Replacing Tim, Adding Eric and Carole

OK, so now it can be told.

Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 Cleveland has come up with its plan for replacing news anchor Tim White, who was unable to reach a contract renewal agreement to remain as co-anchor alongside Romona Robinson. White’s last day at WKYC will be one week from Friday, on December 12th.

Tim’s replacement on “Channel 3 News” at 6 PM and 11 PM weekdays starting Monday, December 15th is pictured here:

No, that’s not a broken picture link.

Co-anchoring WKYC’s 6 and 11 PM weekday shows with Robinson after White leaves the anchor desk will be – no one.

Get out your Channel 3 News anchor guide, and where it says “Romona Robinson and Tim White”, use the white-out to cover up everything starting with “and”. (Don’t do it on your screen. It’ll leave a mark.)

Robinson will be the sole anchor of those programs. Romona will, of course, continue to be joined by sports anchor Jim Donovan, weather anchor Betsy Kling, or whoever else is filling in for them. Plus, of course, the reporters doing live shots from either the studio or from the field.

But there will be no second news anchor on those 6 PM and 11 PM shows…when it comes to news, she’ll be solo at the anchor desk. (For out of towners, there is no 5 PM edition of “Channel 3 News”, when the incredibly annoying “Dr. Phil” picks up viewers who don’t share our tastes in TV programming.)

That’s not to say there aren’t other people involved in Channel 3 News’ moves today, and two of those people get a weekday showcase.

In addition to confirming Romona’s solo anchoring at 6 and 11, WKYC senior director and “Director’s Cut” blogger Frank Macek notes big changes on the station’s 7 PM newscast.

Romona will get the 7 PM edition of “Channel 3 News” off, as WKYC Akron Bureau chief Eric Mansfield will be teamed with reporter Carole Sullivan to anchor that half-hour news program.

Macek writes:

(Eric and Carole) will bring a fresh new approach to our 7 pm newscast while Channel 3 News Anchor Romona Robinson will handle the 6 & 11 pm broadcasts as newsrooms across the nation begin shifting away from traditional two anchor teams for their newscasts.

While times are difficult, we look forward to the new challenges that our business has to offer and the opportunity this presents us in television to re-invent ourselves.

Mansfield himself has more on his move on his “Have I Got News For You!” blog, after 15 years covering news out of Akron for WKYC.

Though he says the change means a “move up north” to Cleveland, workplace-wise, he says he isn’t letting go of Akron, and still has some Summit County based stories working:

Akron’s my home .. so I’m not moving either .. but the opportunity to cover more of Northeast Ohio is one I welcome. This truly is the best place in the world to live.

Eric reminds us in the item that he has known his new 7 PM co-anchor for a long time, as the pair worked together at the old WAKC/23 news operation:

Carole and I go back 15+ years to “23 News” on WAKC, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. I like to call her the “TV sister I never knew I wanted” because I grew up with two brothers .. and never realized how great it can be to share laughs with a “girl” of all things.

In all seriousness, we’re both committed to making the new 7 p.m. newscast a top-notch broadcast; we’ve got some creative ideas so come along for the ride.

OMW hears that in addition to co-anchoring the 7 PM show, Eric will also be available to co-anchor with Romona Robinson – in the event breaking news calls for an extra anchor at 6.

But in general, it sounds like this move puts Mansfield into the mix as a Cleveland-based reporter during the day, which brings up another question – if that assumption is correct, who replaces him in the Akron bureau at Main and Market?

That’s one piece of information we don’t have…

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