A trio of stations in midsized Southern markets have made some unorthodox talent hires recently in an attempt to shake up their ratings.
Jefferson Pilot CBS affiliate WBTV Charlotte, N.C., will position ex-tabloid host Maureen O'Boyle in an anchor chair this month. A Charlotte native, she has signed on to co-host the noon and 5 p.m. newscasts. She is an alumna of both Extra and A Current Affair.
In Nashville, Meredith's WSMV looks to make its weekends a family affair, pairing former Hard Copy host Alan Frio with wife Terri Merryman at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Frio moves in from Los Angeles. Merryman, who grew up in Tennessee, is also the station's health reporter. "Together, I think they will make a real connection with the community," GM Steve Ramsey says of the move.
Post-Newsweek CBS affiliate WKMG Orlando, Fla., hired former CBS network morning guy Mark McEwen to anchor its early-morning and noon newscasts.
GM Henry Maldonado says he's looking for McEwen to "redefine" the station's third-ranked morning program—a tough assignment, given that WKMG typically attracts about one-fifth the audience of timeslot leader WFTV, the ABC station owned by Cox.