Stan Stovall to join Hamilton at WBAL's 5 p.m. anchor desk

November 19, 2003|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER

Stan Stovall's ascent at WBAL-TV continues. The station announced yesterday that Stovall will take over anchoring duties on the Baltimore NBC affiliate's 5 p.m. weekday newscasts. He replaces Jeff Pegues, who leaves after this week to join WABC-TV in New York City.

Stovall, 50, was dismissed by ratings-starved WMAR-TV in late 2001. Last April, WBAL picked him up as a weekend morning anchor. Over the summer, he was promoted to weekday morning anchor. And now Stovall, who first arrived in Baltimore in 1978 to work for WBAL, is to be paired with Donna Hamilton on the evening news.

Michelle Butt, WBAL's news director, said Stovall was a natural choice for the position, even though the station received hundreds of applicants. "This I know: He is talented, he is strong, he is recognized in the market," Butt said. "You cannot look beyond his professionalism and his performance."

These days, WBAL typically ekes out ratings leads over chief rival WJZ-TV during evening and late newscasts. But the CBS station does better during local morning newscasts.

Stovall will work a split shift, continuing his work as early morning anchor, leaving to rest during midday, and returning to the station in mid-afternoon. His sole concession to the new arrangement is that he will no longer present the news at noon with morning co-host Marilyn Getas. She will handle those chores alone.

The evening newscast will only benefit from Stovall's presence, Butt said. "Why go through a protracted search when there's such a talented person right here?"

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