Jennifer Holloway to leave Bay News 9 morning anchor job later this year
So Jennifer Waldroup Holloway says she is leaving her high-profile position as morning anchor at Bay News 9. But she has another job ready: pushing the new exercise product she invented, the Workout 180, as it hits the Home Shopping Network and other outlets over the next few months.
Holloway hopes to stay at Bay News 9 or owner Bright House Networks in a different job, but can't say what she might do because negotiations haven't been completed. Officials at Bright House and Bay News 9 declined to comment.
Weekend anchor Erica Riggins is preparing to take over the morning anchor job when Holloway leaves, possibly at year's end. And the St. Petersburg-based cable newschannel has already announced an open weekend anchoring position, perhaps laying groundwork for any changes Holloway's departure would initiate.
"I don't need to be Katie Couric to feel I've accomplished what I set out to do as an anchor," said Holloway, who stressed it was her decision to step down from the morning show for "a change of pace." An employee at Bay News 9 since its debut in 1997, she took over as morning anchor in 2000.
Profiled last year on the PBS series Everyday Edisons, Holloway's invention offers a souped-up take on the typical aerobic step platform, adding a push up bar, resistance bands and a removeable middle section users can balance on to complete a wide range of exercises. (photo at left courtesy of Lindys Photography)
As part of the series, inventors partner with the creators of Everyday Edisons to develop and market their products. Holloway, who was selected for the PBS show from 500 Tampa-area hopefuls in 2005, has spent years with them refining the product; their company spent $400,000 just to build molds to mass produce the units. See a promotional video for the device here.
Now, Holloway says Home Shopping Network is preparing to feature the device in early October -- a recent visit with her partners sparked rumors she was leaving Bay News 9 for a job there (she isn't) -- and this month's Shape magazine features a complimentary review. Currently, customers can buy the $199 unit online and Dick's Sporting Goods will soon carry the item, she said.
The 37-year-old former Miss Georgia - who reveals in press materials for the Workout 180 she was once a heavy child ridiculed as "Wide Load Waldroup" - says she's got two more ideas for inventions ready, once the Workout 180 is established.
"I won't retire on this product, but it's a dream come true," she said. "I've done what I said I was going to do."