Friday, August 14, 2009

Was Kelley Barr Fired?

#TexasNewsBlog #TexasNews #TexasBlog

For the past week or so I have noticed that Kelley Barr is no longer co-anchoring the news on KCEN-TV anymore. Then last week, my wife told me that someone she worked with had a relative who worked at KCEN-TV that said that Kelley Barr was fired. While I do not know the reasons that might have gone into the possible termination of Kelley Barr, I do know that I thought she did one heck of a good job in her duties as co-anchor on KCEN-TV news. Last night, I went to the KCEN website and on all the pages I checked, there is no mention at all of Kelley Barr or where she might have gone.

The same person that told my wife that Kelley Barr had been fired from KCEN also said that rumors around the TV station were that management thought Kelley had gained too much weight to be an effective prime-time news anchor. While I take rumors like that with a grain of salt, in the competitive world of TV journalism – it might very well be the case even though management probably gave a different reason. Like most people in the world, I too fight an ongoing battle with weight and if the ownership and management of KCEN did indeed fire Kelley Barr because they thought she was too heavy, I might just switch to another local TV station just to make a point.

Word on the street is that KCEN-TV has hired a thin 20 something young lady to take Kelley Barr's place as anchor. Wow, how creative for a television station to fire a mature, trusted and well liked TV journalist named Kelley Barr and replace her with some young and thin news anchor who most likely will look pretty on television, but with the exception of being able to read a teleprompter well – will have no real world experience in reporting the news that Central Texas residents expect to see each night when they watch the local news.

By writing the blog post, I am hoping that someone will comment and set the record straight about what happened to Kelley Barr and reveal why she is no longer part of the news team at KCEN-TV. If she quit to accept another position it would be nice to find that out or if she was fired for reasons other than stated above that would be nice to know as well. It wasn't that long ago that the sports anchor on KCEN was promoting the experience of Kelley Barr and now with no announcement whatsoever, she is gone from KCEN and many Central Texans, including myself, would like to know why.


  1. I just emailed John Gilbert at KCEN-TV in waco to ask what happened to her... so maybe we will find out..

  2. I just realized that I misspelled her name. Wow, I hate it when that happens. Her name is Kelley Barr, not Kelly Barr - sorry for the mistake.

    Mark Hutcherson

  3. Mark,
    I told you i would find the answer for you.. here you go

    Kelley took a PR job for a school district near Houston. I'll miss her, as I'm sure you will, too. A new co-anchor starts in a week.

    Brennan Marshall

  4. Mark, About 10 years ago I met Kelley Barr at a summer livestock show in Waco when our son was still in High School showing calves. Kelley was a field reporter back then. I stopped her to thank her for giving the kids some attention & wound up visiting for about an hour mostly about the works of the TV media. I could immediately see that she was friendly, down to earth, & professional in her work. I know nothing about the media, I am a firefighter in Denton & she wanted to know all about my profession as well.

    I've e-mailed cordial greetings occasionally till about a week ago when an e-mail came back undeliverable. I checked the web site & sure enough her pic wasn't there.

    I'll keep checking your web site to see if you discover an e-mail address etc. I kept typing different words in the browser & found your web site.

    From my standpoint as just a viewer, what we are seeing here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, things are changing as well.

  5. check Kelley's letter to the Editor in the Meridian (Bosque County News) paper of August 26th.
    She says she was fired right before a broadcast.

  6. Thanks for the update. I visited the Bosque County News website but was unable to find Kelley Barr's letter to the editor online. Maybe someone that has read it will post her comments here.

  7. The morning people seem to be gone too..Matt Gephardt, Christine Winter, Nick Piesco. The last two are still on the web site, but there is no trace of Matt at all.

  8. From Waco Trib today 8/28/09 Letters to the Editor:
    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Farewell, viewers

    Thanks to the viewers of KCEN-TV for welcoming me into your homes, trusting me as a source for news and considering me a friend for the past 10 years. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Central Texas.

    I was let go July 28 before the newscast and before I could tell you all how gracious you have been.

    Many people would stop me in the community to tell me they had watched me “grow up” on the air from a beginning reporter to a polished evening news anchor. I had a lot of guidance from co-workers and news directors who helped me develop into a professional. I thank former general manager Randy Odil and former owner Sue Mayborn for this opportunity.

    I’ll miss the noise of the newsroom, the adrenaline rush during breaking news, and the support and feedback of the community. All of the hundreds of people I have interviewed during the past decade have touched me and made a difference in my life. It has been a pleasure working for you, the viewer. I thought you deserved a proper goodbye and to know that each of you truly makes a difference in this community.

    Kelley Barr


    EDITOR’S NOTE: Kelley Barr was KCEN-TV, Channel 6, news anchor from 1999 to 2009.


  10. I hate that Kelley is hristine stays, and wondered why they hired someone new, instead of moving/promoting one of the regulars. I am not impressed with the appearance of the new gal, but I can switch to KWTX for the night news I guess.

  11. The letter was in the Waco Trib as well:

    What a shame!

  12. Today, Kelley Barr stopped by and posted some wonderful comments on this blog. As I went to publish her kind words, I accidentally hit the delete key and lost what she intended to post here. Kelley, if it's not too much trouble would you please post your comments again? I promise this time I will not hit the delete key. Thank you.

  13. I no longer watch KCEN evening news! Kelly Barr was the only reason I ever watched local evening news. What a comfort she was to watch. What a loss to KCEN!

    Todd Bailey

  14. Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for all of the kind words here. It was such a shock when I got called in to the GM's office and they told me they were "going in a different direction." I just sat there, speechless. I'm sure my jaw dropped to the floor.
    In the days following, I certainly saw my life flash before my eyes and I struggled to figure out my identity. I must admit, I still have trouble with it. I had spent my entire adult life in wonderful central Texas. 12 years following college. Suddenly, I was no longer Kelley Barr, the reporter, the anchor, the face of a community cause. I was just Kelley. It was never just a job to me. It was all I knew how to be. It's all I'd ever wanted to be, from a very young age. And I suddenly found all of it gone. The loss of my job was the death of everything I'd ever known and loved.
    Luckily, within three weeks, I interviewed for and accepted the job I'm at now. I'm the PR person for the New Caney school district northeast of Houston. Everyone has been so wonderful to me. This job has been a Godsend. I'm still trying to find my place though. And working the other side of the media is strange! Luckily I have many friends at the Houston TV stations!
    My husband and dogs will soon join me there. We sold our home in Hewitt just three weeks after listing it.
    I wanted to thank all of you for caring. I was flattered to find out there was a blog about my situation! Just know that I care about all of you, too. I have loved every minute of my time in central Texas, getting to know people, finding and marrying the love of my life, buying my first home. There are a lot of good memories here and even more friends. I don't tweet a lot, but I do occasionally. Keep up with me at
    God Bless Everyone!
    Kelley Barr

  15. Thank you Kelley for posting your comments again. We all miss you on KCEN-TV and we pray that your new life in Houston will be just as blessed as it was here in Central Texas.

  16. Kelley you will be greatly missed- you were awesome- The news will suffer a great loss without you~

  17. even the morning news has suffered... Ericka Harpold quit the weekend news and now christine winter is in her place and chris radclife is the morning news person

  18. Dear Kelley Barr and fellow Central

    I for one, feel the loss of a very respected news reporter. Ever
    since 1981, when Roy Cook ran KWTX
    weather, and Stephanie Serna as a
    reporter, I also loved Kelley
    Barr's mature and professional
    passion on the news. I also
    noticed the 'new direction' may
    be the outhouse or meadow muffin or
    cow patty, for Management Idiots who 'take different directions' in
    letting go such awesome and very
    respected personalities who bring
    the news and weather to our homes.
    Houston has gained an awesome and
    beautiful lady, it is to Central
    Texas's loss and I blame solely on
    the management of the television
    stations who 'liquidate' such great
    talent, and passion for whatever
    the excuse suits them. I probably
    won't watch KCEN no more, and be
    that guy flipping off KCEN as I go
    to and fro on Interstate 35! I do
    hate to see such beautiful and
    lovely passion that Kelley Barr
    has possessed go so quickly. Her
    husband and dogs are truly lucky.

    I miss Roy Cook, Stephanie Serna
    and now Kelley Barr! I'm bit of a
    transplant from El Paso, TX and I
    learned that the news anchors I
    grew up moved on after I left the
    Sun City of El Paso. *SNIF* It is
    hitting below the belt that the
    Management of KCEN and other TV
    News stations 'flush' & 'dismiss'
    such professional and beautiful
    talent. I guess, I'll give up on
    TV and read the paper, or go on
    the internet. My heart is sick now
    that Kelley Barr is gone. *SNIF* I
    hope to see her online from time
    to time. Ever since the switch to
    digital and the loss of the audio
    broadcast through a Baylor radio
    station, (on the old analog system)
    just about killed my love for KCEN
    and what KCEN stands for. Perhaps
    I might watch Andy Anderson until
    or Matt Hines on Channel KXXV or
    Rusty "Panic Button" Garrett on
    KWTX. At any rate, I'll miss Kelley
    Barr. May Hashem grant her blessing
    and prosperity in whatever she does
    and give that blessing to those
    who are in true need. :-D L'shana
    Tova Sukkot.

  19. Kelley, thank you for the update and post. I truly enjoyed watching your professionalism on the local news. I for one miss your upbeat and positive outlook you always displayed. The local news is not the same.