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Winds shift in WCBS weather posts

Fisher to dawn patrol, Dannon takes lead spot

NEW YORK – WCBS is putting veteran weatherman Ira Joe Fisher on the dawn patrol and tapping fresh-faced forecaster Mark Dannon as its new lead meteorologist.

In a complete overhaul of the CBS flagship’s weather department set to be announced today, Fisher will exit the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts and take a new assignment on the station’s early-morning and noon shows. The shift is expected to take place in early August.

Fisher will be replaced by the twentysomething Dannon, who joined WCBS barely a year ago. Linda Church, currently assigned to mornings and midday, will replace Dannon on weekends.

Gotham news insiders say the weather shuffle at WCBS may represent the station’s attempt to attract a younger demographic to its 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts, which have shown significant ratings growth in recent months.

With Fisher and sportscaster Warner Wolf both over 50, execs may have felt the current evening anchor lineup skewed too old. Fisher’s folksy style may also prove to be a better fit with morning and daytime viewers, industry observers say.

In addition to his duties at WCBS, Dannon serves as the weather forecaster for “CBS News Saturday Morning.”

Fisher jumped to WCBS from WNBC three years ago, originally serving as weekend weatherman. He was promoted to lead forecaster about a year later.