Almost a year and a half after E.W. Scripps Company bought Channel 7, it appears that it plans to shake up the the ABC affiliate's anchor teams to try and get viewers to take a new look at the improved product offered by the third-rated news station in town.
According to Canadian sources, Channel 7 will soon announce the hiring of Ashley Rowe, who recently left her job as a reporter and fill-in anchor at CTV in Toronto.
Ashley Rowe (CTV)
Born in Los Angeles, Calif., Rowe is believed to be a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. Sources say she was unlikely to come here without assurances that she would get a key anchor post. Those sources expect Rowe to replace Joanna Pasceri as Channel 7’s primary female co-anchor at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekdays.
The TV future of Pasceri, who has been with Channel 7 for 22 years, is unclear. She is presently teamed with co-anchor Keith Radford, a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, on Channel 7's primary newscasts.
Scripps most likely has concluded that since its improved product hasn’t improved ratings significantly, a fresh face is needed to get Western New Yorkers to try the station’s newscasts again.
If Rowe were to be teamed with Radford, they would form an anchor team with a Canadian flavor. However, Radford isn’t expected to be at the station much longer. In September of 2014, he signed a contract that ends in November of 2016, a month after his 65th birthday.
Scripps may decide to team Rowe with Jeff Russo, who has been anchoring solo at 5:30 p.m., on one or more of the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts before Russo eventually replaces Radford on all the primary newscasts.
There are a number of possible options for the station to do with Pasceri. She could be moved to the station’s noon and 5:30 p.m. newscasts or to its low-rated morning program, she could decide to leave for other career opportunities, or she could be released.
According to Rowe’s CTV biography, she started her career as a reporter at CHCH-TV in Hamilton, Ont., and joined CTV in Toronto in July 2011.
She was part of the station’s coverage of the controversy surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford after he admitted to using crack cocaine and also was a reporter when gunfire erupted in the food court at Toronto’s Eaton Centre.
When Rowe was a reporter for CHCH-TV in Hamilton, she covered the G20 Summit in Toronto, the 2010 municipal election night and the 2011 federal election night.
Before turning to television news, she was a newscaster for a FM radio station in London, Ont.
Her bio adds that she is “a proud third generation news hound, her father is a prominent Canadian documentary filmmaker, and her grandfather, a newspaper editor and reporter.”