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Kelley Smith is promoted to Morning Anchor


After sharing the news of Melissa Riopka’s departure last week, we are delighted to announce that News 19 Anchor/Reporter Kelley Smith has been promoted to co-anchor of News 19 This Morning.

Kelley started at News 19 nearly four years ago as MMJ/Reporter.

She was later promoted to Weekend Morning Anchor, then Weekend Evening Anchor while working with the Investigation Team.

Kelley was my first anchor on News 19 when we both worked weekend nights together. During that time, she taught me a lot about the ins and outs of work and the industry. She is a fantastic mentor in my life and I wouldn’t be the producer I am today without her.

Morning Producer Spencer Brooks

She has worked extensively on stories like the Kathleen Miller murder case, COVID-19 in the prison system, and the Christopher Henderson criminal trial.

Kelley was no stranger to the Tennessee Valley as her family is originally from Madison, but she grew up in California.

She earned her journalism degree at Arizona State University and her first job as a reporter was in Helena, Montana.

Excited for Kelley! She has already proven that she is an excellent journalist and an excellent presenter. She will be the 4and person I shared the morning Anchor Desk with, and I can’t believe I’m lucky to have yet another great partner. I may be the luckiest person on News 19…ever!

Morning Presenter Steve Johnson

In her last move to News 19, Kelley was promoted to the morning shift as an 8 a.m./12 p.m. anchor in October 2021. She sat next to Melissa during the 8 a.m. hour 00 from News 19 This Morning on WHDF and anchored News 19 at noon on WHNT/WHDF.

Kelley is going to be a wonderful addition to the 5-7am hours of News 19 This Morning! She already brings so much warmth and professionalism to our 8 a.m. hour on the North Alabama CW. It’s been an absolute pleasure working alongside her over the past few months and she’s proven to be more than capable of keeping Ben and Steve on track 😂

Morning Presenter Melissa Riopka

In her new role, she will be on the air from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and will take responsibility for the midday interview segment previously led by Melissa.

I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Kelley to take on this new role. She is already a valued member of our morning team and I am thrilled to see her take this next step!

Morning Executive Producer Taelor Hopwood

Kelley will transition to the co-anchor seat next to longtime News 19 anchor Steve Johnson for News 19 This Morning on March 21.


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