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Casper Anchors Swap Roles for April Fool’s Day Prank


Casper, WY, NBC affiliate KCWY had some fun with its viewers yesterday.

The station told everyone it was inspired by the recent upgrade in the set and operations and was “restructuring the station’s anchor team.”

Anchor Dean Johnson was moved to weather, sports anchor Frank Gambino and chief meteorologist Joel Barnes to news, and executive producer/news anchor Lydia Defranchi was movced to sports.

Defranchi won the anchor swap when she dropped a “Boom goes the dynamite” in the promo for her faux sportscast.

GM Nick Hessler got in on the fake quote act and probably had to soothe some ruffled feathers afterward when he said, “Joel is passionate about criminal justice, he’s been itching for a chance to cover local courts. Plus everybody knows Frank, so it only makes sense to capitalize on that star power. And we knew from the start that Lydia wasn’t much of a news anchor – her heart has always been elsewhere, and we’re happy to let her follow her dreams.”

You can read the entire release after the jump.

After recent upgrades to KCWY News 13’s set and operations, management is taking the novelty even farther and restructuring the station’s anchor team. Starting next week, Frank Gambino and Joel Barnes will now anchor Wyoming’s news from the desk, while Dean Johnson shifts to weather and Lydia Defranchi heads up the sports department.

“Frank and Joel just have great chemistry, and anybody who’s watched them for the past years can see it. This just made sense,” said News Director John Ehrhart. “And their connection to the community is strong,” Ehrhart added.

General Manager Nick Hessler says the move is based on external consultants’ advice and a year of market research. “Joel is passionate about criminal justice, he’s been itching for a chance to cover local courts. Plus everybody knows Frank, so it only makes sense to capitalize on that star power. And we knew from the start that Lydia wasn’t much of a news anchor – her heart has always been elsewhere, and we’re happy to let her follow her dreams,” Hessler said.

“I can’t wait to cover more of America’s favorite sport, Croquet!” Defranchi said. “I’ve always loved watching Sunday night football; I’m on the edge of my seat for every goal.”

As for Dean Johnson, it’s a little-known fact he has a Master’s degree in meteorology with an emphasis on Western Weather Patterns. “This is my passion –rainstorms, wind gusts, you name it. I look forward to putting my training to good use for this station,” Johnson said.

Starting Tuesday night at ten, you’ll see Dean and Lydia transitioning into their new roles as Frank and Joel give them some training from the sidelines, then on Monday, April 7th the new team will officially be in place.

Oh, and April Fool’s!

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