WBAL-TV is bringing in a new anchorman next month, and that will mean change in one of the most stable weekday news lineups in the country.
Jason Newton, a Baltimore native and 36-year-old anchorman at WISN-TV in Milwaukee, will join WBAL next week and take on anchoring duties alongside Mindy Basara at 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. weekdays starting Dec. 16.
His arrival will result in Stan Stovall leaving mornings, where he has co-anchored the last nine years, according to station management. Stovall will remain as co-anchor at 5 p.m. while taking over from Rod Daniels at 11 p.m. alongside Donna Hamilton starting Dec. 30.
Daniels, the dean of Baltimore anchormen, will continue to co-anchor at 6 p.m. with Hamilton. Management is also talking with Daniels about a role on "11 TV Hill," the station's Sunday morning news and public affairs show.
Both WBAL general manager Dan Joerres and news director Michelle Butt stressed that Daniels is not being moved aside by the addition of Newton. They characterized Newton's hiring as an "expansion" of the station's news team and "planning for the future."
"There is no planned end date for either Stan or Rod," Joerres said Monday.
But it appears that Newton is being groomed to be the WBAL anchorman of the future.
In joining WBAL, Newton is returning to his roots. He was raised in Baltimore and graduated from City College and the University of Maryland, College Park. He previously worked as an anchor-reporter at WBOC-TV on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
"Newton will be a great addition to our newsroom," Butt said. "As a native Baltimorean, he knows how to connect with our viewers and is invested in our community."
Newton's last job was at WISN-TV in Milwaukee, which like WBAL is owned by Hearst Television Inc.
"This is a dream come true," said Newton, who is married and has two children. "I look forward to joining a newsroom known for its award-winning investigative journalism and political coverage. WBAL-TV is the station I grew up watching. Coming home to cover everything that makes this city special is an honor and a privilege."
Newton will make his on-air debut during WBAL's live coverage of the annual holiday lighting of the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon at 7 p.m. Dec. 5.