Chris Riva, Amber Jayanth and meteorologist Ashley Smith will help main anchors Tricia Macke, Rob Williams and Steve Hortsmeyer share the load when WXIX-TV premieres a 90-minute local news block 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 6.
Macke, former WCPO-TV morning anchor Riva and meteorologist Horstmeyer will do the 5 p.m. half-hour.
Williams, Jayanth and Horstmeyer will anchor at 5:30 p.m.
Williams, Riva and Smith will do the 6 p.m. news.
Williams, Jayanth and Smith will do the 6:30 p.m. news.
Macke and Horstmeyer will remain on the 4 p.m. news hour which they have done since the premiere in August 2018.
Jayanth came to Fox 19 in July 2016 from Dayton's WKEF-TV and WRGT-TV, where she was a reporter and fill-in anchor. She has anchored some WXIX-TV weekend and morning newscasts.
"Amber has done an exceptional job anchoring Fox 19 Now weekend editions. That, plus her strong knowledge of the Tri-State, made Amber the natural choice to join the 4-7 p.m. team," says Debbie Bush, Channel 19 vice president and general manager.
Jayanth earned a degree in broadcast media from the University of Central Missouri in 2005, and a master's degree in digital communication and media/multimedia in 2008 from Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Mo. The St. Louis native interned at Chicago's WGN-TV (2007) before working for KPLR-TV in St. Louis (2007-08), WMDT-TV (2008-2011) in Salisbury, MD., and the Dayton stations (2011-2016).
Riva had been operating a public relations agency and doing publicity for Middletown's Sorg Opera House since he was dropped as Channel 9's morning co-anchor in a 2018 budget cut. Riva, who grew up in the Monroe and Middletown area, did two stints at Channel 9. He was a sports producer for John Popovich and Dennis Janson after graduating from Wright State University in 1994, and returned in 2014 to be Kathrine Nero's co-anchor on Good Morning Tri-State.
Riva told me in December that he turned down TV jobs at six out-of-town stations after leaving Channel 9 because he wanted to raise his family here. His wife Jamie, a Mercy High School graduate, teaches third grade in Hamilton. They got engaged at Sawyer Point, married at St. Xavier Church downtown, and now live in Mason.
"I love this community. I want my kids to grow up here. Every decision I make now is for my family," Riva says.
To make room for the news, WXIX-TV will move Judge Judy to 2-4 p.m.. The 6 p.m. Jeopardy! rerun moves to 12:30 p.m.
The Jan. 6 lineup will be: 25 Words Or Less (noon); Jeopardy! rerun (12:30 p.m.); Cops (1 p.m.); Protection Court (1:30 p.m.); Judge Judy (2-4 p.m.); Fox 19 Now news (4-7 p.m.); Wheel of Fortune (7 p.m.); and Jeopardy! (7:30 p.m.).