Clyde Gray returns to WCPO-TV to co-host "Cincy Lifestyle" next week, after a detour through WXIX-TV.
Here's something most people don't know: Gray did a screen test at WXIX-TV with Tricia Macke after anchor Scott Schneider accepted a Chicago TV job in fall of 2015. (What a powerhouse newscast that could have been – Clyde, Tricia, Steve Horstmeyer and all the reporters Channel 19 has for its 10 p.m. news.)
But Gray, who retired in 2014 in the middle of his WCPO-TV contract, couldn't work for Channel 19 because of "a contractual obligation" to Channel 9, he says. So three months after Schneider left, Fox 19 promoted Rob Williams from morning to evening newscasts.
Gray, after "multiple conversations," returns to Channel 9 Monday May 7 co-hosting "Cincy Lifetyle," a half-hour weekday lifestyle program produced for Channel 9's sales department – not the news department.
Some segments sound like they could be infomercials. ("There will be some content marketing for advertisers," he says.) Other segments will be "of interest in this community that might not be covered by the news," he adds.
After three decades of TV news, and three years of running Blackboard Marketing from his Symmes Township home, Gray is trying something new in TV– hosting the daytime lifestyle show with old friend Mona Morrow. Unlike being the station's main male co-anchor, Gray is working days and home for dinner with his wife and daughter.
The new show "is not journalism. It's not intended to be journalism. It's not competing with the news," he says. "Cincy Lifestyle," which Morrow has anchored Thursdays 12:45-1 p.m. since June, will do stories on landscaping, gardening, health-related issues, healthy eating and events around town, he says.
"We'll help people see what this community has to offer – the nice, quiet places that don't get all that much attention," he says. "It's something different, with a different approach. I'm finding it refreshing, after 37 years of looking at all the damage done to people," referring to crime and mayhem on the nightly news.
Since leaving Channel 9, Blackboard Marketing has promoted the 10th anniversary of The Banks and Talbert House. Gray also hosted "M.D. Insider" interviews with Christ Hospital doctors. His marketing and public relations work will be "put on the back burner," he says.
"I'm happy to be looking at the normal side of life. This gets me back in the saddle again, in the same environment, with people I know and love. It was like old times when I went back there. It was great to see everyone."
Morrow, an 18-year employee, will do the show while continuing to serve as the Channel 9's community affairs director.
"Cincy Lifestyle” replaces one of the two "Right This Minute" half-hour syndicated shows airing 10-11 a.m. weekdays.