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Channel 3 grounds helicopter; news director leaves

Updated May 13, 2023 - 9:07 am

As Stephanie Wheatley talked of why she left KSNV Channel 3, she was taking her young sons to a show, “Michael Jackson One.”

“I have two boys and I am a single mom, and I have realized I get one shot at their childhood,” Wheatley said in a phone chat Friday night. “I need to be more available for them.”

Wheatley has left her post as news director at KSNV Channel 3, effective Friday. She has accepted a position as public information officer for Clark County. Her first day is Monday.

Clark County employees work four-day weeks, Mondays through Thursdays. A news director’s job is essentially every waking hour, tracking current events, other media outlets and social media.

“You tell yourself you can do it all,” Wheatley said, “but when you have two young sons, you can’t give them your full attention.”

Wheatley notified staff two weeks ago of her decision to leave. She had spent the past eight years at the Las Vegas NBC affiliate. Prior to that, she was executive producer at Fox 5.

“We wanted her to stay, we all wanted her to stay,” KSNV General Manager Larry Strumwasser said Friday. “She’s moving out of the industry, we will miss her and we wish her well.”

KSNV has also grounded its Sky 3 chopper, temporarily. Strumwasser said the station is renewing the helicopter’s insurance policy, changing the language of the coverage, and it should be back in the air “in the next few weeks.”

The station is now searching for a new news director to fill the void created by Wheatley’s departure.

“I loved working at the station,” Wheatley said. “Larry is the best GM, we had a great team. I’m just looking for better home-life balance.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykatson Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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