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Courtesy WFFT-TV
Dan Ball

New anchor joins WFFT; Blue bound for Ohio

Courtesy WFFT-TV
Ball with Air Force One.
Courtesy WFFT-TV
Jim Blue

Statement as issued Wednesday by WFFT-TV:

Fort Wayne, Indiana (January 16, 2013) -- WFFT-TV, owned and operated by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST), and serving the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan areas, announced today the hiring of award winning anchor/reporter Dan Ball as their new News Director and Main Anchor for WFFT Local News First at 10.

"We're excited to have Dan join our station and lead our award-winning news team," said Bill Ritchhart, Vice President and General Manager of WFFT-TV. "Dan brings a wealth of large market experience that can take our news room to the next level."

A native of nearby Archbold, Ohio, Ball has nearly 20 years of broadcasting experience. "I'm thrilled to be a part of and lead this high quality news organization that has been nominated for an Emmy the past three years, and won back-to-back awards as the Best Newscast from Indiana's Society of Professional Journalists. Those accomplishments in their first four years of operation are very impressive," said Ball. "I'm looking forward to building on those successes, and providing Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio viewers with local news stories that are important to them."

Dan Ball started his broadcasting career as a combat journalist, working for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. Since then, Ball has worked around the country in markets like Grand Rapids, Michigan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fresno, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada covering every type of story in the newsroom, while working his way up to main anchor.

Dan has won two Emmy awards and has been nominated five separate times. His first Emmy in 2006 was awarded for his coverage of President Gerald Ford's funeral. The second award came in 2009, when Dan was named "Best Anchor" in the Pacific Southwest Region. He was nominated for Best Anchor three years in a row during his tenure in Las Vegas.

When he's not in front of the camera or chasing down a lead, Dan enjoys spending time with his daughter, riding his motorcycle, boating, hiking and currently holds a position on the Advisory board for the non-profit group, USVETS. Ball said, "It's like coming home, all of my family and some really close friends still live in Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana. Hopefully they'll all be watching WFFT Local News First at 10pm every night now!"

Former News Director and Anchor Jim Blue is taking a new job and moving back to Ohio to be closer to family. "We're grateful for Jim's efforts in launching the news operation and for his dedication in growing WFFT Local, he is a fantastic journalist and was a real asset to our station." said Ritchhart. Blue added, "I have nothing but good memories of my time in Fort Wayne, and I wish everyone at WFFT the very best and continued success." Blue's last on-air date is January 18th.

About Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, e-MEDIA, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 64 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 38 markets or approximately 11.1% of all U.S. television households.

Assuming completion of all announced transactions, Nexstar will own, operate, program or provide sales and other services to 71 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 41 markets or approximately 12.1% of all U.S. television households.

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