Kingsley Smith, the KTVI (Channel 2) news director who devoted the bulk of a newscast to a false rumor that Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols would be named in the Mitchell report on performance-enhancing drugs, is leaving to run the news department of the Fox affiliate in Philadelphia.
Channel 2 also is a Fox affiliate and when the rumor broke, Smith said, “the Fox (network) brand allows us a little more latitude” to cover a rumor in depth. “There’s a certain sense of edginess and aggressiveness.”
Smith confirmed Sunday that he will start as news director for WTXF-TV (Channel 29) on Jan. 7.
When the Mitchell report was released Dec. 13, Smith decided to devote in-depth coverage during the station’s 11 a.m. newscast to an unconfirmed rumor that Pujols would be linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
He said his departure has nothing to do with criticism over that decision.
“It’s just a tremendous opportunity to work in a large market,” Smith said.
The rumor, which also included former Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, turned out to be false.