After 34 years at the helm of “NewsCenter5 at Midday,” Susan Wornick said farewell to viewers on Friday. Wornick, who has served in various capacities at Channel 5, announced her retirement in July 2013.
In the weeks leading up to her retirement, she has received well wishes from all over the state, including from Governor Deval Patrick, who remarked that “Susan’s trusted voice will be missed.” Wornick jumped to the national spotlight in 1985, when she refused to disclose her source and nearly landed in prison.
Wornick joined the station in 1981 as a general assignment reporter and was promoted to the noon newscast in 1989, where she has remained ever since. It has been consistently top-rated with her at the helm. She plans to continue her passion of helping give voice to the voiceless and to pursue other interests.
After twenty-eight years, veteran NewsCenter5 sportscaster Mike Dowling has decided to leave the station. The news was broken on the station’s website earlier this week.
‘CVB News Director Andrew Vrees wasted no time shining high praise on Dowling, commenting, “Mike is a sports reporting legend in the city. We always felt like we were there – with him – for all the action during the biggest victories of our lifetimes,” adding, “The players changed over Mike’s time at SportsCenter 5. What didn’t change was Mike’s knowledge of the teams and his unique ability to get the players to trust and open up to him. That’s a true skill.”
After joining the station in 1985, Dowling covered the Patriots Super Bowl dynasty, three Red Sox World Series, and the Nancy Kerrigan scandal in 1994. His final day will be on February 21st.
After a five year stint at the helm of NewsCenter5′s Eyeopener broadcast, Bianca de la Garza has announced that she will step down. The veteran co-anchor is moving on to start her own entertainment programming company.
WCVB GM and President Bill Fine remarked highly, saying, “Bianca has been a big part of our success on the EyeOpener,” adding, “For over a year now, we have been discussing her future options in television and she is an entrepreneur at heart. Bianca has numerous other interests and will undoubtedly be successful in pursuing her new career. I’m thrilled her first venture will be on WCVB.”
de la Garza’s new entertainment program will feature a mix of lifestyle and entertainment segments, and a focus on Boston nightlife. She will continue to anchor the top-rated morning program until May. No replacement has been announced.
Longtime NewsCenter5 anchor Chet Curtis has died today. The veteran anchorman was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and succumbed today, according to his family.
Curtis, born Chester Kukiewicz in 1939, moved to Boston in 1968, and became an integral part of the “new” channel 5 when it relaunched in 1972.
He, along with his wife and co-anchor Natalie Jacobson, became household names and helped propel NewsCenter5′s ratings past those of both WBZ’s Eyewitness News and channel 7′s revolving door of brandings. Their on-air chemistry was unrivaled and assured them a position of dominance well into the 1990s.
Though his highly-publicized divorce from Natalie Jacobson brought stress to him, Curtis quietly began to pick up the pieces and moved to NECN, where he hosted a weekday broadcast.
In 2012, he was inducted into the Gold Circle Club of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, an award which is given both on longevity and performance.
No word yet on memorial proceedings for Mr. Curtis. He was an institution who permanently shaped the landscape of local television news and will be missed. Chet Curtis was 74.
Memphis anchor Kris Anderson will be making his way to 7News. The morning co-anchor at the Tennessee CBS-affil will be making his debut on Bulfinch Place on December 30th, where he will helm the station’s weekend morning newscast.
In addition to his position as anchor, Anderson will also report for the weekday edition of Today in New England three days per week. His last day in Memphis will be this Friday. No word yet on how long it will take 7 to move him up the ranks.
NECN met Danielle Niles has joined the WBZ team. She has been named weekend morning meteorologist.
‘BZ News Director John Verilli remarked, “Danielle is a great fit for the WBZ AccuWeather team,” adding, “She grew up, played sports, and worked in New England all her life; so she knows the kind of weather our region can deliver and has proven to be an excellent meteorologist.”
Danielle Niles’ first day on the air is November 9th. She replaces her former NECN-colleague Joe Joyce. No word on his next move.
After a seven year absence, Phil Lipof will return to Boston. The former 7News weekender announced on Tuesday that he will be joining NewsCenter5 as an anchor and reporter.
‘CVB GM Bill Fine remarked, “We’re always on the lookout for strong anchors and reporters with ties to Boston and Phil fits the bill perfectly,” adding, “We envision him taking on an important role on both the anchor desk and in the field with his experience and connection to this city.”
His exact role is to be determined, however the station did announce that he will be a “principal anchor.”
Phil Lipof’s first day at 5 TV Place will be December 23rd. No word yet if former 7News anchor Juli Auclair will also be making a return to the Boston airwaves.
7News sports freelancer Mike Leslie has been hired in Charlotte. The newcomer will be joining Fox-affil WJZY as a sports anchor and reporter.
Leslie told TVSpy, “I spent a few months in Boston freelancing, getting a taste of a “big-market” environment,” adding, “Now I get to come down to Charlotte and be a part of a station starting from the ground up. It’s apparent, just a couple days in, that Fox does things the ‘right way.’”
Mike Leslie started at Bulfinch Place in June. No word on his replacement.
Joy Lim Nakrin, weekender at Minneapolis’ ABC-affil KTSP, is joining the Fox25 team. The popular anchor and reporter will finish up duties on October 13th, with a start date in Dedham to be determined.
A New Englander, Lim Nakrin had a stint in Hartford at former-CW56 sister station WTIC, where she was also a weekender.
In 2011, she left Connecticut Fox-affil WTIC for KTSP, joining the ranks of such familiar faces as Chickage Windler and Ken Barlow.
At Fox25, Joy Lim Nakrin will be a reporter, anchor, and legal analyst.
Popular former-Fox25 weekend met AJ Burnett has resurfaced in Maine. He joins Portland’s NBC-affil WCSH as a staff meteorologist.
“I’m thrilled to be able to work in an area as challenging, weather wise, as Maine, and excited to work with a weather staff with such vast knowledge and experience. But perhaps the best part for me, personally, is that I get to stay right here in New England – it’s where I grew up and call ‘home,’” the excited met told TVSpy.
After leaving the Fox O&O in 2011, Burnett was a freelancer at New Hampshire’s WMUR. His first day is October 11th.