Sinclair Broadcast Group has set the anchor team for the company’s national morning news program set to air across dozens of CW and My Network affiliate stations starting early next year.
Former Washington, D.C. TV anchor Jan Jeffcoat has been tapped to lead the three-hour broadcast that will emphasize breaking news and local news stories drawn from Sinclair’s nearly 200 stations across the country. The program will air on more than 60 stations.
The untitled program is described as a headline news service to air live from 6 a.m.-9 a.m. ET on numerous Sinclair stations and on STIRR, Sinclair’s ad-supported free streaming service. The morning program is believed to be the first of a number of news-related initiatives for Sinclair stations not affiliated with the Big Three networks, which have their own news divisions. Some of Sinclair’s Fox affiliate stations will carry the show.
“With so much currently going on across the world, being able to be a part of Sinclair and contribute to its remarkable local news coverage is an opportunity to report on news that will impact millions,” Jeffcoat said. “As we push through these continuously turbulent times, it’s my responsibility and goal as an anchor to provide viewers with the most up-to-date, crucial news and information.”
Cayle Thompson, formerly an anchor with Sinclair’s KOMO-TV Seattle, has also been tapped to serve as the live desk anchor for the broadcast.
Jeffcoat and Thompson will anchor the broadcast from a newly renovated studio at Sinclair’s D.C. affiliate WJLA-TV.
“Jan and Cayle are incredible journalists that represent excellence in television broadcasting, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them join our award-winning news team,” said Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s senior VP of news. “With their combined authentic reporting and tenacious spirit, both Jan and Cayle bring to Sinclair a level of reporting that seamlessly delivers the news viewers need instantly.”
Many of Sinclair’s stations are affiliated with the Big Three networks, which means they already have network-provided morning news program. CW and My Network affiliates do not, which makes them a good platform for Sinclair to experiment with news programming on a quasi-national scale.
Sinclair in July unveiled plans to launch what it described as a “headline news service” and promising to hire 25 positions including anchors, producers, editors and directors. Sinclair has stated that the service will focus on headlines and stories from around the country.
For the past few years there’s been a steady current of speculation in the industry that Sinclair is planning to unveil a conservative-leaning news channel to compete with Fox News. Sinclair executives have consistently denied any such plans. When the headline news service was unveiled in July, the news release stressed that it would offer “commentary-free content.”
Jeffcoat spent five years as an anchor for CBS affiliate WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. She’s also worked as an anchor for WFLD-TV Chicago, KRIV-TV Houston, WBTV-TV Charlotte, N.C., and WCSC-TV Charleston, S.C. She was also an anchor for the Scripps’ nationally syndicated magazine show “The List.”
(Pictured: Jan Jeffcoat)