- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Fox affiliate WTTG-TV (Channel 5) named Brian Bolter anchor of its flagship 10 p.m. newscast yesterday, ending months of speculation about who would get the high-profile gig.
The station also announced new anchors for its early-morning and weekend newscasts.
Mr. Bolter will succeed Mike Landess as Tracey Neale's co-anchor on the 10 p.m. newscast. Mr. Landess left in March to anchor at ABC's Denver affiliate.
Mr. Bolter and Ms. Neale will also preside over WTTG's 5 p.m. newscast, which debuts in early September. They will anchor both programs Monday through Friday.
It's a plum assignment. WTTG's 10 p.m. news is one of the most-watched newscasts in Washington, often drawing more viewers than the 11 p.m. news on the other stations in town.
An average 140,448 households tuned into "Fox 5 News at Ten" during the May ratings sweeps.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime. We have so much talent in this newsroom and I'm thrilled to be able to help showcase it," Mr. Bolter said.
The job is rich with heritage the station's previous 10 p.m. anchors include Maury Povich and Morris Jones and competition for the chair was heavy. WTTG gave on-air auditions to other reporters and anchors, including popular morning man Michael Gargiulo.
"Giving Brian this job in no way reflects on Michael. We consider the morning news as important as the 10 o'clock show, and we didn't necessarily want to disrupt that," said Katherine Green, vice president and news director.
Mr. Bolter joined WTTG in November 1999 after stints at stations in smaller cities, including Baltimore and Little Rock, Ark. He has become one of WTTG's top reporters, winning two local Emmy awards last month.
WTTG also announced that weekend anchor Shawn Yancy and Amy Robach, the station's traffic reporter, will anchor its 5:30 to 7 a.m. newscast, beginning Monday.
They replace Allison Seymour and Todd Wallace. Mr. Wallace left WTTG last month to anchor at NBC's Dallas affiliate.
Ms. Seymour moves to WTTG's noon newscast, which has been without a permanent anchor since September 11, when the station sent longtime noon anchor Patrick McGrath back into the field.
Ms. Seymour will also deliver health reports for WTTG's 5 p.m. show. Reporters Laura Evans and Will Thomas will anchor WTTG's 10 p.m. news on Saturdays and Sundays.
WTTG still has a help-wanted sign hanging in its window, despite yesterday's announcements.
It is seeking at least four new reporters, including a replacement for Noel Tucker, who left this month to become a weekend anchor at NBC's Baltimore affiliate.
WTTG is also seeking a weathercaster for the 5 p.m. newscast. Sue Palka will stick with giving the weather on the 10 p.m. show, although she will also do some reporting for the 5 p.m. newscast.
Teaming up
Speaking of WTTG, it will begin sharing its "SkyFox" helicopter with radio station WMAL (630 AM) this summer.
The broadcasters will use the same traffic reporter, who will actually be employed by Metro Networks/Shadow Broadcast Services, a company that provides traffic reports to radio stations nationwide.
WMAL will be the only radio station in town with live helicopter traffic reports, spokesman Willie Waffle said. The station will continue to use traffic reports from Metro's airplanes, too.
"This gives us a great advantage. A helicopter can go places a plane can't. Now we can blanket the area," Mr. Waffle said.

Got a tip for Channel Surfing? Call Chris Baker at 202/636-3139, or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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