Channel 4 opted to break the traditional one-hour broadcast into two separate 30-minute shows. Chuck Scarborough and Sibila Vargas anchor the first half. We’re told the “anchor” leg features a rotating male presence of either David Ushery or Rob Schmitt, alongside Shiba Russell.
At first blush we notice the previously demoted Russell is getting the short end of the stick again. She has the noon duties but loses a pivotal half hour of face time.
Of course, Chuck and Sibila are already the station workhorses as the lead team at 6 and 11 p.m.
It’s uncertain if this is a stopgap measure. In addition, Tuned In learned the station did not let the staff know about the changes.
“Newsroom insiders are concerned these changes will be confusing to viewers,” a source admits.
At 5 p.m. viewers have multiple options for local news. WCBS and WABC, usually performing better than WNBC, are joined by WPIX and WNYW.
Several years ago, Channel 2 tried a split 5 p.m. news that featured a lighter news slant at the bottom of the hour. There’s no word on what the direction for WNBC’s version will be.
Llamas departed for ABC News last month.