, Arizona where she does television  commercial work.
Lynda as she appears now
A great send-off for Suzanne as she left WPSD on April 28, 2004,  with some special guests, gifts(including Frasier DVDs!) and a rather patriotic squirrel who was NUTS for the red, white and blue.
Berndt Petersen said "hello" and "goodbye" to Suzanne on her last day from WFTV in Florida.  Berndt looked tanned and rested.....
Jennifer Rukavina,  comes to us from WCBI TV in Columbus, Mississippi and is a native of Canton, Ohio.  Jennifer and her husband just welcomed their first child, a son, in August of 2006.  Rukavina is now doing the later evening weathercasts on WPSD.
P. Allen Smith
P. Allen Smith stopped by the WPSD studios on January 21, 2005 while on a stop in Paducah, KY for a lecture at the Garden Guru's event at the expo-center.     P. Allen fielded questions from the viewers and gave a demonstration on topiary. Smith's segments have appeared on the morning show on WPSD for a few years now.
Mary Bleier anchored the Saturday morning edition of Newschannel 6 Today from 2005 to October 2007.  She returned to her native California.
Beth Bradley joined WPSD TV Sunrise and Today in October 2007.  Beth was the anchor of "Good Morning West Texas" at KMID-TV in Midland/Odessa, Texas. 
Jim Hackler doing the weather on AM Newsbeat
Jim Hackler the COMEDIAN
Free Guestbook from Bravenet Free Guestbook from Bravenet