The future of Joanna Pasceri, who has been Channel 7’s primary female co-anchor for the last nine of her 22 years at the station, is up in the air after it appears that the E.W. Scripps Company has hired a reporter and fill-in anchor at CTV in Toronto to replace her.
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.
Born in Los Angeles, Rowe is believed to have dual citizenship.
Sources say she was unlikely to come here without assurances that she would get a key anchor post. The same sources said Rowe is expected to co-anchor the 5 , 6 and 11 p.m. weekday anchor slots that Pasceri has anchored since December 2006.
Almost a year and a half after E.W. Scripps Company bought Channel 7, it appears that it is shaking up the station’s anchor teams to try and get viewers to take a new look at the improved third-rated news station in town.
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.
Pasceri is currently teamed with co-anchor Keith Radford. A Lockport native, Pasceri graduated from Lockport High School in 1983 before attending Fredonia State College. She rose through the ranks at Channel 7, becoming a full-time reporter in 1997.
If Rowe were to be teamed with Radford – also a dual citizen – they would form an anchor team with a Canadian flavor. However, Radford isn’t expected to be at the station much longer. In September 2014, he signed a contract that ends in November 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 newscasts.
The plans for Pasceri are unclear. 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 pursue other career opportunities, or she could reach a contract settlement with Channel 7 and 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 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.
Rowe got her start as a reporter for CHCH TV in Hamilton, where 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 an FM radio station in London, Ont.
Her CTV bio ads 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.”