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Published: Saturday, 5/28/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Sports director Chad Sokol leaving WTVG Channel 13

BY KIRK BAIRD
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Chad Sokol, leftl, is leaving WTVG Channel 13. Dave Holmes, right, will be promoted to replace the sports director. Chad Sokol, leftl, is leaving WTVG Channel 13. Dave Holmes, right, will be promoted to replace the sports director.
WTVG Enlarge

It’s been a tumultuous May for local television newscasts.

The latest personnel shake-up is to the sports department at WTVG-TV, Channel 13. Sports director Chad Sokol left the station effective Friday, and Dave Holmes, WTVG co-anchor of the weekend morning newscasts and part-time sports reporter, has been promoted to sports director.

“It’s a personnel matter, so we’re not getting into discussing details,” WTVG news director Brian Trauring said of Sokol’s departure. “But we wish him every success for the future and thank him for doing a good job.”

This is the seventh staffing change among three Toledo-area television stations announced this month.

WTVG changed hands in early April, with SJL Broadcasting buying the station from ABC-owned Television Stations Group, part of the Walt Disney Co. A week later, SJL eliminated about two dozen of the 100 or so jobs in Channel 13’s production, support, Web, and sales staff — but no on-air talent.

A Dayton native and 1996 Kent State University graduate, Sokol joined the Toledo ABC affiliate in November, 2009, as the station’s sports director, replacing Rob Powers, who left WTVG to work as weekend sports anchor at WABC-TV in New York, the top-rated station in the nation’s No. 1 market.

Holmes has been at WTVG since 2007. The Ohio native and 2005 Kent State graduate had worked for a year as an ESPN anchor after winning the national reality show Dream Job. Holmes also worked at a sports radio station in Canton before joining WTVG.

“We’re really pleased that we have Dave Holmes in that position,” Trauring said of the promotion. “He’s very talented and very popular, and I have no doubt that he’ll do a great job. For us, that’s the exciting part, having someone in the building who already knows the local sports.”

Holmes’ position at WTVG as an anchor and sports reporter was “an unusual combination,” Trauring said, but the station will find a replacement.

“In some shape we will. Dave co-anchored the Saturday and Sunday morning news and worked in the sports department three days a week. That’s a pretty unusual arrangement. We have to determine how and who will fill those roles. We’ll get that figured out.”

WTVG is also making personnel changes to many of its newscasts. Effective Monday, Sashem Brey, who has been anchoring the 4:30 through 7 a.m. weekday newscasts along with the 5:30 p.m. newscast, will return to mornings only.

Kristian Brown will replace Brey as co-anchor of the evening newscast, joining Susan Ross Wells. Brown has been anchoring the weekend evening newscasts with Bill Hormann. Hormann will anchor Saturday and Sunday nights solo.

Trauring said the shift was made to accommodate Brey, who wanted to return to a more normal work schedule.

“It’s very rough. It’s a tough situation sleeping-wise and presents some real challenges. So she requested to go back to mornings only and stop the split shift,” he said. “And we felt like if it was becoming that big of a problem it was in everybody’s best interest” to make the change.

“I’m excited for Kristian to step in and I know she will do wonderful work,” Trauring added.

Brown said she was looking forward to the change and grateful for the opportunity to move into the weekday slot.

“I’ve anchored the weekends for eight years and look forward to spending more time with my family,” she said.

WTOL-TV, Channel 11 recently announced that news director Andi Roman, morning anchor Lauren Lowrey, evening anchor Brad Harvey, and meteorologist Mike Stone were leaving the station.

WNWO-TV, Channel 24, recently dismissed veteran reporter Lou Hebert and meteorologist Michael Schlesinger, and announced that anchor Laura Rice was leaving to return to her home state of Texas.

Contact Kirk Baird at: kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.



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