The on air talent at WLNS Lansing finds itself waking up at strange times this week, as the morning and evening/late news teams have switched places for the week. Young Broadcasting owns the CBS affiliate in DMA No. 115.
Jane Aldrich, Sheri Jones, Greg Adaline and meteorologist David Young are anchoring during the 4:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. shift, while the morning team of Chivon Kloepfer, Evan Pinsonnault and meteorologist Jake Dunne are taking on 5, 6 and 11 p.m. "I now have a much greater appreciation for what our morning news team does every day," says Aldrich. "I also will never take for granted getting more than four hours of sleep again!"
WLNS news director Jam Sardar acknowledges the promotional aspect of it, the initiative taking place at the end of the May sweeps, but says the exercise is also about training on air talent to function at high levels during all dayparts, which is key for disaster coverage. The first day of the swap was May 20, and the morning team was suddenly reporting on the tragic Oklahoma City tornado in the early evening news. "It was great practice for them, and they handled it really well," says Sardar.
The swap is also about giving WLNS' morning crew more exposure in the early evening, and letting the p.m. crew show a different, more jovial side in the morning, while mastering the nuances of a considerably longer broadcast.
Across town, leader WILX swapped a morning and evening anchor last year, notes Sardar, but that change was permanent.
Bob Simone runs WLNS, and Sardar says it was the boss's idea. "As soon as he said it, everyone jumped at the chance," he says. "It gives them a chance to see how the other half lives."
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.