Joel Nichols will be returning to local TV. KSHB, Channel 41, started airing teaser spots Sunday proclaiming that “Joel’s Back.”
But the affable Nichols — an early-morning fixture on KMBC, Channel 9, untilhis abrupt departure Dec. 31
— isn’t back yet, and KSHB isn’t officially revealing much about when he’ll arrive or what he’ll be doing.
It is known that Nichols is riding out a noncompete clause in his KMBC contract, which is expected to expire in July. All KSHB will say is that Nichols will be on the air there this summer.
Nichols was mainly a weather anchor for Channel 9, although he is not a certified meteorologist. A KSHB source says that Nichols might do some weather there but it wouldn’t be his primary focus.
One strong possibility: co-hosting the station’s lifestyle show “Kansas City Live,” which airs at 10 a.m. weekdays. KSHB recently posted a job opening for co-host.
KSHB might also need a personality to attach to one of its two secondary digital channels, Cozi TV and Bounce. Cozi is a “classic TV” station in the mold of Me TV and Antenna TV, managed in the KC market by KMBC and WDAF, respectively. Bounce is targeted at an African-American audience.
Nichols joined KMBC in 1988. He was most associated with its successful “First News” morning broadcast, but late last year management apparently wanted him to move to an evening schedule, including Friday and Saturday nights.
His last day on air was Dec. 31. Nichols has not publicly commented on his departure. The station’s news director said he made the decision to leave.
A month after Nichols exited, meteorologist Lisa Teachman left Channel 9.She just landed on KCTV-5’s morning show.