Jacksonville Station to Reportedly Let Five Anchors Go

By Kevin Eck 

the five_wtev

Cox owned Jacksonville CBS and FOX affiliate WTEV-WAWS is reportedly cleaning house in its anchor ranks.

The Jacksonville Business Journal reports, “anchors Mark Spain, Paige Kelton, Lynnsey Gardner and Mike and Tera Barz were told last week that the station has ‘decided to go in a different direction,’ said a person familiar with the situation.”

When asked about it by TVSpy last week, WTEV news director Bob Longo wouldn’t comment, citing personnel policy at the station.

The Business Journal quotes a source who told them the anchors will be out “on or around September 1.”

“No positions have been eliminated. We have not reduced the size of our staff. Our staff size has grown. As for personnel questions, and in respect to our entire staff, we do not comment on any personnel matters,” Jim Zerwekh, Action News general manager, wrote in an email.

The cuts are not performance based, the source said, and the group was told Cox is “hitting the station reset button.”

Cox Media took over the stations in December 2012 as part of a portfolio realignment that saw it picking up the combined Fox/CBS station in Jacksonville as well as a station in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“This opportunity is a big win for our team, our city and our customers,” Zerwekh said in a release at the time. “Additionally, the opportunity to partner with CMG’s top-rated Jacksonville radio stations will allow us to collaborate on the kind of in-depth journalism our market deserves.”