It’s Official: Local Anchors Ginger Zee and Bazi Kanani Will Join ABC News

By Merrill Knox 

ABC News president Ben Sherwood has officially announced the hire of two anchors from the local landscape: Ginger Zee (left) a meteorologist at WMAQ in Chicago, and Bazi Kanani, a weekend anchor and reporter at KUSA in Denver.

Zee’s move to ABC News was first reported by TimeOut Chicago’s Robert Feder in August. Her first day is Wednesday, and she will debut as the weekend weather anchor on “Good Morning America” on Saturday. She has been NBC owned-and-operated WMAQ since 2006.

Kanani joins ABC News after eight years at NBC-affiliate KUSA. She will be a digital journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. She announced she was leaving the station last week but declined to say where, saying “the ink wasn’t dry yet” on her new contract.

After the jump, the full memo from Sherwood.

I’m writing with exciting additions to our ABC News team.

First, I’m delighted to announce that Kelly Cobiella joins ABC News today as a correspondent in the London bureau.

Kelly is a seasoned journalist who spent the last eight years at CBS News based in Miami, Dallas and New York.  She was the first American network journalist to report from Tripoli when the Libyan revolution started in March, and she’s covered news in Iraq, Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela.  Kelly’s reporting on the U.S. economic crisis has been recognized with both Emmy and Peabody awards.  She is no stranger to ABC after many years with our affiliates in Miami and Grand Junction.

Second, I’d like to welcome Ginger Zee to the weekend edition of Good Morning America.  An Emmy Award-winning meteorologist, Ginger joins us from WMAQ in Chicago.  Ginger has appeared on Discovery’s popular Stormchasers series, racing after tornadoes in the Midwest.  While attending Valparaiso University, she was part of the school’s Storm Intercept Team, following extreme weather including a 5,000 mile storm across the country.

Ginger developed her fascination for severe weather at age eight when her family spent a summer on the stormy shores of Lake Michigan. She begins at ABC News on Wednesday and will debut as weather anchor on GMA Weekend this Saturday.

Third, Bazi Kanani joins us as a digital journalist based in Nairobi.  She comes to us from KUSA in Denver where she spent eight years as a general assignment reporter and as an anchor of the weekday 9 pm newscast.

In 2007, Bazi won an Emmy and National Association of Black Journalists award for her documentary “My Africa” filmed in Tanzania.  Bazi shot and produced a series of news reports and a documentary about Tanzania’s culture and the challenges of living in one of the poorest countries in the world.  Bazi’s 2008 documentary “Reaching Rwanda” was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow award and an Emmy award.

In case you’re wondering: Bazi is short for Baz’imana, a Tanzanian tribal name that means “Ask God.”

We are very fortunate to have Kelly, Ginger and Bazi on our team.

Please welcome them to ABC News.