Rod Carter returns to WFLA-Ch. 8 as morning anchor today
No surprises there; Carter filled in a fair amount anchoring mornings three years ago, when he served as a street reporter at Tampa's NBC affiliate. Now he's benefited from a series of happy coincidences to land his current gig -- succeeding longtime morning anchor Gayle Guyardo in mornings after her decision to start an infomercial business.
Success anchoring mornings in Birmingham, Ala., where he headed after more than seven years at WFLA, gave Carter the perfect resume to return to his former stomping grounds and join the highly-competitive morning newscast wars -- which February "sweeps" ratings figures show rival WTVT-Ch. 13 winning in the morning hours.
WFLA's news director Don North said he wasn't exactly pleased with all the change he's had to absorb in the past year -- longtime anchor Bill Ratliff left the station in June, followed by Guyardo at the end of February and meteorologist Jennifer Hill on Friday.
But he's using the opportunity to bring back a familiar face in Carter and give an expanded role to traffic reporter Alicia Roberts -- who filled in ably as primary morning anchor for two weeks between Guyardo's departure and Carter's onscreen debut.
Carter, who remains an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists, also helps WFLA maintain its diversity levels among on air staff.
Click here to read my story on Carter in today's newspaper...