Michelle Relerford, reporter and fill-in anchor at 7 News since late 2007, has decided to leave Boston for her hometown in Chicago. She reported on her Twitter on Friday:
I love you Boston but its time to go home. I’m headed to CHICAGO!
No word yet on her destination, but her last night on the anchor desk was last night with Ryan Schulteis. Her departure marks the latest in a series from Bulfinch Place as well as the Boston market in general, with Matt Lorch, Steve Lacy, Peg Rusconi, Sara Underwood, and Frances Rivera all calling it quits within the last month.
Prior to her four-year stint at channel 7, Relerford had previously been a freelance reporter at WFLD (Fox/32) in Chicago. No word yet from 7 brass as to who will be replacing her.
Check out VintageTelevision‘s collection of video from channels 4, 5, and 7 regarding the 1993 sale of WHDH to Ed Ansin and Sunbeam Television. It’s quite interesting to hear feedback from multiple sources, including Mr. Ansin himself, regarding the changes in store for the then-struggling CBS affiliate.
It’s official, WSBK is no longer an independent station. According to today’s Globe, the former UPN owned and operated station will make the switch to News Corporation’s myNetworkTV programming service this fall. As a result, the 8-10 p.m. block will be set aside for shows such as reruns of “Law and Order,” “Burn Notice,” and “Without a Trace.”
In addition to picking up the new affiliation, WBZ News on TV38 will also move it’s 9pm newscast to 10 p.m. This marks an end of an era to the newscast with a cult following. It will continue to be anchored by Kate Merrill and Todd Gutner. No word yet on whether the newscast will continue to broadcast for thirty minutes or expand to a full hour as in previous iterations.
Rounding out the schedule changes comes with the announcement that the 7 p.m. block will be replaced by reruns of the popular CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This is the third major change at 7 p.m. since the switch to the general-entertainment format in late 2006.
This announcement comes after months of speculation. As you may remember, WBIN (formerly WZMY) dropped their affiliation with the network following an ownership change. Incidentally, the Derry, New Hampshire-based station was known on-air as MyTV for nearly two years prior to the creation of the network myNetworkTV.
With the departures of both Frances Rivera and Matt Lorch from 7 News, a major hole is opened within the anchor teams. The question of who will replace the two has yet to be seen. The usual feeder station for WHDH, Miami’s WSVN, has been racked with departures as well, losing both weekend anchor Reed Cowan and reporter Vanessa Ruiz. Ruiz has taken a job with TV Marti but Cowan has been reportedly in line for an anchor position in a top-20 market. The obvious connections to be implied are quickly smashed, however, as Cowan has been reportedly seen in Los Angeles.
The question is now turned over to you, the btvn reader. Who do you think will replace Matt and Frances at 7 Bullfinch Place? There have been a few guesses ventured on our forums and in the commentary areas on the blog. Here is an area for ideas to develop and be expressed.
Shannon Mulaire, a reporter at Fox25 for nearly a year, has been tapped to anchor the weekend edition of Fox25 News at 10 and 11 p.m. According to the Boston Herald and astute btvn reader Waianae, Mulaire was chosen to replace Sara Underwood, who left the Fox O&O last week after three years.
Prior to her arrival in Dedham, Shannon Mulaire was a reporter at two other Fox outlets; WTVT in Tampa Bay and WFTX in Ft. Myers. She joined channel 25 in August 2010.
Another round of departures has rocked the Boston TV landscape. Matt Lorch, currently the 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. anchor at 7 News, has accepted a job at KCPQ in Seattle. The Fox affiliate and former WLVI-sister station announced today that Lorch will begin anchoring at 5 p.m. on September 12th.
News director Jon Brady told TVSpy that “We are very excited to welcome Matt Lorch home to Seattle,” adding that “We’re all looking forward to having him on the team.”
Lorch, a native of Washington, has been anchoring at channel 7 since 2006. Prior to that, he was an anchor at Miami’s WPLG. No word yet on his last day at WHDH. Lorch is the latest in an exodus from the Boston market that includes 7 primary anchor Frances Rivera, 25-er Sara Underwood, NewsCenter5 weekender Steve Lacy, and channel 4 veteran Peg Rusconi.
WCVB weekend anchor Steve Lacy has left channel 5. According to FishbowlNY, Lacy had left the station to pursue an opportunity in NYC. Starting on August 15th, he will serve as the 4:30-7 a.m. anchor at New York City’s Channel 5, WNYW. Over the past few weeks, rumors of his departure surfaced on our forums, but the answer has finally been found.
As you may remember, 7 News primary anchor Frances Rivera also left Boston to anchor mornings in New York City.
Fox 25 has added a new member to their gutted sports department. Kristine Leahy, who has worked as the in-arena host and web reporter for the Boston Celtics, joins the station as a sports anchor and reporter. Recently, she tweeted, “Starting today I will be the newest member of the sports department at Fox 25, where I’ll be anchoring and reporting.”
As you may remember, both Butch Stearns and Ryan Asselta left the station, leaving the owned-and-operated station with no dedicated sports reporters.
This is the latest in a series of talent changes that the station has made in the past few months, with most notably the abrupt departure of weekend anchor Sara Underwood.
Peg Rusconi, a fixture at WBZ and TV38 for fourteen years, will be leaving the duopoly this month. According to The Herald, her husband, sportscaster Dan Hoard, accepted a position as the play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Bengals. Rusconi has been with WBZ since 1997.
Prior to her tenure on Soldiers Field Road, Rusconi had been a reporter at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati. No word yet on her destination once she returns to the Buckeye State.
Sara Underwood’s last day at Fox 25 is tonight. The popular weekend anchor told Twitter today, “Goodbye Fox friends! Today is last day. Trading in anchor desk for full time mommy job. Spending QT with Emma before baby #2 arrives.”
After arriving at Fox 25 in 2008, Underwood helmed the anchor desk on weekend evenings and reported during the week. “It’s all about the family,” she tells the Herald, “It was a tough decision to make. For the last several years, I’ve worked weekends, nights and holidays–and I’ve missed out so much on my daughter’s life.”