CBS’ Los Angeles O&O KCBS has an anchor shakeup in the works, including the end of anchor Ann Martin’s six-year reign over the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, beginning Aug. 28.
Martin will segue to an on-air schedule comprised of the revamped “Woman 2 Woman” at noon (formerly “Women 2 Women,” at 4 p.m.) and the hourlong 5 p.m. newscast, on which she’ll be joined by Mark Coogan. Coogan is moving up from reporter status.
KCBS is hoping to draw some additional viewers to the 5 p.m. report, which will have the benefit of an hourlong block of “Judge Judy” leading into it starting Aug. 28 (Daily Variety, Aug. 2).
The new “W2W” starts Sept. 5, while all other anchor changes are effective Aug. 28.
Carr moves up
Gretchen Carr will move from her current role as anchor at 5 p.m. to replace Martin at 6 and 11, joining current co-anchor Jonathan Elias.
Martin’s co-anchor at noon on “W2W” will be Catherine Anaya, who has been with the show since it debuted. Anaya will also team up with Sophia Choi during the 5-7 a.m. morning news show to provide Los Angeles the sole women-only morning news team.
In the ayem, Anaya replaces John Overall, whose contract with the station expires in October.
While Martin is being moved off of the high-profile 11 p.m. report, John Severino, president of CBS Television Stations and KCBS G.M., said that the shift does not amount to a demotion for the longtime L.A. news personality.
“It’s not a demotion because she is far and away the No. 1 newscaster on the recognition scale and favoritism scale for this station. I would be foolish to demote the person with that appeal,” he explained.
“Rather, we’re trying to take advantage of that recognition and put it at our only one hour newscast, at 5 p.m. Secondly, I’m committed to this ‘Woman to Woman’ concept, which did not work well at 4 p.m. She is the most integral part of what will hopefully be the success of that show,” he said.
Severino also argued that the importance placed on half-hour 11 p.m. newscasts is often overblown in the press. “Eleven o’clock news is much less significant today than it was when it was the only or one of the only newscasts stations aired,” he said, adding that there’s more money to make in the hour-and-a-half news block from 5-6:30 p.m. than during the half-hour at 11.
Garcia, Cruz tapped
In other L.A. station news, KNBC has named former KABC weekend anchor Ana Garcia to the anchor desk of the KNBC “Mid Day Report” at 11 a.m. and “Channel 4 News” at 11:30 a.m. The station also has upped KNBC general assignment reporter David Cruz to anchor alongside Garcia.
The changes were effective Monday.
KNBC’s midday reports had been anchored by Kent Shocknek and Kathy Vara, who also anchor the expanded morning newscast “Today in L.A.,” which airs 5-7 a.m.
Since the morning show was expanded in September, KNBC news director Nancy Bauer Gonzales has been on a hunt for a permanent news team to help create a franchise out of the daypart.