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The emptiest chair in Nashville--the permanent seat next to Demetria Kalodimos--may finally be filled. WSMV-Channel 4
has tapped veteran broadcast newsman Bob Sellers to fill the co-anchor slot left by the unexpected death of Dan Miller last April.
In Sellers, the station acquires a co-anchor with a 17-year background in print and broadcast journalism. In 2002 he joined FOX News Channel
as an anchor, reporting from Iraq in June 2003 and hosting weekend and frequent weeknight editions of FOX News Live
Before that, Sellers anchored CNBC's Market Watch
and Today's Business
while filling in often on Squawk Box
and Power Lunch
. His resume includes stints at stations in Seattle, San Antonio and Medford, Ore. He has also worked in print, penning business columns and other pieces for the Los Angeles Times
, the Cincinnati Enquirer
and other publications.
Until 2008, Sellers hosted WTTG's Fox 5 Morning News
in the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia area. He left the station to become a senior investment consultant for Gary Goldberg Financial Services, a New York money management company. But he says he missed journalism and wanted a place where he could put down roots with his wife and 6-year-old twin daughters.
"I'm a journalist, and I enjoy news," says Sellers, calling from his current home in northern Virginia. "I felt that when the right opportunity came along for me and my family, I'd pursue it." A Kentucky native whose father was born in Maryville, Tenn., and whose sister is a former Nashville resident, he says he didn't enjoy living in New York and is "looking for a place to stay a long time."
"He's a strong communicator with a lot of depth," says WSMV news director Matthew Hilk, who admits the search for someone to handle Dan Miller's longtime spot was a sensitive issue.
"There is no new Dan Miller," Hilk says. "We knew that from the beginning, so we didn't even bother trying. It was a coveted spot because of our news reputation. We went through dozens of applications across the country."
The wake of Miller's passing from a sudden heart attack in April has been "a very difficult few months," Hilk admits. It has put extraordinary pressure on Kalodimos and the WSMV team, who have done a remarkable job of accommodating the late Miller's enormous popularity while keeping viewers focused on the station's coverage. But after months of grieving and talk about what might come next, Hilk says, "everyone is ready to start building our future."
The immediate changes will start Monday, as Tom Randles assumes the 5 p.m. anchor duties with Kalodimos in addition to the 6:30 p.m. newscast with Jennifer Johnson. Sellers is expected to start co-anchoring the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Kalodimos in mid-October.
Besides the news, though, the city will be tuning in to see whether Kalodimos and her new co-anchor have the kind of easy, instinctual rapport that made the Kalodimos-Miller combination so popular. Kalodimos calls her new on-air partner "a very nice guy," and Sellers says he respects his new co-anchor's professionalism and experience.
On top of that, Sellers says, she's already gone a long way toward making him feel at ease about the new gig. The big draw in a newsroom "doesn't have to be nice to you--they can have whatever attitude they want toward the new guy," Sellers says. "But she's been nothing but sweet and welcoming."