Fox 13 to flip morning news anchors Monday, moving Nerissa Prest to weekends and Laura Moody to weekdays
Tampa Fox station WTVT-Ch. 13 will flip its morning news anchors Monday, promoting Laura Moody (left) from weekends to weekdays and sending weekday anchor Nerissa Prest (far left) to weekends and weekday reporting.
The move comes months after the station extended its Good Day Tampa Bay weekday morning newscasts, establishing a 4:30 a.m. program amid increasing competition in the timeslot. Moody joins the 4:30 a.m to 7 a.m. shift on Monday; Prest starts on weekends Sept. 5.
Rival WFLA-Ch.8 recently saw longtime morning anchor Bill Ratliff retire, while CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10 hired anchor Keith Jones from Pittsburgh and traffic reporter Danielle Saar from Colorado Springs.
Even as the economic downturn crumbles local TV budgets, area stations are finding resources for their morning newscasts, with rival WFTS-Ch. 28 hiring weather forecaster Stephanie Roberts and traffic reporter Meredyth Censullo -- both let go by WTSP -- and debuting morning broadcasts on the weekends.
So why did WTVT make this change, essentially demoting Prest more than two years after hiring her away from WFLA?
General manager Bill Schnieder declined to provide details on why the switch was made, saying, "We constantly are assessing everything we do...Nerissa's in a high profile position as a single anchor on our weekend (morning) newscast. Both of them (Moody and Prest) have the opportunity to be successful in these new roles."