House hires KATV reporter | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 11, 2009

House hires KATV reporter

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 11:35 AM

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KATV's Amanda Manatt has been hired as the new communications officer for the House of Representatives. You may recall that Stephen Steed was fired from the job a few months back and a consultant, Craig Douglass, was brought in to devise a cutting-age communications strategy for the chamber.

She'll be paid $45,000 a year, which is at the lower end of the advertised range of the job,  up to $67,000.

Turnabout to David Sanders is fair play: I've asked her if she's done any reporting, on-air or otherwise, relative to the legislature since she applied for the job. She has covered the legislature for Channel 7.

UPDATE: Manatt calls in to say that she has not done any reporting on the legislature since applying for the job.  She'll begin her new job Dec. 21.


LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (December 11, 2009) – Amanda Manatt, an on-air general assignment reporter for the news department of Little Rock television station KATV, has been named Communications Officer of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Speaker of the House, State Representative Robbie Wills (D-Conway), made the announcement as part of the transition of the House Information Office into a more comprehensive House Communications Office, offering a wide range of services to House Members, and state and local media.
        “As I announced in September, we have an opportunity to become better communicators with the public and media by using the latest technology through a renovated website,” Wills said. “This new approach is designed to improve and expand public access to House activities, thus reaching more Arkansas citizens. We are excited to add Amanda Manatt to our staff, utilizing her talent and media experience to help achieve our communications objective of wider public access.”
        Ms. Manatt is a 2004 Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the Fulbright Honors College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Middle East Studies. Prior to joining KATV in 2005 as a Web Producer overseeing Internet news content, she was Press Assistant in the Washington, D.C., office of United States Senator Mark Pryor. In 2007, Ms. Manatt assumed the duties of news reporter and fill-in anchor at KATV, where she covered, among other general assignments, the Arkansas General Assembly.
        “I’m honored to be part of this exciting time at the Arkansas House of Representatives, and look forward to working with Speaker Wills, Members and staff in making the legislative process even more accessible to Arkansans,” Ms. Manatt said.
        A native of Brinkley, Arkansas, Ms. Manatt graduated in 2000 from Brinkley High School where she was Salutatorian. She also was a staff writer for the Brinkley Argus, the local weekly newspaper. Her college career was highlighted with a number of activities and recognitions including membership on the Editorial Board of the Arkansas Traveler campus newspaper; senator in the Associated Student Government; member of the Model Arab League, as well as first-place finisher in the Arabic Speech contest, and a King Fahd Fellow for Middle East Studies; seven-semester member of the Chancellor’s List; Arkansas Alumni Association Four-Year Scholar, and recognized by department leaders for outstanding achievement in Journalism.
        Since college, Ms. Manatt has attended the Clinton School of Public Service summer series on Global Leadership in Public Service and U.S. Foreign Policy; is a mentor in Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Arkansas, and a committee member of the American Heart Association, Arkansas Chapter. In 2008, she was honored by Environmental and Spatial Technology Labs as a “Trailblazing Alum.”
        The new House Communications Office will continue to develop best practices and policies under the leadership of Speaker Wills, and coordinated by Ms. Manatt, in conjunction with Parliamentarian Tim Massanelli, Coordinator of Legislative Services, Buddy Johnson, and Director of Constituency Services, Bill Stovall. The office will be operational prior to the Fiscal Session of the Arkansas General Assembly, which will begin on Monday, February 8, 2010.


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