Veteran broadcaster Ferrell Wellman, who has appeared on KET in various capacities for more than 30 years, has been named host of Comment on Kentucky. He succeeds originating host Al Smith, who retired in November.
Wellman, who has taught broadcasting at Eastern Kentucky University for 15 years, is a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame with decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He has appeared as a host and guest on numerous public affairs programs on KET, including stints as guest host of Comment on Kentucky and Kentucky Tonight.
Most of Wellman’s reporting career was spent with WAVE-TV in Louisville. He was the station’s Frankfort reporter for more than 16 years, covering a wide range of issues as well as reporting from all 120 Kentucky counties.
“I understand the importance of Comment on Kentucky, because it’s the state’s most important news commentary program,” said Wellman. “I’m humbled and honored to be chosen.”
“Ferrell’s journalistic credentials, his broadcast experience, and his ability to provide audiences with current perspectives framed with the historic context all combine to make him credible, respected, and trusted by audiences,” said Shae Hopkins, KET’s deputy executive director of programming and production. “With Ferrell, audiences have a familiar successor to Al Smith who will continue Comment’s tradition of insightful and independent analysis of the news and events of the day.”
A native of Pikeville, Wellman earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s in journalism and mass communication from the University of South Carolina. His many career honors include a national Headliner Award, a national Scripps-Howard Journalism Award, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award for News, and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington.
Comment on Kentucky, which premiered in 1974, is a KET production produced by Renee Shaw.