Net hopes anchor's rep will help rebuild newscast

Ernie Anastos, one of the most popular local news anchors in New York in the 1980s and early ’90s, first on WABC-TV and then on WCBS-TV, is returning to the Eye web’s O&O.

Coming to the end of a three-year contract as an anchor at WWOR-TV, the Chris Craft/United UPN affiliate in New York, Anastos will jump over to WCBS-TV on Jan. 1, says Joel Cheatwood, news director of WCBS.

“Anastos’ credibility and familiarity will help us in our rebuilding of WCBS’ local newscasts,” says Cheatwood, referring to the station’s recent hiring of Todd McDermott to co-anchor the 5 p.m. newscast and Michael Pomeranz to take over as co-host of the morning and noon newscasts.

Cheatwood declined to say on which newscasts Anastos will assume the role of co-anchor, but sources report he’ll succeed Stephen Clark for the half-hour program at 6 p.m. and the 35-minute report at 11 p.m. The co-anchor at 6 and 11 is Dana Tyler.

WCBS’s local-news ratings have consistently lagged behind those of WNBC and WABC over the last few years, and Cheatwood’s mandate is to get those news viewers back.

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