Dropped on Tuesday, scooped up Friday.
Every stretch of unemployment should be so brief as the one experienced by local TV newsman Jeff Gillan, who began the week as an anchor on cable channel Las Vegas One and ended it as a new hire at KVBC-TV, Channel 3.
The station announced Friday that it is bringing Gillan aboard its news team as assistant news director starting Nov. 9.
“It happened real quick, and I am thrilled to be reunited with Bob Stoldal, above and beyond anything,” Gillan says about the news chief at Channel 3, with whom he worked at Las Vegas One and KLAS-TV, Channel 8 from 2001-08. “Bob and I talk in shorthand, so it’s great. Channel 3 is a fantastic news organization and Bob is going to make it a very important and relevant news organization. Who wouldn’t want to hitch his wagon to that?”
Earlier this week, Gillan and his staff at Las Vegas One — reporter Carol Wilkinson, producer Daniel Gutierrez and photographer Vincent Cano — were let go when the channel shut down its hourlong “NewsONE at 9” weeknight newscast. Gillan had been its anchor and managing editor for the past eight years. The channel is a joint venture between the Greenspun Corp., Channel 8 and Cox Cable.
“Channel 8 released me from my noncompete (clause),” Gillan says. “They have been nothing less than gracious.”
Gillan had also co-hosted Las Vegas One’s “In Business Las Vegas” with Dana Gentry, who will now be its solo host as it continues production, along with “Face to Face with Jon Ralston.” The cancellation of “NewsONE at 9” was the latest casualty of the struggling economy for the Greenspun Corp., which also recently docked its interactive TV/Web site project, 702.tv, and suspended publication of its weekly community newspapers, the Henderson Home News and Boulder City News.
For now, Gillan will not be on-air on Channel 3. “As I understand my duties, I will help shape the newscasts, determining coverage on a daily basis, supervising reporters, helping with planning. I think my business card will read: ‘Help Wherever I Can.’ “
Gillan’s arrival coincides with Stoldal’s efforts to steer Channel 3 toward including longer, more substantial stories.
“I originally hired Jeff at (Channel) 8 for Las Vegas One, because he brought with him this experience and passion for journalism — and I mean journalism with a capital J — and he brings it in a calm way,” Stoldal says. “When you shake his hand, you know you are going to get a straight story. He’s developed that reputation not only through Emmy awards, but through his peers in this community.” Stoldal adds that Gillan fills an open position, rather that a newly created one.
Ending a whirlwind week on a triumphant note, Gillan adds: “I’ve never had a week like this. I am extraordinarily lucky and I know it. I will do absolutely the best I can for them.”
Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0256.