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Published: Monday, 7/31/2006

WTVG's Powers says Toledo suits his life

Rob Powers says it wasn t the right time to leave. He likes the equilibrium of work life and family life that he has at WTVG-TV, Channel 13.

Powers, 40, recently signed a two-year contract with the ABC-owned station, his professional home since 1998.

I poked around to see what s out there, he said, but no opportunity was better than the one that is in front of us.

Powers is WTVG s sports director and, in what is a rarity in the business, also serves as a news anchor for the 5:30 p.m. newscast. If he does move to a bigger market, he likely will have to choose between sports and news.

Family considerations weighed heavily in the decision. He says he and his wife, Debbie, and their two sons love their neighborhood. Plus, Toledo is centrally located for the extended family Debbie s parents live in Indianapolis; Rob s are in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake.

Rob Powers: WTVG sports director recently signed a two-year contract. Rob Powers: WTVG sports director recently signed a two-year contract.
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It s just kind of the stage of life where we re at, Powers said. We re all very happy here.

Is this the same Rob Powers who was determined to be a sports anchor in Cleveland by the time he was 30?

WTVG news anchor Diane Larson who, like Powers, is considered a Top 10 market -caliber talent can relate to the crossroads where Powers stood. She signed a five-year contract in 2004.

As for larger market versus medium market, I just know this has worked out well for my family, she said. [WTVG] is incredibly family friendly. I have no idea how going to a larger market would have made my life different, but I know staying here has been sweet on so many levels, both personal and professional.

Whatever Rob s reasons for staying, all I can say is I m thrilled. I think he s an extraordinary talent.

Susan Ross Wells, who for more than two years has co-anchored the 5:30 p.m. newscast with Powers, said: He s as solid on the news desk as he is in sports. His sense of humor and personality add a lot to the show.

If and when he decides it s time to move on, Powers can count on WTVG general manager David L. Zamichow making a sales pitch to other ABC-owned stations. Zamichow says Powers is the real deal.

REDUCED ROLE: Mark Benson is no longer doing double duty for Cumulus co-hosting an afternoon-drive sports talk show on WLQR-AM (1470) and covering the 7 p.m.-to-midnight shift on classic rock station WXKR-FM (94.5). He is still associated with Cumulus, doing remote broadcasts and part-time on-air work.

OWNERSHIP CHANGE: NBC affiliate WNWO-TV, Channel 24, is expected to change owners going from Raycom Media to Barrington Broadcasting within the next two weeks. All signs are pointing to the transfer taking place no later than Aug. 11, according to WNWO general manager Rick Lipps.

FOOTBALL FEVER: WNWO has acquired the rights to broadcast the Sept. 2 football game between Bowling Green State University and the University of Wisconsin. The 7 p.m. contest will be played in Cleveland.



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