WBAL shuffles its newscast lineup

October 05, 1990|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Televison Critic

WBAL-TV (Channel 11) has hired a new anchorwoman and shuffled its first-string lineup in a way that makes her almost as visible at the 11 o'clock anchor desk as Rod Daniels and Pat Minarcin. Carolyn McEnrue, 30, joined Channel 11 in September and is now anchoring the station's top newscast three nights a week -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (She also serves as a reporter on her non-anchor work days.)

The Friday broadcast makes her more than a new weekend anchor. The pairing of her and Daniels on an expanded Sunday newscast is a dramatic change from the way local television news has traditionally been presented in Baltimore.

Station Manager Joe Heston said McEnrue was hired as part of Channel 11's plan to increase its audience share for local news (the most recent survey showed Channel 11 in second place behind Channel 13). A key part of that plan was to expand the Sunday newscast to 45 minutes and put what Heston termed a "prime team" on Sunday night, a night when local news traditionally goes with its second-string anchor team and often a scaled-down newsroom staff.

"Sunday night is the night with the most people watching television, when you have the biggest potential audience of the week," Heston said. "So it just didn't make sense to us not to have a prime team on."

McEnrue comes to Channel 11 from KBMT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Beaumont, Texas, where she anchored the weeknight late newscasts for three years. She holds a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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