Assessing WESH’s changes

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This week began with the anchors and weather personnel at WESH taking on their new news assignments. So far: Wendy Chioji is walking a lot, Tony Mainolfi isn’t sleeping a lot but the ratings look good.

The re-named, solo-anchored "WESH 2 News at 6 with Wendy Chioji" is definitely different from the other early-evening newscasts on the station — and the ones on the other stations, too. (Watch a clip of the first show here) The stories are a bit longer, and nightly interview segment with Chijoi is something that seems worthwhile. Chioji also is now standing while delivering the news, walking about the studio for the weather segment with Mainolfi and the sports segment with newcomer Guy Rawlings. If WESH was going for distinguishing this newscast from its others, it’s succeeded.

Mainolfi, though, is losing sleep over the changes. He’s been reassigned from the morning newscasts to the 6 and 11 p.m. shows — but his morning replacement hasn’t arrived yet. So, when Mainolfi finishes the 11 p.m. show, he basically takes a nap at a nearby hotel then returns to the studio for the 5-7 a.m. morning news and then the 7-9 shift on CW 18 . Fortunately for Mainolfi, new morning weather guy Jason Brewer starts on Feb. 12.

WESH insiders have been happy with the ratings for the revamped shows so far this week. The station says this is its long-term plan, so we’ll see how things fare during the sweeps.

And, speaking of WESH, former assistant ND Anzio Williams has been bumped up the Hearst-Argyle chain. After WESH, Williams became the news director at H-A’s WDSU in New Orleans — leading the station’s Hurricane Katrina coverage there and later in Orlando when the station temporarily moved its ops here. Now, Williams is going to be the ND at KCRA-NBC 3 in Sacramento.

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Roger Simmons has been blogging about Orlando television since 2001. You can email him at roger@rogersimmons.com