After a couple of weeks teasing viewers as to the identity of their new morning anchor, WKRG’s big reveal earlier this week should be welcome news to local viewers.
Jessica Taloney, who last graced the airwaves more than three years ago before leaving to have children, is back on the local CBS affiliate, this time manning the morning desk from 5-7 a.m. alongside co-anchor Bill Riales and meteorologist John Nodar. Taloney has worked in a variety of roles at WKRG, but is probably best known for her outstanding investigative reporting over the years.
She said the station initially contacted her about the possibility of coming back around a year ago — when morning anchor Devon Walsh was moving to evenings — but her daughter and son were just 2 and 1, respectively. Avery Cotton took the position for the past year, and when she recently left to join her husband in Tampa, the timing was better for Taloney.
“I really thought I was done with TV news because it’s so time consuming,” Taloney said. “But I literally do the show then walk out the door and am home by 7:30.”
She says although investigative reporting is something she really loves, for the time being taking care of her young children means anchoring the news is about as much as she can handle.
“It’s really cool of them to make this work,” she said of WKRG management. “There was only one way this would work and they didn’t flinch.”
Bay Weekend done
The Press-Register has killed off its Friday entertainment tabloid, Bay Weekend, otherwise known as BW, according to insiders.
BW did not appear in last Friday’s Press-Register editions or in any of its stand-alone distribution spots. P-R insiders say the tabloid has been shelved. Comments about the change were not forthcoming from management.
Bay Weekend existed for many years as a tabloid, but was turned into a section of the paper for several years beginning in the early 2000s. Eventually it was brought back as a stand-alone and inserted tabloid and rebranded as BW. Its black boxes could be seen around town, particularly in MiMo and the entertainment districts. BW has featured the outstanding reporting and feature writing of Lawrence Specker for as long as I can remember, but its reach has dwindled in recent years.
P-R hiking Sunday price
Despite an ever-shrinking readership, the Press-Register has told vendors it is raising single-paper Sunday prices to $3, and insiders have confirmed the 20 percent rate hike.
With the increase, the Sunday P-R will now be more expensive than buying a New York Times out of the rack. P-R management did not respond to questions about why they’ve opted to hike rates from $2.50.
Nationwide, single-paper sales have dropped precipitously as publishers have attempted to get more money out of a dwindling base. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, the most common Sunday single-paper price is $2, and many papers have seen circulation from those sales drop 25 percent to 50 percent. The higher prices have kept newspapers in the black, but industry analysts say big increases are likely to eventually kill that source of revenue.