What took them so long? Six weeks after Kara Sewell went home to Texas, WXIX-TV executives decided to reunite Jessica Brown and Dan Wells Monday to co-anchor the "Fox 19 Now Morning News.
Brown and Wells co-anchored weekend mornings until two years ago, when Wells moved to weekday mornings after Rob Williams was promoted to the 10 p.m. news.
"I'm definitely excited about the opportunity. I was hired in 2012 to launch and anchor the weekend morning show with Dan," said Brown in a text to me. The Fort Lauderdale native and Florida State University graduate came here in August 2012 from Joplin, MO.
She wrote on Facebook Monday: "What a difference five years makes. So thankful I get to anchor with this guy Dan Wells once again, but this time during weekdays. He’s the absolute best!"
WXIX-TV also confirmed the hiring of traffic reporter Rebecca Smith last month from WKYT-TV in Lexington, KY. She replaced Denise Johnson, who quit in September.
Sewell, a Houston native, left in December to co-anchor mornings at WFAA-TV in Dallas.
Here's the WXIX-TV announcement:
FOX19 NOW ANNOUNCES NEW ADDITIONS TO WEEKDAY MORNING NEWS TEAM
CINCINNATI, Ohio, January 22, 2018 – WXIX-TV Vice President and General Manager Debbie Bush announced today that Jessica Brown has been named weekday morning News Anchor at FOX19 NOW. With the move, Brown reunites with Dan Wells, who she shared the FOX19 NOW weekend anchor desk with for several years.
According to FOX19 NOW News Director, Steve Hyvonen, "Jessica is the perfect person for the job. She's been a part of our morning team for more than 5 years. Her news sense and engaging personality make her a great fit. We know viewers already love Jessica, so moving her into this role makes perfect sense. She brings intelligence, wit, and charm to the morning team."
Brown stated, "When I came to Cincinnati back in 2012, I fell in love with the Queen City. I'm excited to connect with viewers every morning, provide news important to the community and have a little fun getting the day started. This is the perfect opportunity to do that."
In December, Rebecca Smith joined the FOX19 NOW team as Traffic Reporter. Rebecca comes to WXIX from WKYT in Lexington, KY where she was an anchor and reporter.
Hyvonen said of Smith, "Viewers see right away that Rebecca has a great handle on Cincinnati traffic. She gives immediate alerts to trouble spots and does a great job of giving alternate routes. We're already getting a lot of positive reviews of her work."
Brown and Smith will be part of the Cincinnati team delivering the most local news in the morning. WXIX produces live, local newscasts from 4:30 to 11:00 a.m. each weekday, keeping Tri-State residents informed of breaking news, consumer alerts and severe weather across all its platforms, including FOX19 NOW News and First Alert Weather apps.