MIAMI — Leave it to WFOR-Channel 4 to get it in reverse: It’s in with the old and out with the new in the weekend anchor’s slot.
South Florida TV legend Diane Magnum, who co-anchored the main news shows for more than 20 years at WPLG-Channel 10 alongside Dwight Lauderdale before vanishing from the airwaves in 2008, is back on prime-time to replace Vanessa Borge, a 30-something hottie considered a rising star in TV news.
Magnum, 60, whose real name is Diane Adam, is now handling weekend nights anchoring duties at the CBS-owned WFOR-Channel 4.
I’m told by a station insider Magnum is there on a temporary basis as a day-rater for cheap: The going rate for freelancers at the station is about $500 per day.
“I came back in early December,” said a giggly Magnum when she was reached by telephone today.
She said she couldn’t talk because she had visitors and promised to call back in 10 minutes but didn’t. Magnum didn’t return several subsequent calls for more comment.
CBS4 also used Jennifer Herrera, a former long-time WPLG anchorwoman who left the business in 2014, for the same gig in November but she seems to have been suddenly replaced by Magnum.
Herrera couldn’t be reached for comment but she told friends she didn’t really want to return to television on a permanent basis.
CBS 4 News Director Liz Roldan didn’t respond to a request for comment on the game of musical anchor chairs.
What’s with all the cloak and dagger stuff?
It could have something to do with former full-time anchor Borge’s departure in October and station’s unwillingness to discuss it.
A source close to Borge said the nine-year WFOR veteran, who was promoted to weekend anchor in September 2016, happened to have been in Los Angeles for a vacation when she was offered a tour of the studios of the CBS affiliate there, KCAL9.
While visiting, the story goes, Borge was asked to sit down with station officials for a full-fledged job interview.
Roldan got wind of it, and things went downhill for Borge when she returned to Miami.
Eventually, she was pulled off the anchor seat in late October. Tempers flared. Lawyers got involved, and Borge eventually quit.
Borge wouldn’t confirm the story but did say: “CBS4 offered me a three-year contract in October but I thought it was time for me to move on after nine great years in Miami.”
Magnum’s weekend gig is said to be up in late February.