While the focus of most people’s attention at Channel 11 has been evenings and Tamsen Fadal, Tuned In has learned exclusively that morning is about to get a makeover.
Frances Rivera, the PIX Morning News co-anchor, has accepted a buyout. Insiders say she will stay on the air until the end of the month.
Tuned In attempted to reach the station for comment.
Rivera teamed with the popular Sukanya Krishnan for the three-hour morning program beginning in August 2011. It could be that viewers never warmed up to Rivera. As in the evening, the ratings have been poor opposite powerhouse Good Day New York at WNYW, although Channel 11’s best numbers have actually been in the a.m.
“When it comes to news anchor teams, good chemistry is the hardest thing to find. And here’s proof positive,” an insider says. “Frances was liked as a person, but you didn’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to notice the lack of, or existence of, any chemistry between her and Sukanya. I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did.”
Rivera was hired by former news director Bill Carey. Rivera, we’re told, fell out of favor with Mark Effron. He became WPIX news director in April, working to revamp the formatics and ousting some talent that Carey brought in.
Insiders tell Tuned In that Effron is looking to hire a male anchor to work with Krishnan. WPIX has already been holding many anchor auditions for a male anchor to supplement Fadal at night.
Krishnan remains on maternity leave.