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First reported by Jerry Barmash on Tuned In, WNBC has confirmed that newcomer Sibila Vargas, who joined Channel 4 last year from KCBS, will take over the 11pm weekday timeslot from Shiba Russell. Longtime anchor Chuck Scarborough will continue to co-anchor News4 New York at 11. Many have speculated on this switch from the moment Vargas joined WNBC, which has seen a ratings decline over the past couple of years, including the most recent sweeps period, in November 2013. Shiba Russell will join Rob Schmitt on WNBC's noon newscast. Schmitt also joined Channel 4 from KCBS in 2013.
The switch will take place on February 3, 2014.
This is the first of three posts about WABC morning anchor Lori Stokes, the featured anchor for January. We'll begin with Stokes's official Eyewitness News biography, courtesy WABC-TV.
As anchor of Eyewitness News This Morning and Eyewitness News at Noon, Lori Stokes has been an unflinching guide through everything from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to the Northeastern Blackout of August 14, 2003. Along the way, Stokes has picked up Emmy and AP Awards for her reporting.In 2000, she came to WABC from MSNBC/NBC where she had reported for Nightly News Weekend and anchored for the NBC Sunrise and the Weekend Today Show. Stokes is acknowledged in African American Firsts as the first African American to broadcast on MSNBC in 1996. She also hosted Newschat, a call-in talk show that showcased the dynamic rapport she has with her viewers.
Prior to MSNBC/NBC Lori worked for ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington, DC as evening anchor at six and 11 o'clock from 1992- 1996. While in the nation's capital, she also launched WJLA's Good Morning Washington.
She has received numerous awards for her reporting on social issues, in particular stories affecting women and children. As a street reporter from 1991-1992 for WBFF-TV in Baltimore, she received an Emmy Award for her in-depth coverage of children caught in the crossfire of local violence.
Her undercover journalistic work as a homeless person on the streets of Baltimore earned her an Associated Press Award. More recently, she received a 2006 Emmy nomination for a police chase on which she reported live in 2005.
Stokes is also the recipient of a George P. Foster Peabody Award for her September 11, 2001 coverage of the World Trade Center attack. On a national level, Stokes received the 2003 Congressional Black Caucus Celebration of Leadership Award for her civic service and her status as a role model.
This year, Stokes was named a "Woman of Influence" by Commerce magazine, placing her among the ranks of best-selling author Mary Higgins-Clark, philanthropist Deirdre Imus, and racecar driver Danica Patrick. Additionally, she is aiding the founding of a new charity, Supplies for Success, which aims to furnish underprivileged children with the tools they need, both tangible and intangible, to excel academically.
Stokes was just recognized in New York City by the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence for her body of work and her extensive community outreach. "It may be difficult today to remember just how far we have come in 30 short years," Stokes said of the cause, "There were no emergency shelters for battered women and their children; there was no law against spousal rape; and, yes, it was against the law for an abused woman fleeing her abuser to take her children with her. In these 30 years, much has been accomplished and the Center Against Domestic Violence has led the way."
She is also now a proud member of Jack and Jill of America, an organization founded in 1938 under the leadership of Marion Stubbs Thomas with the idea of bringing together children in a social and cultural environment. The group primarily serves Black children from the ages of two to 19.
Stokes is one of the millions of people who live with potentially deadly food allergies and is passionately involved with the Food Allergy Initiative. She serves as a member of the board of trustees at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Foundation, Bergen Performing Arts Center and St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Patterson, New Jersey.
Although born in Cleveland, Ohio, Stokes grew up Washington, D.C. She is daughter of former United States Congressman Louis Stokes and the niece of Carl Stokes, who made history as the first African American mayor of a major city, Cleveland. Stokes was crowned Miss Azalea in 1983, representing the NATO Alliance; she was the first African American to ever hold the title.
Stokes is an alumna of Howard University and Ohio State University. She resides in New Jersey with her children.
This information is courtesy WABC-TV.
(C) Copyright 2014 WABC-TV New York.
WABC morning anchor Lori Stokes received the most votes in our Featured Anchor survey! Stay tuned right here for feature articles about Stokes for the remainder of January, and look for next month's survey in the coming weeks!
The results of the survey. The results were downloaded at 3PM EST Jan. 15, 2014.
Rob Nelson, the former ABC News anchor/correspondent, is set to begin his new post as anchor/reporter at New York's ABC Owned Station, WABC 7. Nelson will take the place of former anchor Phil Lipof, who left Channel 7 in December to move closer to his roots, taking an anchoring job at ABC affiliate WCVB. Nelson will anchor the weekend editions of Eyewitness News This Morning with co-anchor Michelle Charlesworth and Meteorologist Amy Freeze. Nelson's first day, announced via Twitter, will be Wednesday, January 15th, after undergoing the standard station orientations. He will report from the field this week, and he will anchor his first newscast on Saturday, January 18th. WABC uploaded Nelson's brief biography to the station website on January 13th, along with his official station portrait.
Every year is a busy one here in New York City in the world of broadcast news, and 2013 was no exception. Here's a rundown of the news that made our headlines this year, station by station. If you think of anything that we didn't include, let us know! Tweet us @NYNewser and @Ny_NewsObserver!
WCBS-TV (Channel 2)
There was a lot going on in 2013 at WCBS! From the Rob Morrison arrest in February to the Time Warner Cable feud, CBS 2 saw its fair share of drama this year, paired with some anchor changes and new graphics and music. In February, CBS2 This Morning anchor Rob Morrison was arrested in his Connecticut home and charged with strangulation, threatening, and disorderly conduct when he was accused of choking his wife following a verbal altercation. Morrison resigned from WCBS over a week later. The charges against him were later dropped. Channel 2 saw the departure of anchor Don Dahler in March, but he didn't go very far. Dahler would stay at the CBS Broadcast Center on 57th Street, becoming a CBS News correspondent. Cindy Hsu and Andrea Grymes then took command of his former newscasts. In November, reporter Katie McGee moved to Los Angeles, with no TV job lined up at the time. After Rob Morrison left the station, Chris Wragge moved into the weekday morning and noon timeslot, with Mary Calvi. In August, a contract dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable took all CBS-owned Television Stations, including WCBS, off of TWC systems. The outage lasted about two weeks, ending with a new contract between the two parties. Time Warner Cable reportedly lost a large number of subscribers as a result of the incident. In September, WCBS, along with the other CBS-owned stations, debuted new on-screen graphics and music.
WNBC-TV (Channel 4)
WNBC went through 2013 without much drama, but there was still some significant news going on at Channel 4 throughout the year. WNBC extended the Sunday 11pm newscast to a full hour, anchored by Erika Tarantal and David Ushery. Two anchors were brought in from KCBS, the CBS O&O in Los Angeles, Rob Schmitt to anchor the noon newscast, and Sibilia Vargas to anchor the noon with Schmitt and the 6pm with Chuck Scarborough. WNBC saw the updates of its news app and mobile website, when NBC Universal took over the design of both from a third party company. WNBC also updated its weather mobile app to improve functionality. The "Today in NY" alarm clock app, similar to that of WABC, debuted as well. Finally, Harry Cicma would take over weekend sports from Scott Stanford, who departed the station in late August to become the co-anchor of WPIX's PIX11 News at 10.
WNYW (Channel 5)
It was a busy year at Fox 5 in terms of personnel. 2013 saw the return of Greg Kelly, who had been anchoring Fox 5 News at 10, to the morning program Good Day New York, with co-anchor Rosanna Scotto. Dave Price, who had replaced Kelly on Good Day, later left Fox 5. When Kelly left the 10pm newscast, the station moved Steve Lacy from Good Day Early Call and Good Day Wake Up to the 10pm. Ben Simmoneau took over Lacy's post on Good Day. 2013 also saw Audrey Puente take on a larger role at the station, doing the weather for the weeken evening newscasts. Russ Salzberg, formerly the Sports Director at WWOR my9, was moved to Fox 5 when WWOR ended its flagship and only newscast, "The Ten O'Clock News." Antwan Lewis was promoted from reporter to weekend evening anchor as well. Finally, WNYW embraced social media in 2013, adding Twitter and Facebook- based segments to its newscasts to engage viewers.
WABC (Channel 7)
2013 brought some moderate changes to Eyewitness News. There were some personnel changes, but nothing major at the station. Early in the year, longtime traffic anchor Joe Nolan moved from the morning newscast to the afternoon newscasts, switching with Heather O'Rourke, who then joined Ken Rosato, Lori Stokes, and Bill Evans in Nolan's previous position on Eyewitness News This Morning. In May, the ABC Network announced the Watch ABC service, to be tested in New York (WABC) and Philadelphia (WPVI). The service allows users to view episodes of all ABC shows, and for selected TV providers, view live programming. Watch ABC was then expanded to include all of the ABC Owned Stations later in the summer. WABC, along with all of the other ABC Owned Stations, debuted a new mobile application for iOS and Android devices. The app replaced the outdated 7Online app, which was designed by a third party. The new application was designed by ABC Digital. WABC also introduced the AccuTrack Weather Alert mobile application around the same time. This application was designed by Weather Decision Technologies, and provides real-time weather information for a specific location, as well as a live radar and severe weather alert function. In June, longtime Meteorologist Bill Evans was arrested at his Greenwich home along with his wife. Both were charged with third degree assault and disorderly conduct, and were released, pending a future court hearing. Evans took over a week of personal time from WABC, but the station never suspended him. He returned to his post as morning weather anchor shortly thereafter. WABC also made use of its spacious studio in 2013, constructing a new demonstration interview area, which is used principally for Tory Johnson's "Secret Sales" segment, but is also used for any segment where a product may be shown off. Following the design of the ABC Network, which released a new logo in 2013, WABC updated its traditional circle 7 logo, with the new network logo and modernized circle 7. For November Sweeps, WABC released new talent opens, which feature the updated ABC logo and updated shots of the anchors. Finally, Phil Lipof, anchor of Eyewitness News This Morning (Weekend), announced in November that he would depart the station, to anchor the news at ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston, Massachusetts. Rob Nelson, former anchor of ABC World News Now, was named his successor.
WWOR-TV (Channel 9)
WWOR saw the end of its only news program, The Ten O'Clock News, in 2013. Hosts Brenda Blackmon and Harry Martin were reportedly offered positions at sister station WNYW, but neither have turned up at Fox 5. Sports anchor Russ Salzberg, however, did make the move to Fox 5, and now anchors sports from the WNYW studio. The 10pm timeslot on WWOR has since been filled with Chasing New Jersey, but ratings have reportedly been very low. In addition, New Jersey lawmakers are pushing for the FCC to revoke WWOR's license, saying that the station no longer provides a service to the people of New Jersey, where the station is licensed.
WLNY-TV (Channel 10/55)
WLNY underwent some personnel changes in 2013. Dana Tyler ended her stint as anchor of WLNY News at 9pm, replaced by Dick Brennan and Alice Gainer, who anchor the program from the CBS 2 studio. WLNY saw more integration with sister station WCBS as well. The Twitter handles of employees was changed to have the suffix "WCBSWLNY."
WPIX-TV (Channel 11)
In 2013, the struggling WPIX made numerous personnel changes in an effort to boost ratings across its newscasts. Frances Rivera left the station in August as a result of station brass trying to change the image of WPIX. Marysol Castro and Dan Mannarino joined the Pix Morning News, anchoring from 4-6am. Kori Chambers later joined the Pix Morning News from 6-9am. Julie Grauert joined WPIX as the morning traffic reporter. In the biggest move of the year, WPIX lured WNBC sports anchor Scott Stanford to co-anchor the Pix 11 News at 10pm with Tamsen Fadal. However, these changes were to no avail, as WPIX did not improve ratings in November Sweeps.
Check out our poll to vote on your choice! Please note that you are limited to one vote per IP address, and we will post the results on January 18, 2014. Take the poll here.
As first reported by Tuned In, Arnold Diaz and the entire Fox 5 Investigative Team, comprised of Diaz and three producers, have been dropped by WNYW, the flagship station of Fox Television Stations, Inc. Diaz reported on stories submitted by viewers, and worked to help the viewers featured when they were targeted by consumer scams and other issues. The segment, Shame, Shame, Shame, was similar to 7 On Your Side on WABC and I-Team on WNBC. According to Tuned In, Diaz has received over forty Emmy Awards for his investigative reporting, and has jumped from station to station over the years. He began his career at WCBS-TV, before he left to become a correspondent in 1995 for the national ABC News program 20/20. Diaz joined WNYW in 2006. When reached for comment by TVSpy, the Vice President and General Manager of Fox 5 said, "Arnold has uncovered consumer injustice in New York for decades. We want to thank him for his many contributions to FOX 5."
WPIX the tribune owned CW affiliate here in NYC is reportedly in the early stages of adding more newscasts to its schedule. First reported earlier today by Jerry Barmash on his media blog “TunedInNYC” WPIX is currently working to add a weekday 11AM newscast and a weekend morning 6-9AM newscast. It’s also said that PIX11 management is looking for new talent to anchor these new newscasts. If all goes according to plan viewers can expect to see these additional newscasts by May of this year.