Ozarks Today welcomes new anchor team as Maria Neider and Paul Alder shift to evenings

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 9:56 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - KY3 is excited to announce additional anchor changes in 2021.

Maria Neider will be making the transition from Ozarks Today to anchoring KY3 News at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Veteran anchor Lisa Rose will co-anchor the 6 p.m. newscast with Steve Grant and will add to her duties co-anchor of KY3 News at Noon. KY3 News is also announcing a new hire in the mornings. Jackie Garrity, a long-time journalist and former 911 dispatcher, will be joining the team in January.

These anchor moves are in addition to the ones announced at the end of November of Paul Adler to evening anchor and Sports Director Chad Plein to morning anchor. All these anchor changes come after the resignations of Sara and Ethan Forhetz as they move from news to Christian non-profit Convoy of Hope in mid-January.

Maria Neider is excited to be moving to the evening news after helping people start the mornings on Ozarks Today for more than 15 years.

“I am honored to keep doing what I love to do. It’s a responsibility I take seriously as a journalist. We started our family here, and it’s home,” says Maria.

Maria Neider spent years behind the camera, before moving to the anchor desk. She worked in the engineering department for WTAE in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she ran robotic cameras, audio and the overnight assignment desk. Yes, she’s a Steelers fan and even got to meet Bill Cowher. She got her big break in news when a producer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania sent her resume video to a news director without telling her about it. That led to her first job anchoring and reporting the news in Lawrence, Kansas. It’s also where she met her husband, who worked as a director at the station. They’ve been married for 15 years and have two children. After working in Kansas, she moved to Tucson, Arizona during wildfire season and won awards for her work alongside firefighters, including Best Live Reporting from the Arizona Associated Press. Maria came to the Ozarks in 2005 to anchor the morning news. Maria reports on community crime and started a weekly Catch-a-Crook feature. She’s passionate about covering breaking news and severe weather.

“I want to keep reporting in our community and give people a voice. I want to tell their stories and seek the truth, as my Dad always said,” adds Maria.

When she’s not working on the news, Maria loves cooking and enjoying the outdoors. She’s a proud hockey and dance Mom! Maria has been honored with the following awards: Edward R. Murrow for News Series, and seven regional Emmy awards. Those are for breaking news, best newscast and Societal Concerns, Best Anchor, Investigative Reporting, Documentary, and Public Affairs from the Missouri Broadcasters Association, Breaking News/Live Reporting from the Arizona Associated Press, and recognition by the Kansas City Press Club and Heart of America.

Jackie Garrity is thrilled to join the KY3/KSPR team! Jackie originally hails from southwest Washington, a little town called Stevenson. It’s right in the heart of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. However, all that beauty was wasted on Jackie because she isn’t much for windsurfing, kiteboarding or rock climbing. After high school, Jackie attended Western Washington University where she majored in Fine and Performing Arts. Life then took her to New York City where she got her first experience in front of the camera as a field reporter for two websites. She even got a chance to report from the red carpet of the “Sex and the City” movie premiere where she interviewed Sarah Jessica Parker, Donald and Milania Trump, Idina Menzel, Fergie and more. Jackie then knew she was hooked and returned to the Northwest to pursue a master’s in journalism, but life intervened. While applying for schools she took a job as a 911 dispatcher at the same sheriff’s office where her sister, stepdad and brother-in-law worked. Spoiler alert, that’s also where she met her future husband. You guessed it, he was a detective. During Jackie’s four-and-a-half years in law enforcement she walked a barricaded shooter out of a home (he was unharmed and so were all the officers involved), coordinated the rescue of several people who fell into Mt. St. Helens and helped find a missing pilot after a helicopter crash (just to name a few). When you meet her, just ask to hear 911 stories, she has many. However, Jackie knew she wanted to continue her path to journalism. She went back to school, got an Associate of Applied Science in Broadcasting and started her internship at KOIN TV in Portland, Ore. From there she took her first job as a Morning Anchor/Producer at KTVL in Medford, OR. There she anchored breaking news coverage of the deadly mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, the Malheur Wildlife Refuge takeover and the 2016 Presidential election. Jackie then moved on to KVAL-TV in Eugene, Ore. where she started as a morning anchor. Jackie was then promoted to evening anchor at KVAL-TV where she anchored the top rated 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. She created the franchise series “Taking Another Look,” highlighting cold cases around Oregon and “Finding Families,” a deep dive into Oregon’s Foster Care system. Most recently Jackie was nominated for “Favorite Media Personality” by the Register Guard Newspaper. Jackie has loved her time in the Northwest, but she and her family are ready for the next adventure! She is ecstatic to be bringing her husband Tim, seven-year-old daughter Gemma and 18-month-old twins Jackson and Jude to the beautiful Ozarks and experiencing everything southwest Missouri has to offer. She’s an amateur foodie and can’t wait to try all the great eateries Springfield has to offer. She and her family also love hiking and biking and are looking forward to hitting the trails. More importantly, Jackie and her family LOVE sports. They usually root for the Oregon Ducks, Seattle Seahawks and the Boston Red Sox (a little random yes) but they can’t wait to find their teams in Missouri to cheer. Jackie is a passionate storyteller. She can’t wait to meet the good folks of Springfield and delve into their stories. If you have a story idea, shoot her a message. Or if you have a great suggestion for food, hiking, fun family events or anything you think she and her family should do, don’t hesitate to reach out after she starts in January.

The plan is for the anchors to move into their new roles in mid-January.

When that happens, the new KY3 news anchor and meteorologist lineup will be:

Ozarks Today at 5 a.m. – Chad Plein and Meteorologist Brandon Beck

Ozarks Today at 6 a.m. – Jackie Garrity and Chad Plein with Meteorologist Brandon Beck

Ozarks Today at 7 a.m. on the Ozarks CW - Jackie Garrity and Chad Plein with Meteorologist Brandon Beck

Ozarks Today at 8 a.m. on the Ozarks CW - Jackie Garrity and Meteorologist Brandon Beck

KY3 News at 11 a.m. on KSPR – Leigh Moody and Meteorologist Abby Dyer

KY3 News at Noon – Lisa Rose and Steve Grant with Meteorologist Abby Dyer

KY3 News at 4 p.m. on KSPR – Leigh Moody and Meteorologist Abby Dyer

KY3 News at 5 p.m. – Paul Adler and Meteorologist Abby Dyer

KY3 News at 6 p.m. – Lisa Rose and Steve Grant with Chief Meteorologist Ron Hearst

KY3 News at 9 p.m. on the Ozarks CW – Maria Neider, Paul Adler with Chief Meteorologist Ron Hearst

KY3 News at 10 p.m. - Maria Neider, Paul Adler with Chief Meteorologist Ron Hearst

KY3 News Weekend Saturdays at 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. will continue with Frances Watson and Forecaster Robert Hahn.

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