KSHB investigative reporter Ryan Kath is leaving the station to join the I-team at WBZ in Boston, which is owned by CBS.
Kath, 34, arrived at Channel 41 in 2006 as a morning reporter. “That was the 3 a.m. shift I never quite got used to,” he said Wednesday. “I was never good about getting to bed on time.” (At 6 p.m.)
But he moved on to reporting for the 10 p.m news and then in 2010 joined KSHB’s investigative unit, which at the time included reporters Russ Ptacek (now at WUSA in Washington, D.C.) and Keith King.
Since Mark Clegg left KSHB last summer, Kath has also occasionally filled in as anchor.
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Boston is not only a much larger TV market than Kansas City (No. 7 vs. No. 31), but it’s also a “nostalgic place” for Kath and his wife, Carla.
They met as graduate students at Boston University. Later, when he was working at a TV station in Rochester, Minn., and she as a producer in Jackson, Miss., he proposed, and they returned to Boston to exchange vows in the BU chapel.
He had grown up in Minnesota (the Twin Cities), Carla in Mississippi. They now have two small daughters.
Kath’s investigative journalism professor at BU also was a longtime investigative reporter at WBZ then, and “I remember him taking us on a tour of the station.”
At the top of his highlights reel at KSHB: digging into the 2013 explosion of JJ’s Restaurant. Channel 41’s hourlong special on the catastrophe won a prestigious duPont Award from Columbia University.
Going to New York to accept a duPont (along with the likes of NBC’s Brian Williams and CBS’ Scott Pelley) “was a night we will never forget,” Kath says.
Other memorable stories here include a series on forged real-estate deeds and one on returning to family members the cremated remains found in an abandoned funeral home. Then there’s “some of the shenanigans at Kansas City City Hall” such as allegations against Councilman Michael Brooks, who resigned in December.
One thing you might not know about Kath is that he played Division III soccer as an undergrad at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., and he still plays in a “washed-up,” over-30 league on Friday nights.
Kath expects to sign off from KSHB toward the end of February.