Brad Johansen Starts Today At WCMH-TV In Columbus

Mar 5, 2020

Former WKRC-TV anchor Brad Johansen starts today  as an anchor/reporter at WCMH-TV, the NBC affiliate (Channel 4) in Columbus.

"I'm not on the air until Monday. News anchoring at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., and filling in at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., when needed for now," Johansen told me late Wednesday.

Johansen is best remembered for his stories about college basketball player Lauren Hill.
Credit Courtesy Brad Johansen

He wrote this message on Twitter: "Excited and blessed to be joining the fantastic team at @nbc4! See ya soon."

Johansen had been out of broadcasting for almost a year. He left Channel 12 after 26 years in February 2018 to anchor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC. He was let go April 4 last year for reasons never made public.

"There was a personnel matter and we handled it immediately," said Joel Davis, WRAL-TV general manager, in an email to the News & Observer. "Brad Johansen is no longer with the station."

Best known for his stories about Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph University basketball player who died of cancer, Johansen left Channel 12 for Raleigh in hopes of eventually replacing longtime anchor David Crabree.

Being the main anchor at Channel 12 seemed out of reach because Rob Braun was firmly entrenched anchoring WKRC-TV's top-rated newscasts.  However, had he stayed at Channel 12, he could have been in line to replace Braun as main anchor when Braun left last June 30.   Channel 12 promoted Kyle Inskeep and Paula Toti on Monday to primary anchors to fill the void from the departures of Braun and Cammy Dierking last year. 

WKRC-TV sent Johansen to New York in 2015 to interview Stephen Colbert before he took over David Letterman's time slot.
Credit Courtesy WKRC-TV

Johansen told me in 2017 that as his Channel 12 contract was expiring that August, he "got a phone call that they (WRAL-TV) were doing a search (for an anchor).He got a six-month extension for WKRC-TV through February 2018, before going to the Raleigh-Durham TV market.

Johansen came to Channel 12 in 1992 to anchor the city's first Saturday morning local newscast. He transitioned to sports director when Ken Broo left WKRC-TV in 1996, and did play-by-play for Fox Sports Ohio, CBS and CBS Sports Network until 2014. Channel 12 managers forced him to go back to news anchor in fall 2014, and a month later he broke the story about Hill.

Here's my exit interview with Johansen from 2018, Brad Johansen's Top 12 Moments At Channel 12.