KDKA has hired Gabrielle DeRose from the CBS affiliate in Altoona to replace Jacque Smith on its weekend newscasts. She will start Jan. 28 and her first anchor appearance alongside Don Cannon will be Feb. 3.
DeRose, a broadcast journalism graduate of Penn State University, is the main anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast at WTAJ in Altoona, and co-anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. news. She started there in January 1990 as a part-time reporter and has worked as a reporter (including a stint doing consumer news), producer and anchor of various newscasts, including weekend, morning, noon and evening.
In a memo circulated to KDKA employees yesterday afternoon, news director Joe Coscia said, "I have known Gabrielle since 1986, when she interned at WNBC-TV in New York City while I was executive editor. I am proud of her accomplishments and delighted to have her as part of our team."
DeRose won a regional Emmy for outstanding community outreach program and was nominated for health and science news series. She was honored by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for public affairs series, spot news coverage and as best TV newscaster.
Before joining WTAJ, DeRose worked for WATM in Johnstown. Her bio on the WTAJ Website says she's been in the television news business for 11 years.
Smith left the station Dec. 1 to become weekend anchor/reporter at the Fox station in Cleveland. Since that time, Cannon or a substitute has been anchoring the news alone. DeRose's hiring is the first by news director Coscia, who joined KDKA in October after working for the CBS affiliate in Albany.