Beth Duffy back on air– at new station
Beth Duffy signs off, but she doesn't stay off. Yes, one year after leaving NBC29 as the morning anchor, Duffy is headed back behind an anchor desk– only this time she's working for her old station's competition, the Newsplex.
Duffy's non-compete clause expires in March, according to Newsplex general manager Roger Burchett, and she'll go on the air in late March or early April. "I don't know what date or what shows yet," says Burchett. "It won't be in the morning. That's per Beth."
It was those crazy early morning hours for nine years and the dream of living a life that didn't include waking up at 2am and going to bed at 6pm that, she said, led Duffy to sign off from NBC29 March 2, 2006. Within days, she landed a job in sales with the new station.
"I hate to lose her out of sales," says Burchett. "She smoked."
The Gray Television-owned Newsplex has been teasing Duffy's return in various basketball-game appearances inside the John Paul Jones Arena as well as airing a promo based on a game show in which the answers rhyme with "Beth Duffy, " such as what happens if the Vampire Slayer dies? Answer: Death Buffy.
Burchett figures that if Duffy goes back on the air by April, "That gives her 30 days to get back in the saddle before May sweeps."
Duffy left broadcasting once before; she worked seven years for Wachovia before returning to TV and starting over again in Kirksville, Missouri. Burchett isn't surprised that she will end up back in front of the camera again.
Meanwhile, speculation is rife about exactly which of the Newsplex anchor desks Duffy will land behind. News director Jeremy Settle wants to drop the ABC news at 11 (see this week's Hook), but will Duffy go for the swing shift after tasting the joy of 9-to-5 sales work? And if she's goes on the news at noon and 5, she'll compete against her former colleague, Kristina Cruise.
Is Duffy's new gig shaping up to be the battle of the network blondes? Duffy is in Saudi Arabia now and did not return phone calls, but stay tuned...