Tampa Station Hires Social Media Savvy Anchor

WFTS in Tampa has named Laura Harris as its new 5:30 p.m. News Anchor to sit alongside veteran Brendan McLaughlin.

Harris currently solo hosts the WFTS's “The Now Tampa Bay” at 4 p.m.

She has been filling in on the 5:30 since longtime anchor Linda Hurtado left after the May book.  Today the station announced that Harris is getting the gig full time. 

“She’s one of the most natural television performers I’ve ever seen,” McLaughlin said. “It’s remarkable to watch her work. She anchors that [4 p.m.] hour by herself, works with or without a teleprompter, does live interviews, just makes it happen on the fly.”

The co-anchors appear to have formed a budding mutual admiration society.

“Brendan is the model for people like myself,” said the 29-year-old Harris of her partner, who is approaching his 21st anniversary as ABC Action News anchor. “Sitting next to a person like Brendan McLaughlin is truly an honor. I can learn so much.”

Harris was raised in Atlanta and worked as a morning anchor in Charleston, S.C. before joining WFTS three years ago. "The Now Tampa Bay" launched in September 2014.

Harris represents a new breed of TV news anchor in that she understands and embraces social media, and has a feel for adapting it to TV news.

H/T Biz Journals