Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WKYC | CBS network's Mitchell named top anchor

In an unexpected move, Russ Mitchell, anchor of the CBS Evening News weekend edition and The Early Show on Saturday, has just been named lead anchor at WKYC, the NBC affiliate in Cleveland. He starts Jan. 16, WKYC says in this story.

Perhaps anticipating concerns he might be a big city prima donna, WKYC quotes Mitchell, 51, saying: "I'm a Midwestern guy. I'm used to hard work. I get the weather."

In an interview with the The Plain Dealer, Mitchell said: "It's been a great run at CBS, but I miss the pulse of a local newsroom."

In his new role, he'll be lead anchor of the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts.

Newsday's TV blogger, Verne Gay, calls Mitchell's move a "reverse promotion."

Prominent minority newscaster
"Big league anchors usually get bigger jobs, not Cleveland," Gay writes. "Not that there's anything wrong with Cleveland, by the way. But you get my drift."

Mitchell, who is African-American, is one of the most prominent minorities in network journalism, and has been with CBS about 17 years. Gay notes that he might have been short-listed to someday replace Scott Pelley as Evening News lead anchor, a post Pelley took after Katie Couric left last summer.

"But Pelley's not going anywhere," Gay says, "and now Mitchell is."

It appears Mitchell is replacing Romona Robinson, the evening anchor for 15 years, who left this month after failing to reach an agreement over a new contract.

General Manager Brooke Spectorsky tells TVSpy that Mitchell’s co-anchor will be announced soon.

TVNewser has CBS News president David Rhodes' memo, announcing Mitchell's departure.


  1. He'd _better_ be used to hard work. At Gannett TV stations, there's not enough staff to cover any of the scut tasks that the network newscasts pay peons to do.

    (I'm a former Gannett TV news employee.)

  2. He's an excellent journalist and very good person. Hope he knows what he is walking in to.

  3. I only know of Russ Mitchell what I see of him on weekend nights. With that in mind, what the hell is he thinking? Local news? In Cleveland, a town made famous by Drew Carey and Betty White?? The Mistake by the Lake??? Gannett????? Wow.

  4. Cleveland is one of the top local TV markets in the country. The area covers all of NE Ohio, from south of Canton into the Youngstown areas-an area of roughly 3 million people. Several weather forecasters currently in the market left the Weather Channel for jobs there. Other national names have come out of the market, including Kelly ODonnell on MSNBC and Al Roker on NBC.

    Romona Robinson was VERY popular though and her job is difficult to fill, her coanchor Tim White left under curious circumstances also. Something seems amuck behind the scenes at Channel 3. This smells of another Gannett screw up job.

  5. hey dipshit jim, it's verne gay, with an E. Or were you blinded by the Gay reference?

  6. 9:47 Thank you for pointing out my misspelling. (And a ho, ho, mo to you, too.)

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  9. I have no idea why Russ would make the move to Cleveland. Perhaps a family connection? He is a good newsman and a great guy. I wish him luck. With the cutbacks, WKYC photographers and editors taking huge paycuts, and semi professional video equipment in use...I imagine the culture over there is in the dumps. Hope Russ isn't sucked into a deep dark vortex.


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