WRAL shifts anchor lineup, hires new anchor for weekday nightly newscasts
WRAL-TV will shift its anchor lineup this week, with longtime weekday evening co-anchor Debra Morgan on earlier broadcasts and a new anchor filling nights.
Prior to the shift, Morgan co-anchored newscasts with Gerald Owens at 5, 6, 7 and 11 p.m. Her new schedule has her co-anchoring at 5 and 6 p.m. only, though still with Owens. Owens will be on a 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. schedule.
Taking over at 7 and 11 p.m. is Ashley Rowe, a former weekday anchor at WKBW-TV in Buffalo. Rowe, a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, also worked for CTV News in Toronto.
Rowe will co-anchor the 7 p.m. newscast with Dan Haggerty and the 11 p.m. newscast with Gerald Owens.
Those changes are effective Thursday, May 25.
Better balance for Morgan
The change in Morgan’s schedule is part of an effort to scale back but still remain involved in news, she said in a WRAL news release.
“During this most recent conversation with the station about my future with WRAL, I felt certain I wasn’t finished with this part of my life, but was looking for some balance outside the newsroom. When WRAL presented me with the opportunity to continue to do what I love but with a slightly better schedule, I couldn’t pass it up. It’s exceptionally rare in this business, and I’m grateful.”
Morgan, who has been with WRAL for more than 30 years, said she is “looking forward to spending evenings with my husband for the first time in our marriage.”
Morgan’s role as a newsroom leader isn’t expected to change with the schedule shift.
In an email, news director Rick Gall emphasized the impact Morgan has on the WRAL newsroom. “While working a shorter day, there’s no doubt that Debra will remain fully engaged in editorial discussions, breaking news, continuous coverage, big events, community appearances, etc.,” he said. “She’s played a huge role in our success over the years, and we look forward to more of that!”
Here’s the weekday anchor lineup at WRAL and FOX 50 News
▪ Weekday mornings (WRAL) from 4:30 a.m.-7 a.m: Renee Chou and Jeff Hogan
▪ Weekdays at noon (WRAL): Renee Chou and Jeff Hogan
▪ Weekdays at 4 p.m. (WRAL & Fox 50): Lena Tillett and Dan Haggerty
▪ Weekdays at 4:30 p.m. (WRAL & Fox 50): Lena Tillett and Chris Lovingood
▪ Weekdays 5 p.m. (WRAL): Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens
▪ Weekdays at 5:30 pm. (WRAL): Lena Tillett and Dan Haggerty
▪ Weekdays at 6 p.m. (WRAL): Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens
▪ Weekdays at 7 p.m. (WRAL): Ashley Rowe and Dan Haggerty
▪ Weekdays at 10 pm. (Fox 50): Gerald Owens and Lena Tillett
▪ Weekdays at 10:30 p.m. (Fox 50): Lena Tillett and Chris Lovingood
▪ Weekdays at 11 p.m. (WRAL): Ashley Rowe and Gerald Owens