WBZ has played musical chairs with their anchors. After eight years on the morning anchor desk, Paula Ebben will be moving to anchor The WBZ News at 5. As a result, current 5 p.m. anchor Kate Merrill will shift to the weekend morning show.
In a move made on the eve of the start of the February ratings book, weekender Kerry Connolly will reprise her role as David Wade’s new co-anchor on The WBZ Morning News. Connolly was a former morning show anchor at the station until 2004, when she was replaced by Paula Ebben.
The changes kick in on January 28th. No word yet on who will be anchoring WBZ’s 10 p.m. newscast on myTV38.
WBZ and TV38 general manager Ed Piette is retiring on Friday after six years with the network-owned duopoly. The man responsible for dumping the poorly received CBS4 branding is calling it quits after forty-three years in the business, according to TVSpy.
His successor, former NBC O&O bigshot Mark Lund, will be stepping in beginning next week. Lund, the son of former CBS president Peter Lund, told B&C, “I am honored to have this terrific opportunity to rejoin CBS and come back to the stations where I got my start and an area that my wife Amy, a Boston College grad, and I have long considered our home.”
Lund began his television career as an intern at WBZ in the 1980s.
WBZ was the victim of a lightning strike this afternoon during a live weather broadcast. The strike caused the studio lights to go out, and also briefly affected the sound and background monitors. Chief met Todd Gutner continued the broadcast, informing viewers of the situation and working to continue presenting the forecast.
Scott Pelley, anchor of the CBS Evening News, will anchor the broadcast this evening from WBZ’s Allston studios. The set, carefully replicated from the original, has been set up in ‘BZ’s newsroom for the 6:30 p.m. broadcast.
According to the station, preparations have been underway for weeks. Pelley is in Boston for the WBZ Business Breakfast that takes place tomorrow.
Hat tip to former btvn M.E. Max for the heads up and for the Twitter post!
Checking through the btvn traffic logs, a surprising figure was discovered: just over two hundred visitors found the site by searching for the whereabouts of former WBZ reporter Diana Perez.
Diana Perez, former reporter and fill-in anchor on ‘BZ and MyTV38, resurfaced on ABC News midway through last month. Perez left the Boston duo after just over a year and joined ABC NewsOne as a New York-based correspondent.
The popular reporter can be seen from time-to-time on ABC World News, as well as other news orgs that make use of ABC staffers. It is widely speculated that she will also appear on the new joint-venture news network that is being launched by ABC News and Univision.
WBZ has added another reporter to their lineup. Bree Sison, formerly of WEAR-TV in Pensacola, arrived on Soldiers Field Drive yesterday.
Sisson issued a statement on her Facebook page, remarking, “I will forever be grateful to the viewers and coworkers who have been so good to me. It’s tough to leave a place that’s been your home for 6 years, but I’m looking forward to the adventures that await me in the Northeast.”
In another example of corporate co-branding at CBS, WBZ and NESN have reached a partnership agreement.
The new partnership between the former over-the-air home of the Boston Red Sox and the current cable home was announced today. In it, NESN reporters Jerry Remy, Don Orsillo, and Jenny Dell will appear live on the WBZ News at Noon and 6 p.m., while WBZ’s AccuWeather forecast will be seen on NESN for gameday forecasts. In addition, WBZ sports guy Dan Roche will appear regularly on NESN’s pregame show.
The deal, which will go into effect tomorrow, mirrors that of the agreement between Comcast stablemates NECN and Comcast SportsNet. No reporters, however, will change stations.
Jack Williams is leaving WBZ’s 11 p.m. newscast. According to the station, the longtime channel 4 anchorman will continue to anchor the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. broadcasts on WBZ and myTV38, respectively. He is stepping aside on nightside anchoring to spend more time with his wife.
The 37 year veteran was adamant that he is not being forced out by oft-overbearing corporate overlords at the network. He says, “This was my idea,” adding, “They told me I can work as long as I want. They’ve been very gracious to me.”
To the surprise of nearly nobody, Jonathan Elias will take over the helm for Williams. This marks the first time in nearly a decade where Williams has not been seen at 11.