LEXINGTON, Ky. — Beginning Monday, August 22, Kentucky’s favorite morning show team will take over the reins of ABC36’s Good Morning Kentucky weekdays from 5:00-7:00 am. Additionally, they’ll host the station’s popular Good Day Kentucky along with Annie Brown and meteorologist Dillon Gaudet.
“This is a game-changer for the Lexington market,” said station manager Chris Aldridge. “Lee and Hayley know what it takes to win in the ratings and consistently stay there. We think our current audience and the addition of their previous viewers will enjoy seeing them back together again and the delivering the morning news as only they can.”
For Harmon, an Emmy Award winning journalist, the move marks a return to her broadcast roots. “It means a great deal to me personally to once again be doing something I love with my adopted family here in Lexington. This is a very special time in our community and it’s an honor for us to be part of it”. And for Cruse, a veteran of nearly three decades in the business, it represents an opportunity to reunite with the viewers whom he credits with much of his success. “Hayley and I are excited to get back to where it all began, bringing the news, and hopefully a little humor to start the day, to our amazing family and friends here in the Bluegrass.”
Their new broadcast duties are in addition to starring in and overseeing the continued growth of The Lee and Hayley Show. The longtime duo launched their now syndicated show in Lexington in February of 2020 and have since grown to include audiences in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi; Columbus-Tupelo-Starkville, Mississippi; Macon, Georgia; Wilmington, North Carolina, and the Triad, giving them a current footprint of 13 cities in seven markets.
For news director Miranda Combs, the decision to change things up and bring more parity to the market made perfect sense given the talent at her disposal. “Inserting Lee and Hayley in the morning news slot gives us a pair of all-stars at the top of what is now the station’s most impressive and talented lineup ever,” she said. “I’m proud of the direction ABC36 is going, and this is still, in many ways, just the beginning”.
Other recent moves by WTVQ include the hiring of chief meteorologist T.G. Shuck, sports director Jeff Piecoro, partnering the fan favorite husband and wife team of Doug & Lyssa High on Midday Kentucky featuring High Noon, and pairing veteran journalist Erica Bivens on the nightly news desk with new co-anchor Paxton Boyd.
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