Pittsburgh anchor Keith Jones will join WTSP-Ch. 10's morning lineup in mid April, taking a spot alongside longtime morning anchor Ginger Gadsden on the station's ratings-challenged a.m. newscast.
Jones, 37, is tentatively scheduled to start April 15; Gadsden had been leading the broadcast as the sole news anchor since June, when partner Mario Diaz left journalism to join Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.
"I think they went through a number of candidates last year and kept coming back to me," said Jones, who will move from the 22nd-largest market in Pittsburgh to the 13th-largest market, the Tampa Bay area. "I think they thought I was somebody who could handle all the various aspects of the show they wanted to put together. I feel incredibly blessed."
Jones nearly ended his career back in 2006, when he got in a serious car accident while drinking and driving, flipping his Jeep several times and breaking his arm. The anchor spent two months off the air, returning in June 2006 with an apology for viewers, saying, "I made a decision that will affect me for the rest of my life … that left me seriously injured, and more importantly, put my family and all the other families on the road that night at terrible risk."
Jones said the incident had no impact on his decision to leave Pittsburgh. "It happened three years ago — there was no impact on employment," added the anchor, who said he learned a bitter lesson from the arrest and attendant publicity. "It was a horrible, horrible mistake."