Anchor Chris Riva Gone From WCPO-TV Newscasts

Mar 14, 2018

10 a.m. Thursday March 15 update: Jeff Brogan, WCPO-TV general manager, tells me: "I can confirm that Chris Riva’s last day with WCPO was last Friday. We decided to go in another direction with the position for Good Morning Tri-State and his contract was not renewed. We’re working to position the show to offer the best coverage for our audiences and will determine whether we will have two anchors or one. Kathrine Nero will solo anchor the show for now.

"Separately, last week WCPO notified its employees that seven positions will be eliminated. This includes positions in news, sales and commercial production."

Riva has not responded to my multiple requests for a comment.

Original post 1 p.m. Wednesday March 14: Chris Riva has left WCPO-TV's "Good Morning Tri-State" Chris Riva has left WCPO-TV's Good Morning Tri-State after his contract was not renewed by the station. It's the first of what could be several TV news changes before May ratings "sweeps" start April 26.

Riva has not been seen on Channel 9 newscasts this week. His bio has been removed from the station's website. He does not appear in Channel 9's Good Morning Tri-State promotions featuring anchor Kathrine Nero, meteorologist Jennifer Ketchmark, and traffic reporter Jaclyn DeAugustino.

A Monroe native, Riva started at WCPO-TV as a sports producer when he graduated from Wright State University in 1994. He left in 1997 to anchor in Dayton; Green Bay, Wis.; Denver; and Sacramento before returning to Channel 9 as Nero's co-anchor four years ago.

Riva did not respond to several messages. General Manager Jeff Brogan did not respond to an email. It is not known if Riva will be replaced, or whether Channel 9 will go with a single anchor in a budget-cutting move. The News Blues TV industry newsletter says Channel 9 laid off some employees last week.

Riva is the second Cincinnati TV anchor to depart in two weeks.  Brad Johansen left WKRC-TV (Channel 12) Feb. 28 to join WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC.

Cincinnati viewers also may see former Channel 12 anchor Tiffany Wilson back on the air later this year. Wilson, who co-anchored Channel 12's Good Morning Cincinnati until 2014, recently moved back to town. She left to work for a San Francisco TV station when Channel 12 hired Sheila Gray from WXIX-TV (Channel 19).  She's a Symmes Township native and Ursuline Academy graduate.

When I asked if Wilson could return to Channel 12's newscasts, General Manager Jon Lawhead responded: "Can't comment on that, John."

In Riva's Channel 9 bio, which was deleted sometime after Monday morning, he explained why he was happy to return here  in 2014:  

"It’s home. This is where both my wife and I were born and raised. Our extended families are here. We have been on a wonderful adventure living and working across the country, but this is where we want our children to grow up. To us, it is the people that make this community so wonderful….

"My wife and I met here in Cincinnati. She is a West Sider who graduated from Mercy. We got engaged at Sawyer Point and married at St. Xavier Cathedral."

Ironically, Riva quit in 1997 after he was passed over for a weekend sports anchor position when Channel 9 hired Nero from Memphis. 

He debuted on WCPO-TV in April four years ago, a month after Gray appeared on Channel 12 and Wilson left for San Francisco.