WEST PALM BEACH — In a shocking memo to the staff of WPTV-Channel 5 this morning, station officials announced that longtime local favorites Roxanne Stein and John Favole, arguably the most popular local morning TV anchors, are being pulled off the show that’s been theirs for 20 years.
According to the email obtained by Gossip Extra, Stein and Favole are getting re-assigned to WPTV’s other morning newscast on the lowly rated WFLX-Channel 29, the Fox affiliate.
Later in the day, Stein and Favole are set to re-join WPTV with Hollani Davis for a brand-new, one-hour broadcast set to start airing on at 11 a.m. before Rachael Ray.
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Stein and Favole’s last day on the WPTV morning anchor desk is Sept. 4.
They start on WFLX Sept. 7 and on the new Channel 5 broadcast a week later.
So, who’s going to replace the old-time faves on the No. 1 NBC affiliate?
In with the new: Hottie Ashleigh Walters and boyish Mike Trim have been named the new anchors alongside reporter Chris Stewart.
They’re relative new comers. Trim has been here five years and Walters arrived in 2011.
What about Stein and Favole?
“Rox and John are basically being put out to pasture,” one insider says. “Nobody watches Fox in the morning, and the 11 a.m. show is for an audience of at-home moms and unemployed people.”
I’m told the duo looked grim after a meeting with management this morning and walked out of the newsroom without speaking with anyone.
“It’s a big slap in their face,” the source continued, “but Ashleigh and Mike have been working very hard. They’re the future of WPTV.”
In his email Lloyd Bucher, the station’s new manager, wrote: “John and Roxanne have done a tremendous job helping us to retain the #1 spot in the market and I am confident that this duo with Hollani will build a strong 11 a.m. newscast too.
“This move is intended to serve our morning news viewers on all platforms. On the TV stations alone, we now will be producing five and a half hours of local news each weekday before the clock even hits 12 o’clock noontime. That brings our total local news production to over 58 hours per week.”