It was an inauspicious start for Rob Schmitt at WNBC.
The former KCAL/KCBS anchor and reporter began on yesterday’s 5 p.m. broadcast reading a 90-second story about the death of Glee actor Cory Monteith.
It appears the station’s decision to ease Schmitt into the newscast slowly was a smart move. Nerves clearly took hold of him. His voice wasn’t commanding, he had awkward pauses scattered about, and Schmitt concluded his live piece by giving an errant close to the story, “Rob Schmitt, NBC 4 News New York,” instead of “News 4 New York.”
We’ll give Schmitt the benefit of the doubt, and assume he won’t be another Steve Trout, a decent ballplayer who couldn’t handle the New York spotlight. Trout crashed and burned with the Yankees in the 1980s.
Schmitt was hired last month from the CBS-owned stations in Los Angeles as weekday general assignment reporter, and ultimately to be Channel 4’s noon anchor.
By JERRY BARMASH
Channel 4 is going bi-coastal with its new hire, Rob Schmitt (left) from CBS’ duopoly KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles.
Schmitt, who makes his New York debut July 15, will anchor the weekday noon broadcast with a rotation of Erika Tarantal and Contessa Brewer.
Schmitt, who was with the CBS’ stations in L.A. since 2011, will also handle reporting for WNBC’s 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.
It also frees up noon co-anchor Tom Llamas to expand his reporting duties with the station’s investigative unit—the I Team. Viewers will still see Llamas, who won an Emmy as New York’s top anchor, with Shiba Russell at 5 p.m.
“I’m incredibly excited,” Llamas tells Tuned In.
Llamas’ plate is even more full when you add his contributions to NBC News.
“It’s really a dream opportunity,” Llamas says. “I don’t know if any other television journalist on the planet has that type of opportunity. So I’m really looking forward to it.”