Why are Cincinnati TV stations changing traffic reporters?
WCPO-TV weather forecaster Raven Richard will move to full-time traffic reporting, while WLWT-TV searches for a traffic reporter to replace Seton High School grad Alanna Martella.
Today's traffic update: Expect to see Raven Richard do more traffic reporting for WCPO-TV, and to see more fill-ins on WLWT-TV during a national search to replace Cincinnati native Alanna Martella.
Richard, hired three years ago as weekend weather forecaster, has been named the replacement for Sina Gebre-Ab, who left WCPO-TV in March to work in Baltimore, her hometown. Gebre-Ab is a reporter and co-anchor at Baltimore's WJZ-TV.
A Little Rock native, Richard was a forecaster — but not a meteorologist — at Little Rock's KTVH-TV before joining WCPO-TV as a multimedia journalist and forecaster in June 2019. She started her TV career at KNDO-TV in Kennewick, Wash., after earning a mass communication degree from Loyola University New Orleans in May 2014.
"Raven is still doing weekend morning weather until we find a meteorologist for that position, so that’s why you see Taylor Nimmo a couple of days a week doing traffic for Good Morning Tri-State," says Jeff Brogan, WCPO-TV vice president and general manager.
Martella is leaving her hometown — and television — to move to Boston with boyfriend Michael Parman. He's starting a sports medicine fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital after his orthopedic surgery residency here.
The Seton High School alum started her TV career in KTTC-TV in Rochester, Minn., after graduating from Ohio University's Scripps School of journalism in 2014. She also was a traffic reporter for two years in Indianapolis before coming home in 2019.
Was it tough to leave Cincinnati?
"It’s easy to leave since it’s with my boyfriend," says Martella, who had interned at WKRC-TV and spent a semester in college working at CNN on Anderson Cooper 360 in New York City. Working at a hometown station was never her ultimate career job, she says.
"It wasn’t my goal or dream. I just wanted to be with family for a little," she says. "I will definitely miss WLWT though, because a lot of the people I worked with are my best friends."
She's enjoyed sleeping in this week while preparing for life after TV.
"I am going to do modeling at an agency in Boston, host events and take uncredited courses at Harvard. I also might work part time at The Country Club in Brookline, where the U.S. Open was just played. Basically, I plan to do a bunch of odd jobs for the year we are there because it is hard to get a 'career' type job when you know you’ll only be there one year," she says.
Branden Frantz, WLWT-TV president and general manager, says that "while we were sorry to see Alanna go, we couldn’t be happier for both on this next journey."
The station is "in the midst of a nationwide recruitment for her replacement," he says. "I will have more to share on this in the coming weeks."