SYRACUSE -- Two big announcements from Carrie Lazarus on tonight's edition of NewsChannel 9 at 6:00. First up, veteran anchor Rod Wood's return to the ABC affiliate has been delayed by a week. Second, Carrie's now anchoring from the newsroom as the station is updating it's news set. (Could this be for the eventual launch of local HD?)
Earlier today, we reported that the station had been airing promos advertising Rod's return to the airwaves tonight -- four weeks after undergoing successful surgery to remove prostate cancer. Tonight, Lazarus announced Wood is "under the weather" after catching "a bug" over the weekend, pushing his return to work back by a week.
She also announced the station is rebuilding its news set, so she's anchoring from the newsroom. According to a 2008 post on the station's website written by an engineering department manager, the existing (or maybe now, the "old?") set has been in place since October 1999. At the time, he said, "I'm not sure it will be necessary to do significant set redesign for HD... many of the elements are already proportioned fairly wide."
There's no word on exactly whether the set changes are directly tied to an anticipated upgrade to locally-produced HD programming or just how different the set will look after the changes are complete. Newport Television sister station WHAM-TV in Rochester went all-HD on September 13, and we've heard that work to build a new HD control room at WSYR-TV has been underway for quite some time now.