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Laura Harris advances to co-anchor of NBC5's weekday early morning newscasts


@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fort Worth-based NBC5 has promoted Laura Harris to co-anchor of the station’s weekday early morning newscasts, where she joins longtime incumbent Deborah Ferguson.

“Officially official. Like a ref with a whistle. I am so blessed to be able to share the news!” Harris said on her Facebook page Friday. “Hope to see ya dark and early M-F 430a-7a!”

NBC5, owned and operated by NBC Universal, is replicating the #MeToo era playbook of NBC’s Today show, where Hoda Kotb joined Savannah Guthrie as co-anchor after Matt Lauer left the show in disgrace over allegations of repeated sexual misconduct. Harris replaces Marc Fein, whose contract wasn’t renewed. He left in February and since has joined North Texas-based Baseball Nation.

Harris originally was hired to replace Cory Smith as NBC5’s weekend P.M. newscast co-anchor. She arrived last summer from ABC affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa Bay, FL. Smith initially planned to stay with NBC5 until the end of 2018, but ended up leaving last September to take a position with NBC-owned WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.

NBC5 has miles to go, ratings-wise, in the early mornings. In the four-week February ratings “sweeps,” the station fell to a distant third during the key 6 a.m. hour in both total viewers and with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Compared to Feb. 2017, NBC5 lost 16,477 total viewers and 21,906 in the 25-to-54 realm, where it barely drew one-quarter the audience of front-running Fox4, which gained 20,760 viewers during the same period.

Harris officially becomes part of the early morning team just in time for the May “sweeps,” which began on Thursday, April 25th.

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