JONESBORO, Ark. – A long-time KAIT news anchor is finished with Region 8 News and sources indicate the split was not mutual.
Craig Rickert is nowhere to be seen on either Region 8 News broadcasts or the kait8.com website. Several sources indicate he was fired by the Raycom Media-owned television station amid controversy.
Rickert has been one of two primary faces of the K8 News/Region 8 News brand for many years, joining KAIT in 2002, according to his (now deleted) KAIT profile. However, sometime in the past several days, references to the anchor were removed from kait8.com. Rickert’s profile was also deactivated, with the original link now leading to a deactivated page. However, archived versions of the page were available from Web.Archive.Org (the Wayback Machine).
As of late Tuesday, several inquiries to KAIT management and staff were not responded to. NEA Report called the KAIT newsroom and was told Rickert was not there and wasn’t expected back. Multiple sources confirmed Rickert was no longer with Region 8 News. It was not clear when the departure took place.
NEA Report reached out to Rickert multiple times Tuesday. Several calls to his cell phone were not returned. His Twitter feed has not been updated since April 16.
In addition to anchoring Region 8 News at Five and six, with longtime anchor Diana Davis, Rickert also anchored Region 8 News at Ten with Allison Munn. He also would anchor the Crimestoppers segments each Tuesday night, where he routinely shouted “stamp him,” or “stamp her,” following the arrest of a suspect previously featured on the segment – followed by a graphic and a sound effect, signifying the arrest of a suspect still considered innocent under the rule of law.
It isn’t the first time the anchor has been the subject of controversy, though. Rickert found himself in the news in 2012, when Max Brantley with the Arkansas Times published a story titled, “Jonesboro: Do you know your anchorman?” The story, a reblog from another source, focused on Rickert’s factually questionable social media statements along with his perceived conservative positions expressed in several posts. The story can be viewed here.
Update: Of the sources who spoke to NEA Report about the matter, none indicated this was the reason for his departure.
NEA Report was unable to obtain comment from KAIT on the matter before publication. Should one be issued, we will update this story. Follow NEA Report on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news developments from across Northeast Arkansas.
Featured photo source: Twitter.com/Craig Rickert; Story photo source: KAIT.