Brien Blakely will be returning to Charlotte TV in January after a five-year absence.
Blakely will join WJZY (Channel 46) as weekday anchor of “Good Day Charlotte” with co-hosts Page Crawford and Barbara Lash and meteorologist Nick Kosir, the station announced Thursday.
“He will bring an interesting dynamic to our morning news and we are excited to welcome him back to Charlotte,” news director Karen Koutsky said in a statement. Blakely replaces Erick Weber, who left the station in September.
“I’m excited to join the WJZY family and look forward to helping the Fox46 viewers start their day,” Blakely said in a statement. Blakely, 52, has been working as morning anchor at the Fox affiliate in Seattle.
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Blakely left WCCB (Channel 18) abruptly after dust-up with a producer that came to blows in the news director’s office in January 2011. Blakely was knocked over a desk and wound up with six stitches in his nose.
Blakely was a principal in WCCB’s “Defend Charlotte” series, which focused on development and won a regional Emmy in 2008.
He’s had a varied career, which includes a stint in in Billings, Mont., as a minor-league second baseman. He played a pretend TV reporter on “The X-Files,” “The Practice” and “Roswell.”
He freelanced as a reporter on the cable network E!, did news summaries for DirecTV hosted episodes of HGTV’s “Weekend Warriors.” He came to WCCB from the NBC affiliate in Phoenix. He was an English and speech major at Western Kentucky University and his first TV news job was in Bristol, Va.
Blakely, whose WCCB newscast was No. 1 at 10 p.m., returns to Charlotte on a show that is struggling for attention.
Fox46 faces a monumental challenge in ratings for its morning show, which was launched in August 2014 and goes head-to-head against established shows at four other Charlotte stations.
In July, the most recent complete ratings period, “Good Morning Charlotte” ran last against competitors, pulling about 1,000 viewers in the key 6 a.m. hour, a fraction of No. 1 WSOC’s (Channel 9) 55,100 viewers at that hour.