Thursday, November 07, 2013
Local TV News: KCAL Primetime and KCBS Morning Shows Swap Anchors
In an unusual swap, KCAL/9's 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. primetime news anchors Sharon Tay and Rick Garcia, as well as meteorologist Evelyn Taft,are now heading to sister station KCBS/2 to anchor that station’s weekday 4:30-7:00 a.m. and 11-11:30 a.m. newscasts. The move starts right in the middle of sweeps -- beginning Monday, November 18. It's a return to the morning shift for Tay, who spent many years in Southern California anchoring KTLA's early morning newscasts.
On the flip side, KCBS morning anchors Kent Shocknek and Suzie Suh will take over the KCAL 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. news slots now vacated by Tay and Garcia. Meterologist Rich Fields will join them on those newscasts.
So essentially Tay and Garcia are swapping nights for mornings, while Shocknek and Suh are moving from early to late duty.
KCBS/KCAL president and general manager Steve Mauldin made the announcement today. The move appears to be part of a plan to strengthen KCBS' morning news performance -- a daypart the station has struggled in forever. (KCBS isn't helped by the fact that CBS has never had a strong national morning show.)
"Sharon, Rick and Evelyn are a proven winning combination," Mauldin said. “They bring a tremendous mix of experience, insight and personality to every newscast and they know what it takes to achieve success in morning news. We are confident in their ability to help us grow our audience during the morning news daypart in the same way they’ve given us a big lift during primetime."
According to KCAL, "since Tay, Garcia and Taft began working together in August 2010, KCAL 9 ranks first in viewers among newscasts in the highly competitive 10 p.m. hour and has been No. 1 during seven of the last nine major sweep periods. And since the beginning of the new television season on September 23, the weeknight edition of KCAL 9 NEWS at 10 P.M. continues to rank first among local newscasts in the time period with an average of 160,000 viewers – up 28 percent versus comparable dates last year."
KCBS morning traffic reporter Stephanie Simmons will continue in the daypart. As for moving the KCBS morning crew to KCAL, Mauldin said: "Kent Shocknek is second to none when it comes to anchoring breaking news events. Suzie Suh has been a rising star for us and successfully handled every assignment we have given her. And Rich Fields is among the most respected and charismatic meteorologists in Southern California. We feel great about having such an accomplished, well-rounded and likable trio joining our 9 p.m. anchors Sylvia Lopez and Leyna Nguyen to give us a primetime anchor team that will continue to uphold KCAL’s tremendous primetime news legacy."
In other KCBS/KCAL news, KCBS weeknight 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. news anchors Pat Harvey and Paul Magers will also now anchor the station's 6 p.m. newscasts, currently anchored by Garcia, beginning November 18.