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Channel 7's Randall, Morse, Drantch and Lewandowski have new deals

Earlier reports that Channel 7’s senior meteorologist Mike Randall might have signed his last contract with the station two years ago have turned out to be greatly exaggerated.

Randall, 61, who has had a second career acting as Mark Twain in a one-man show, has had his contract renewed for two more years starting Jan.1, 2016. He has been with Channel 7 for 32 years.

“He has truly embraced his role of weekend weather (anchor) and feature storyteller,” said Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse in announcing the deal.

Two years ago, Randall signed a contract that reportedly cut his hours by 20 percent and likely had a commensurate pay cut. At the time, the reduced hours seemed to indicate he was unlikely to be working at Channel 7 into his mid-60s as two of his competitors -- Channel 4's Don Paul and Channel 2's Kevin O'Connell -- have been doing.

Since then, Channel 7 has a new owner, E.W. Scripps Company, and has done some audience research that may have been favorable to Randall.

"I'm thrilled," said Randall Tuesday morning. "I felt like Sally Field. They really, really like me. At the end of this contract, I'll be 64 and I might want to keep working if they want to keep me. I like my work schedule."

Nurse also confirmed that meteorologist Autumn Lewandowski was renewed for three years and anchor Katie Morse and reporter Ed Drantch have been given three-year extensions.

The trio all will have new roles next week.

Morse is officially becoming the news anchor for the reboot of the station’s morning show next week. She also is filling in this week for Laura Gray, who has left the station in the reboot.

Drantch is becoming a morning reporter next week. Lewandowski, who had been doing weather with Andy Parker in the morning, is becoming the traffic reporter. She also is going to anchor the weather at noon.


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