BILLINGS- A familiar face is taking a new role Wednesday night at Q2: Russ Riesinger is stepping in as co-anchor of the evening news.
Russ came to Q2 in October and did some reporting and fill-in duties at the anchor desk over the past three months. He’s replacing Jay Kohn, who is semi-retiring and stepped back from daily anchor duties.
“I think Jay (Kohn) is the epitome of what a local news anchor should be—a solid journalist, knowledgeable, and cares about the community. I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I’m confident in my abilities to get the job done and can’t wait to get started,” Russ said.
Russ came to Q2 from Savannah, Ga., where he was an anchor and reporter for about 15 years. Before then, he worked at stations Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Charleston, W. Va. and Chattanooga, Tenn.
But he’s no stranger to the Billings area, having grown up in the local area and graduating Billings Senior High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and he holds a master’s degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.
“Coming home to Montana is something that has been in the back of mind for a long, long time. It really is a dream come true to be anchoring the news for the top station in my hometown,” he said, adding, “We bought a house about four blocks away from my parents—close enough that I can walk down to see them. After being so many miles away for so long, that is something that was really important to me.”
Russ’ wife, Amy, accepted a job as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County this past summer.
Russ will take his spot alongside co-anchor Jeanelle Slade, and he said he’s excited to expand his role at Q2.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the Q2 news team. I’ve admired the work that staff has been doing here for a long time. This really is a great bunch of folks and they have made me feel more than welcome,” he said.
You can email him at Russ@ktvq.com.