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WCPO-TV Hires New Morning Co-Anchor

Courtesy WCPO-TV
Adrian Whitsett, a Hawaii native who grew up in Nebraska, will premiere in November as WCPO-TV's "Good Morning Tri-State" co-anchor.

WCPO-TV has hired Iraq war veteran Adrian Whitsett to co-anchor Good Morning Tri-State with Julie O'Neill.

The former Marine comes from Orlando's WESH-TV, where he was morning anchor.

"We're excited to get him here. Adrian is a strong journalist with a warm personality and has local ties," says Jeff Brogan, WCPO-TV vice president and general manager.

The local tie is his wife, an East Central High School graduate. "Her family is spread all over the Tri-State," with parents in Lawrenceburg, a sister in Delhi Township and a brother in Sunman, says the WCPO-TV story. They also have relatives in Western Hills, Hyde Park and Brookville, and a 6-month-old son.

"I have a deep and ever-growing appreciation for Skyline Chili, La Rosa's Pizza, goetta and Graeter's,” Whitsett said in the WCPO-TV story.

Whitsett was born in Hawaii, and spent most of his childhood in Omaha, according to his WESH bio. He earned bachelor degrees in broadcast journalism and philosophy in 2008 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

After a four-year stint in the Marines (1999-2003), he was employed by Home Depot before working for KETV-TV in Omaha (2008-2015) and WESH-TV. Both are sister Hearst stations to WLWT-TV. At WESH-TV, he also was weekend anchor and a reporter who covered "big stories like the Pulse Nightclub shooting and severe weather events across Florida," said the WCPO-TV story.

As a Marine, Whitsett served in Iraq as a member of the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion providing support during combat in Kuwait and Iraq in 2003, WCPO-TV said. Since then he has mentored veterans making the transition into civilian life after active or reserve duty.

Whitsett starts Oct. 12 at WCPO-TV. He’ll begin co-anchoring Good Morning Tri-State in November with Julie O’Neill, meteorologist Jennifer Ketchmark and traffic reporter Sina Gebre-Ab. (November sweeps begin Oct. 29.)

O'Neill has anchored the morning show since 2018, when WCPO-TV let go of Nero after 15 years on Good Morning Tri-State and didn't renew co-anchor Chris Rivaafter four years. Riva now anchors for WXIX-TV.

From the WCPO-TV story:

“We are excited to add Adrian Whitsett to our morning team. Adrian is a journalist at his core. He has a proven track record of finding and telling stories that you can’t find anywhere else. He’s also a great morning anchor. I’m eager to see what he does here in our community.” said Mike Canan, WCPO 9 senior director of local content.

"I'm excited to come back to my Midwest roots. I look forward to learning more about the people and places I've only visited in recent years and join a team dedicated to telling the stories that matter to the Tri-State," Whitsett said.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.