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Greg Kelly Slides Into Prime Time as WNYW Main Anchor

After a four-year stint in mornings, an eternity in TV news, Greg Kelly left Rosanna Scotto behind. His cache is being enhanced as the lead anchor at WNYW/Channel 5. Last night, Kelly assumed his new role at 6 p.m. and co-anchor with Dari Alexander at 10 p.m.

But as we reported yesterday about the new look in the mornings, a July 2 television debut can be considered a “soft launch” as many viewers are on vacation. Curious, though, Kelly’s new partner, Alexander, was also off last night for his first night. Instead, back-up anchor Sharon Crowley was in her seat.

Kelly, who had a great chemistry with Scotto on Good Day New York, has the makings of a top-flight evening anchorman. He did hard news for Fox News Channel prior to his daytime assignment on WNYW.

From the start, it was serious business for Kelly, reporting on the Con Ed situation. There was clearly some nervous energy that will settle down in due time.

Despite taking on a serious tone, Kelly needs to keep his personality in check, and his ad libbing to a minimum. His style, at times, is befitting the lighter morning broadcast with Scotto. For example, six minutes into the 10 p.m., out of a story about serious, rare storms in New Jersey, meteorologist Audrey Puente (in for Nick Gregory) was asked to explain the phenomena.

“I have not heard about that,” Kelly said. “…What is that super derecho thing?”

Another “morning moment” (16 minutes into the newscast) took place with reporter Teresa Priolo, who did a story on sample tests for cabbies. When the taped piece concluded, the newscast halted as she promptly quizzed Kelly and Crowley.

“Go for it,” Kelly said.

After getting the first question wrong, Kelly added, “OK, give us one more, give us one more.”

In his next story, an uneasy Kelly told viewers that the votes are still being counted in Congressman Charles Rangel’s primary race.

Kelly had no less than four “uh’s” while reading the report, something you would likely never see from former 10 p.m. anchor Ernie Anastos.

If the presence of a new anchor at 10 p.m. was the chance for sports to get integrated within the body of the broadcast, that does not appear to be the case. WNYW continues to wrap up the newscast, then throwing it to sports, which remains an odd choice of formatics. The on-screen guide may as well have its own listing.

As far as Kelly’s move to nights, it was under the radar until the main weather segment at 10:46. Kelly introduced Puente with music from her father, famed salsa musician, Tito Puente.

“Listen to the music. I arranged for something on my first night on the 10 o’clock news,” Kelly said.

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