Well, folks, the musical chairs could begin in Cincinnati's TV news biz with Jack Atherton's move to WLWT which we reported last night RIGHT when it first broke...
It's possible that Sandra Ali could be cut from WLWT when Atherton makes the move October 1st. (However, that's not confirmed, is pure speculation, and station management hasn't yet decided what it's going to do.)
Assuming she IS cut, where does she go?
The seemingly safest choices would be either 12 or 9, since neither have, as of now, suffered major budget cuts...but who'd be sent out the door from those places? And, are those places willing to hire her? (We'd bet yes. Especially at 12.)
Regardless, we do know two things WILL happen with Atherton's switch to 5. We know the all-female news team of Ali and Sheree Paolello will be split up in the 5-6pm hour. And we know that the solo anchoring experiment will be over.
Don't expect ratings to improve overnight either. Yes, Atherton is a HIGHLY respected, well regarded name in the city. And yes, no doubt people will tune in to see how whatever new pairing they use works, and if it may become the next Springer/Rashid number 1 team.
But, ratings success takes time, and trust, and oh yes, consistency. WLWT viewers may give the new team, whoever that may be, the first two. But will WLWT bosses allow the third to happen?
Time will tell.
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