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Exclusive:  Post-fight, DeLuca Re-signs with Channel 6

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


GoLocal has learned that Channel 6 main anchor John DeLuca has recently dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s on a brand new two-year contract at the station.

This is quite a turn of events.

You may remember it was here that we broke the story about tempers spilling over in the Channel 6 news room not long ago. DeLuca, according to station insiders, was up at the anchor desk not long before a newscast and noticed that someone had swiped his laptop that he uses to review scripts, make changes, and so on. DeLuca, rightfully so, asked where it went and why it wouldn’t be there. New station owner and Citadel Broadcasting honcho Phil Lombardo happened to be both in town and in the news room that day, and apparently went into a screaming fit pointed squarely at DeLuca.

People who were there say it could not have been any lamer - the boss (albeit a new boss) yelling at an employee in front of a full news room. That event alone sent morale even lower than it already was at the 3rd-rated station, according to people who watched it all unfold.

DeLuca job hunting

Our sources tell us that prior to signing his new Channel 6 deal, DeLuca had hit the streets looking for a new gig, not knowing what the new “sheriffs” in town would be doing with his fate. With more than a dozen layoffs since the owners took over the station, who could blame him. Now, with a new deal signed, the station restores some normalcy to the place, specifically the anchor desk. Those who have worked or work currently with DeLuca call him a gentleman and a guy you would want in your newsroom.

DeLuca, according to the ABC 6 Web site, has worked his way up. He began his career at Channel 6 in 1999 as a street reporter, moved up to anchor of ABC6 news in the morning and at noon before taking over the primary anchor duties in the evening. DeLuca’s wife, Amy, also used to work at the station as an anchor. He’s a Rhode Island guy. DeLuca Went to Cranston East and URI.

Lots of changes at the Half-Dozen

It has been quite a time at Channel 6 for the last few weeks or so. As GoLocal first reported, Allison Alexander, who anchored the 6pm and 11pm shows with DeLuca, parted ways with the station recently. Word is her salary was one of the highest, if not the highest, for the station and that was a major force for the new owners saying goodbye to her. Within hours of when we started asking questions about Alexander, the station, which did not respond to our questions by the way, sent out a news release announcing that a new main anchor has been hired. Karen Meyers sits in the “big chair” now. She has worked at New England Cable News, and also at stations in Washington, DC and Burlington, VT.

In addition, the station also announced a new weekend anchor. Liz Tufts will start as of June 13, according to the station. She is a grad of Emerson College and worked at a station in Springfield, MA as an Anchor/Reporter.

In making the announcement, newly-appointed GM Chris Tzianbos said, “She is a talented multimedia journalist, with experience anchoring, reporting, producing, shooting and editing stories for air and online.” Pay close attention to where he said shooting and editing her own stories. That is yet another signal as to where the TV news business is headed. New hires these days have to be able to shoot and edit their own stories and then also be able to post them on the Internet.

They call these reporters “VJ’s” which stands for video journalists. All stations are moving toward that because it saves time and you guessed yet – money.

As for DeLuca signing up for another two years at Channel 6, good for him and good for the station. If the owners are really going to make a run at it, then he deserves a shot.

I just hope there was no yelling when he signed on the dotted line.

Well, at least there shouldn’t have been.


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