There’s not usually a lot of hoopla associated with TV traffic reporters, but most TV traffic reporters aren’t dating Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray.
So if you find yourself newly interested in stop-and-go traffic on an interstate you never take to work, well, it’s OK.
It’s also why we feel duty-bound to inform you that Kacie McDonnell — great name for a Kansas Citian, huh? — has started her new job at KSHB, Channel 41.
But she won’t be seen on the air until next week. She’s spending her first several days getting her bearings and learning the station’s computerized traffic system.
McDonnell will do traffic reports on “41 Action News Today,” which airs from 4:30 to 7 a.m. weekdays.
KSHB did not, of course, hire McDonnell because she’s romantically attached to an NFL player. News director Carrie Hofmann points to McDonnell’s experience as a TV traffic reporter in Philadelphia, a city that’s somewhat more congested than our own.
Plus: “She has a real TV spark, that’s the phrase I would use,” Hofmann says. “There are people who are meant to be on television. She comes through the TV. She feels like the girl next door.
“She’s attractive, she’s smart and she did a great job of helping people get to work on time.”
It’s not typical that someone would move from a TV market the size of Philly to a smaller market like KC, but “she has a love interest here,” Hofmann says. “That’s a benefit for us.”
The addition of McDonnell is one of several changes being planned for KSHB’s fourth-place morning show. A new set is expected to be unveiled next week as well.
The news director says McDonnell has expressed interest in reporting, so she’ll do that after getting through morning rush hour. Her stories will likely turn up on KSHB’s 11 a.m. news or its 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.
On Monday, KSHB meteorologist Kalee Dionne tweeted this welcome:
And news producer Kim Woirhaye-Reid tweeted a little promo:
McDonnell came here from Fox 29 in Philadelphia, where she was also a fill-in anchor. She’s a 2012 graduate of Villanova University.
Fun fact: One of the anchors of Fox 29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” show is Mike Jerrick. Remember that name? Way back when, he was a “PM Magazine” host on KMBC, Channel 9, in Kansas City. McDonnell’s Facebook page features a picture of her with Jerrick on the set.
McDonnell replaces Michelle Apon, who did both traffic and weather for Channel 41. Apon moved with her husband when he took a job in Sacramento, Calif.