WNBC Shakeup: Shiba Russell Out; Brynn Gingras CNN-Bound

ShibaRussell_WNBCShiba Russell is gone from WNBC. The anchor’s days were numbered at Channel 4 since Sibila Vargas came on board from Los Angeles in October 2013, supplanting Russell as night time co-anchor with Chuck Scarborough.

Tuned In speculated even before Vargas put her Channel 4 mic clip on for the first time with the headline, “Is Shiba Russell on the Way Out at WNBC?

Russell’s five-year tenure at 30 Rock started with such a promising note, perhaps too promising. Most believe was hired from the ABC affiliate in Boston with the ultimate goal of replacing legend Sue Simmons.

Her star immediately soared. Shortly after starting out on the weekend anchor desk, Russell was promoted to weekdays, putting her in the perfect “wait in wings” position.

Simmons was pushed out in 2012, and there was her heir apparent to pick up the pieces.

However, the chemistry never worked between Scarborough and Russell. The pairing would not come anywhere close to the 32 years of Chuck and Sue’s famous “marriage.” In fact by early 2014, Vargas, who already sat with Scarborough for the 6 p.m. newscast, replaced Russell on the 11 p.m.

However, Russell did click with other anchors, most notably Tom Llamas and David Ushery.

BrynnGingras81915 (1)No word on her future. Reportedly, Russell was auditioning in Chicago recently. Tuned In obtained the email WNBC news director Susan Sullivan sent to staffers.

“After five years at WNBC, Shiba Russell is leaving our newsroom… We thank Shiba for her hard word and commitment.”

And Channel 4 has another spot to fill. Reporter Brynn Gingras is on her way to CNN. The general assignment correspondent joined WNBC in April 2012.

14 thoughts on “WNBC Shakeup: Shiba Russell Out; Brynn Gingras CNN-Bound

  1. Russ M

    So Sorry to hear that Brynn Gingras is leaving the station. I found her to be an
    excellent reporter. She was a credit to the station, and the various broadcasts
    that she appeared on. She will be greatly missed.
    Russ M

    Reply
  2. Calvin M. Hayden

    I can’t say that I was surprised by this. Shiba Russell was one of my favorite anchors. NBC4NY is in big trouble. First, they let the beautiful and sexy Domenica Davis go. Then Stacey Bell decided to leave for greener pastures and now Shiba and Brynn Gingras are gone. I guess looking good or being eye candy for the male viewers, no longer applies in the local TV news business. I wish Shiba and Brynn all the best in their future endeavors. Not sure if I will continue to watch NBC4NY for local news. Sibila Vargas is not bad, but I rather watch some other station.

    Reply
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  4. Barbara Martin

    I thought Shiba did a very good job. Wy is she forced out? I don’t see any great chemistry between Sibilia and Chuck. She’s a pretty hispanic woman. During papal coverage when she was on live, she made inane and sometimes incorrect comments. Then there is Kerry barrett – typical cookie cutter anchor . where is her chemistry? i have been an NBC viewer for more years than i care to admit, but you need to assess your entire team. Natalie Paquarella is good. Bryn Gingras is best reporter. Bringing on stefan Holt, who is his partner? Liz Chou is tough competition.

    Reply
  5. Stella fertig

    I realize recently that I haven’t seen Shiba Russel in a while and thought she maybe was on vacation. I googled her name today because she was such a pleasure to watch. Now I find out that she was let go by NBC. I am shocked at the news that Shiba Russell was let go from NBC. How could you replace her with Sibila Vargas? I find Sibila Vargas enormously irritating and not an informative reporter. She tries too hard to be pleasant but comes across the screen totally the opposite way. I find her extremely incompetent. She totally rubs me the wrong way. She definitely in my opinion is NOT an asset to the news desk at Channel 4. For years I have watched the local evening news on Channel 4 but lately I have switched to CBS, Channel 2. I miss watching Shiba Russell. She was warm, pleasant, informative and clear. In my opinion Sibila Vargas is the wrong substitute for Shiba Russel and you made a very big mistake in letting her go. Maybe Chuck Scarborough should have been more welcoming to Shiba Russell. Shame on NBC!

    Reply
  6. Audra. Wilkes

    I believe Chuck Scarborough had a lot to do with Shiba Russell’s departure. When they were anchoring together, he sat at the desk ‘like a bump on a log’. I didn’t think I’d like the female anchor that took Sue Simmons’ place but I truly did like Shiba. WNBC-tv deserves all of the bad luck they’re going to get for running Ms. Russell out of town. I’ve watched this channel’s newscasts for over four decades but no longer will I look at their newcasts on weekdays. I’ll continue to watch Pat and Gus and Rob and Natalie on the wekends however. I hope the news director (and mean ol’ Chuck Scarborough) don’t make it impossible for any other award-winning anchors and reporters to stay there.

    Reply
  7. CjBerk

    Shiba Russell was bright smart and a good broadcaster. No Cutesy behavior like the latest (Sibilla) she giGGles and flirts……I watch CBS-far better. Time. To retiirie ChuCk-dontchA think?? And who is the bad blonde on now…..silly. Station politics.

    Reply
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