UTICA -- Last week, Bill Worden announced he'll be retiring from TV news this month, after 35 years WKTV's primary anchor. His final newscast will be November 29. Today, we finally have an answer to the big question that's been lingering since Worden's announcement: who will take over? There actually plenty of changes, including one that might come as a surprise to viewers.
Station Manager and News Director Steve McMurray announced the new anchor lineup today. He says the changes will be phased in over the coming weeks, with all of the moves completed by December 3rd.
First and foremost, longtime morning co-anchor Don Shipman will turn his body clock upside down, moving to a nightside shift. He will join Kristen Copeland as co-anchor of the Live at Five News Hour and he'll take Worden's place as solo anchor of the station's two late night newscasts, at 10:00pm on CW 11 (WKTV-DT 2.2) and at 11:00pm on WKTV.
Shipman's addition to the 5pm newscast will allow McMurray -- who currently co-anchors at 5pm -- to instead co-anchor with Copeland on NewsChannel 2 at Six.
Shipman's not the only staffer making a big schedule change: in perhaps the most surprising move of the entire chain of events, longtime Sports Director Jason Powles will be giving up sports to take Shipman's place as co-anchor of the station's early morning newscasts, alongside Janel Boston. (Rare as it may be to see a sportscaster jump to news, we'll note it's not the first time this has happened in Utica -- McMurray himself was WUTR's sports director for several years before he became the ABC affiliate's News Director, the position he held until he moved to WKTV a decade ago.)
The sports department domino effect continues, with weekend sports anchor Mike Levin ascending to the rank of Sports Director, and we presume, an eventual announcement of a new weekend sports anchor.
But that's not all: the station announced Assistant News Director Dave Dellecese, who has been filling in on NewsChannel 2 at Noon since September, is now the permanent anchor for that newscast.
Similarly, Boonville native Nicole Pitt has been officially named the station's weekend anchor, after filling-in on those newscasts since August.
"NewsChannel 2 has the most experienced anchor team in Central New York, and these anchor changes exemplify that," McMurray said in a press release. "These talented individuals bring years of experience, as well as numerous local and state awards with them to their new positions. Our viewers expect and deserve the area's best news coverage and today's announcement affirms our committment to give it to them."
Bill Worden joined WKTV in 1977 as the station's 6pm and 11pm co-anchor. When announcing his plans to retire last week, Worden said he would only be anchoring the 6pm newscast for his remaining time at NewsChannel 2.
WKTV Announces Changes to Anchor Lineup
(Utica-NY)- Following the retirement announcement of legendary news anchor Bill Worden, WKTV has announced its new anchor lineup, taking effect later this month.
Don Shipman, anchor of one of the highest rating morning news programs in the nation, NewsChannel 2 Daybreak and NewsChannel 2 at Sunrise, will become the new anchor of NewsChannel 2 at 10 and NewsChannel 2 at 11. In addition, he will co-anchor the Live at Five Newshour with Kristen Copeland.
Jason Powles, WKTV’s Sports Director since 1998, will take over for Shipman as the morning anchor along with Jenel Boston. Mike Levin, weekend sports anchor will take over the Sports Director, replacing Powles.
WKTV Assistant News Director Dave Dellecese will become the permanent anchor for NewsChannel 2 at Noon. Dellecese has been filling in for that position since late September.
McMurray also announced that Nicole Pitt is the new weekend anchor at NewsChannel 2. Pitt, a Boonville native, joined the station in 2010, and has been anchoring the weekend evening shows since late August.
“WKTV NewsChannel 2 has the most experienced news team in Central New York, and these anchor changes exemplify that,” says WKTV Station Manager and News Director Steve McMurray. “These talented individuals bring years of experience, as well as numerous local and state awards with them to their new positions. Our viewers expect and deserve the area’s best news coverage, and today’s announcement affirms our commitment to give it to them,” added McMurray. As part of the anchor changes, McMurray will now co-anchor NewsChannel 2 at 6:00pm, the area’s highest rated newscast, with Kristen Copeland.
The changes will be phased in over the next few weeks, with all anchors in their new roles by December 3rd.
Our thanks to an anonymous CNYTVNews.com reader who gave us an early "heads-up" to be ready for Worden's retirement announcement last week, and for the new lineup announcement this week. Thanks also to Steve McMurray for including us on his press release distribution list. Whether you've got insider tips to share, or you're a manager authorized to issue official announcements, we're always glad to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org -- or use our handy Contact Form if you prefer. Either way, requests for anonymity are always honored, and if you use the form, you don't even need to tell us who you are.