After nearly a four-year absence, former news anchor Clyde Gray will return to WCPO-TV on May 7 on a new local weekday lifestyle show.
Gray, who retired in August 2014, will co-host the half-hour "Cincy Lifestyle" with Mona Morrow at 10 a.m. Since June, the program has aired on Thursdays in the final 15 minutes of Channel 9's hour-long newscast.
"I'm excited about hosting this show, because it’s a radical departure for me after four decades of news. It allows me to stretch and develop new muscles and at the same time have fun,” said Gray in the station's announcement.
Gray, one of the highest-profile African-Americans on TV here, has operated Blackboard Marketing from his Symmes Township home since leaving Channel 9. He has appeared in some TV commercials and recently promoted the 10th anniversary of The Banks.
The station announcement says "Cincy Lifestyle" provides "informative, useful and entertaining content" about "a variety of community organizations, businesses and happenings in Greater Cincinnati. It is a marketing-friendly program dedicated to offering businesses the opportunity to showcase their companies and products."
Three years ago, Gray told me that life after Channel 9 was "wonderful." He said he retired at age 59, after 33 years in TV news, because he "had reached a certain age plateau, and I was determined that I was going to (leave on his own terms)…. I could see the handwriting on the wall. I wasn't going to stay at the party too long." Quitting allowed Gray to be at home evenings with his wife and then 7-year-old daughter.
"Cincy Lifestyle” will replace one of the two "Right This Minute" half-hour syndicated shows airing 10-11 a.m. weekdays.
Morrow, an 18-year employee, will do the daily show while continuing to serve as the Channel 9's community affairs director.