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Ryan Serber hasn't been seen on a WUPW-TV, Channel 36, newscast since Feb. 21, 2003.
That was three days before he suffered a seizure at his home, which led to the discovery of a lime-size brain tumor. He spent the rest of 2003 undergoing chemotheraphy and radiation treatments.
He returned to work in early January but has stayed behind the scenes, spending his time listening to scanners, making phone calls, developing story ideas, and writing.
Today, he'll be back in front of a camera. But he won't be at the anchor desk with Laura Emerson, his on-air partner for nearly three years. Instead, he will be in his new role: reporter.
"I feel like a kid again. I'm excited," he said. "I can't wait to get back on the air. That means more to me than anything."
WUPW news director Jose Suarez said Serber will work Monday through Friday as a general assignment reporter. Meanwhile, the Fox affiliate plans to advertise for a new main anchor.
"At this point in time, we feel this is what's best for Ryan and for the station," Suarez said.
Serber, 36, worked as a reporter for WFTV-TV in Orlando, Fla., before moving to Toledo in 2000.
"He's going to give [reporting] everything he has," Suarez said. "I've always known Ryan to take things on 100 percent."
After 14 months on the sidelines, Serber is looking forward to contributing to WUPW's newscasts again. He hopes to resume his weekly crime-fighting feature, Toledo's Most Wanted.
"I'm itching to get back [on the air] and have a sense of normalcy," he said.
ANCHOR SHUFFLING: Ronnie Dahl will join WUPW as a freelance anchor/reporter. She will anchor the weekend newscasts and serve as a reporter three days a week. She has been working as a freelance producer at WNWO-TV, Channel 24. WUPW's previous weekend anchor, Autumn Ziemba, left the station in early April.
Karl Rundgren, who has anchored the weekend newscasts on an interim basis, will co-anchor the 10 p.m. newscast weekdays until a permanent replacement is hired.
NEW MORNING SHOW: WCWA-AM (1230), which is switching from talk to all-sports, will unveil a new morning show today. Troy Neff will host the two-hour show, from 6 to 8 a.m. Neff, a financial planner, has been a substitute host on the WSPD-AM (1370) morning and afternoon talk shows. He said he will discuss financial topics on his new show. "If I can relate them to sports, that's all the better," he said.
ARKANSAS TO OHIO: WRWK-FM (106.5) has hired Alyssa Harris to cover the 10 a.m.-to-3 p.m. shift. She previously worked at KLEC-FM in Little Rock. She replaces "Stoney," who now is co-host of the morning show on WTWR-FM (98.3). Her first day at The Zone will be May 17.
HOW DID HE DO?: On April 23, Robert Shiels of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, predicted (via his 14-day weather "outlook") that today's high temperature would be 67.