Kai Jackson, who left WJZ-TV last year after two decades as a reporter and anchor, will return to the Baltimore airwaves in January as co-anchor of WBFF-TV's major newscasts, General Manager Bill Fanshawe said Monday.
Starting Jan. 19, Jackson will co-anchor the 4, 5, 10 and 11 p.m. weekday newscasts with Jennifer Gilbert, replacing longtime Fox 45 anchorman Jeff Barnd, who will become a Washington-based national correspondent for Fox 45's parent company, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is based in Hunt Valley.
"Kai Jackson will join the Fox 45 news operation and co-anchor with Jennifer Gilbert the 4 p.m. newscast that will launch on Jan. 19," Fanshawe said Monday.
"In addition to that, he will co-anchor with Jennifer Gilbert the 5 o'clock news, the 'Fox News at 10,' and then the 'Fox 45 Late Edition at 11.'"
As for Barnd, the station's longtime co-anchor with Gilbert, Fanshawe said, "Jeff Barnd, our current evening co-anchor, will be a national correspondent for Fox 45's parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and will report from Sinclair's national Washington, D.C., news bureau."
Fanshawe said, "Jeff has done an outstanding job and, as a company, we feel he's best suited to be a national correspondent in the nation's capital."
Jackson will join the station Jan. 5 and could appear on-air before the Jan. 19 launch of the 4 p.m. news, Fanshawe said.
"He'll be working behind the scenes, and most likely you'll first see him on-air Jan. 19," Fanshawe said.
Jackson has been working as a national correspondent for Sinclair in Washington since leaving WJZ last December.
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It is believed that a Jackson had a no-compete clause in his contract with WJZ that precluded him working in Baltimore for a one year after leaving the CBS-owned station.