WUSA's JC Hayward Promoted, Gives Up Evening News Spot

By John Maynard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2006

WUSA anchor JC Hayward is getting a promotion but losing on-air time.

The CBS affiliate (Channel 9) announced yesterday that Hayward, who has anchored the 5 p.m. news for the past 34 years, is leaving the early-evening newscast, which she anchors with Todd McDermott.

Beginning April 24, Tracey Neale and Derek McGinty will be the new co-anchors at 5 p.m. Hayward will continue to solo-anchor the noon news while McDermott remains with Neale at 6 and 11 p.m. Hayward's last day at 5 p.m. is tomorrow, and the station is planning a tribute.

Hayward said in an interview yesterday that she has been talking with management for the past four years about giving up the anchor chair. "I always knew that the change was needed, and change is good," she said.

In the latest "sweeps" period in February, WUSA's 5 p.m. newscasts were No. 5 in the ratings. Hayward's noon newscast, however, consistently is ranked first in this market.

Hayward becomes the station's new vice president for media outreach, a post that station President and General Manager Darryll Green said will send her into the community to increase the station's visibility. She also will serve on WUSA's executive staff.

Green said Hayward is in the middle of a "long-term contract" and that losing the 5 p.m. newscast doesn't mean that she is heading for retirement. "She's going to be working a whole lot harder," he said.

Hayward concurred: "I think I'll probably be working harder than I am now."

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