BURBANK, Calif. – As part of its ongoing strategy to further compete in the marketplace and bring news that matters to viewers, NBC4 Southern California announced several changes to its newscasts.
Beginning with “Today in L.A.,” the news show adds Michael Brownlee as co-anchor alongside Alycia Lane and replaces Kathy Vara, who becomes anchor on the weekend newscasts at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. The noon news which has been anchored by Brownlee will now be co-anchored by incoming anchor/reporter Whit Johnson. Johnson joins NBC4 Southern California after a successful career on Capitol Hill and will co-anchor with Lucy Noland starting mid-September.
Building on the success of the “NBC4 News at Noon,” the newscast expands 30 minutes and now airs from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. The decision to grow the newscast comes at the heels of increasing Nielsen ratings and growing popularity of the news format, including the recent addition of Ask Dr. Bruce. NBC4 now produces 35.5 hours of news weekly on the main channel.
As part of the plan to boost local news gathering and information, more than 16 new employees have joined the newsroom since Carlston’s arrival — including the recent hire of Todd Mokhtari as vice president of news. Other staff changes include the reassignment of Stephanie Elam to full-time general assignment reporter and new hire, Carlos Hopkins, as Dayside Executive Producer.
“It’s part of NBC4’s culture to produce high-quality news content for Southern California’s unique audience,” said Todd Mokhtari, vice president of news at the station. “These changes reflect our priority to deliver on that tradition every day, every newscast.”