KSL-TV reporter Jay Kolls is about to become a KUTV reporter. He's making the cross-town move next week.
"It just came down to that old cliche - it was an offer I couldn't refuse," Kolls said. "It's an opportunity for growth. (Ch.) 5's entrenched with anchors - Bruce (Lindsay), Dick (Nourse), Keith (McCord). I'm looking down the road 4 or 5 years, and I think there's more chance for me over at 2."Although he's leaving one station to go to work for its competitor, Kolls is leaving KSL with the blessings of its management. Both Ch. 5 news director Lee Roderick and managing editor Lindsay have expressed regret at Kolls' departure and personal good wishes.
"It was a tough decision," Kolls said. "I really like the peoplke over here."
Kolls, a former KSL-radio reporter, has been co-hosting KSL's "Focus" since 1988 and became a fulltime television reporter in 1989. Officially, he'll be a reporter at KUTV but he also expects to get a chance to fill in as an anchor.
"Doing `Focus' and reporting all day can kind of turn into a grind," he said. "I'm looking forward to concentrating on reporting. They've never said to me, `You'll be anchoring,' but they probably will use me."
His somewhat less strenuous schedule will give him more time to spend with his wife, Ch. 2 weathercaster Rebecca Reheis.
"Our desks (at KUTV) are almost next to each other," Kolls said. "We might even get to anchor with her. That might be fun."
NO REPLACEMENT YET: KSL has interviewed several potential replacements for Kolls to co-host "Focus" with Shelly Osterloh, but no decision has been made yet.
NEW AT NOON: Meanwhile, KSL has added another anchor to its contingent - Gina Larsen joined the station last week as co-anchor of "Eyewitness News at Noon."
Larsen comes to Salt Lake City by way of Green Bay, Wisc., where she was a reporter and part-time anchor for two years, but she's a Provo native and BYU graduate.
She's been off the air for a couple of years - her return to Utah came about when her husband, Jon DuPre, got a job with KTVX-Ch. 4.
"I looked for a job when I first came back, the the nepotism thing scared people away quite a bit," Larsen said. "And I couldn't have asked for a better job to come back to.
"I'm just happy to get back into the business. I think Jon was glad too because he sort of felt like I left my career because of him."
Two years is a long time in terms of television, but Larsen said the layoff didn't affect her much.
And a two-year layoff didn't leave her with any jitters.
"I think everybody else was more nervous than I was," Larsen said. "It really is like riding a bicycle. It call comes back to you.
"And Brian (Mullahy) and Len (Randolph) are really easy to work with. I'm enjoying this a lot."
HOWE NOW: Former KSL reporter/anchor Jennifer Howe has surfaced in Los Angeles, where she's working for KCAL, a Disney-owned station.
However, the position may not be permanent. KCAL is reportedly giving several people "tryouts" as reporters, so Howe may or may not be hired fulltime.
RIESEN RECOVERING: KTVX anchorman Phil Riesen continues to show amazing progress after suffering a aneurysm in the base of his brain.
He's been released from the hospital and is at home now, showing every sign that he's headed for a complete recovery.