Media Scene

Boston anchor replaces Beth Troutman at WCNC

Sarah French
Sarah French WCNC

WCNC (Channel 36) has named a New England broadcaster to succeed Beth Troutman on key evening newscasts.

Sarah French, who most recently has worked at the former NBC station in Boston, joins WCNC in late March, Deborah Collura, Channel 36’s general manager, announced Thursday.

She will co-anchor the station’s 5, 6, and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside Fred Shropshire.

Collura said that French was accomplished in covering major events, advocating for consumer rights and telling original stories.

“I look forward to being the person you can trust to share the most important stories to keep you informed,” French said in a statement.

Troutman left WCNC at the end of January after only 16 months. She said she felt called to do charitable work after after an emotionally tumultuous year following the loss of her mother to ovarian cancer in February 2016. Troutman plans to go on a mission to an orphanage in Haiti later this month.

French had worked in Boston since 2011 at WHDH, which lost its affiliation with NBC in January and became an independent station. She had anchored morning newscasts.

Before that, she worked at stations in Hartford, Conn., and Columbia, Mo., where she got a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. She is a native of Dallas, grew up in Hot Springs, Ark., and is a member of the Cherokee nation.

Among the stories French has covered are the Boston marathon bombing, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

French became an advocate for domestic violence victims after the death of a friend and TV colleague, Alice Morrin, killed by her husband in their Vernon, Conn., home in a murder-suicide in 2009. French advocated for a Connecticut law in Morrin’s name about texting to 911.

“Between her and Fred Shropshire, WCNC’s evening team is poised to continue the strong momentum the station has been building,” said news director Matt King in a statement.

News ratings at WCNC, long a distant third-place finisher among the major network affiliates in Charlotte, have trended upward since the station was purchased in December 2013 by the industry giant Tegna.

In the last ratings period in November, total audience was up 8 percent at 6 p.m. and 75 percent at 11 p.m. year-to-year in the two key evening newscasts where Troutman and Shropshire were teamed, according to Nielsen.

French won the Miss Arkansas Teen USA title in 2004, and she was named Miss Missouri in 2006 while in college, and went on to compete in the Miss America pageant that year.

French is married with an 18-month-old daughter.

Mark Washburn: 704-358-5007, @WashburnChObs