A “Weekend Wake Up!” change is coming soon at WIVB-TV (Channel 4).
Shannon Smith will be replacing Katie Alexander in the next few weeks as the anchor of the Saturday and Sunday editions of the morning news program on the CBS affiliate.
A native of Ohio and Syracuse University graduate, Alexander announced on Twitter over the weekend she is leaving the station she has worked at for five years. Her last day is March 29.
“Unfortunately, my contract is up,” she wrote. “The timing isn’t great, but it is what it is.”
Channel 4 General Manager Brien Kennedy declined to comment when asked if Alexander was offered a new deal, explaining he doesn’t discuss personnel matters.
Reached by email, Alexander said she was offered a new deal.
"Honestly, it’s a decision that I’ve been weighing for a long time for a variety of reasons and the contract terms that were offered were not enough to make me change my mind," she wrote in response to an emailed question.
“This is just the right time for me to make a change and do what's best for me and my family,” added Alexander, who gave birth to a baby boy about a year and a half ago.
“I'm still on the job hunt. The timing of my contract coming up is obviously unfortunate with the coronavirus situation – I've been told a lot of places have a hiring freeze in place for now. But I do feel optimistic I will land on my feet and am on the lookout for the right opportunity in the PR or media relations world.
“It has been an honor to tell Western New York's stories from the field and the anchor desk over the last five years. I'm grateful to everyone who has trusted me and welcomed me into their homes.”
Channel 4 News Director Lisa Polster confirmed that Smith, a native of Chicago who joined the station two and a half years ago, will replace Alexander. She has impressed as a substitute anchor on weekend mornings and other newscasts.
“Shannon is a dynamic on-air personality who has proven herself as a reporter and fill-in anchor during the three years she has been part of the WIVB family,” wrote Polster.
Smith is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and previously worked at stations in Rockford, Ill., and Omaha, Neb.