In another example of a prominent staffer at WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) changing his mind, Adam Benigni will return as sports director Monday rather than become co-anchor of the morning program "Daybreak."
Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner said the coming departure of sports backup anchor-reporter Jonah Javad for a job in Dallas may have influenced Benigni's decision to return to sports.
"It was his decision and no doubt a difficult one," said Toellner. "I think Jonah's move to Dallas had led him to reassess some things. We also discussed some continuation of news content involvement so that he could continue to expand his horizons."
Benigni could not immediately be reached for comment. Months ago, he appeared to be in line to become Channel 2's primary news anchor when Scott Levin left to work in the automotive business after the May sweeps.
However, Levin changed his mind and came back to Channel 2 in about three months, with Benigni then agreeing to take the "Daybreak" opening at the start of 2018.
Although he is going back to sports, Benigni will be an occasional fill-in as news anchor.
The "Daybreak" co-anchor position alongside Melissa Holmes is now going to Pete Gallivan, who had that position alongside Jodi Johnston before John Beard replaced him in 2009 and has been a fill-in anchor during Beard's vacations.
Gallivan, who left the station for a job in state government in 2013 only to return months later, has filled a variety of roles since he came back. He had been the "Daybreak" host in for 10 years until Beard replaced him in 2009. Beard is expected to leave the station next week after changing his mind a few times and extending his stay. Gallivan starts his "Daybreak" job the week of Jan. 15.
Javad is planning to leave Channel 2 after the end of NBC's Olympic coverage near the end of February to take the job in Dallas, the No. 5 TV market in the country.