Anchor Shake Up in Denver

A struggling Denver station is shaking up their Anchor team and going back to the future to do it. 

KWGN/KDVR is bring back veteran TV news anchor Mike Landess out of retirement to Anchor KWGN news with Deborah Takahara, who will move between KWGN and KDVR.

The Denver Post says that the station's goal is to return KWGN to its former glory, rather than regard it as an afterthought, the stepsister to KDVR.

Landess, who builds motorcycles, cars and houses when not delivering the news, sees himself as merely “a contractor” building the new KWGN project, designed by station managers whom he knew in previous jobs with Gannett.

KWGN will launch a 4 p.m. newscast July 18. Both the 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. newscasts on KWGN will be anchored by Landess and Takahara. The 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscats on KDVR will be co-anchored by Jeremy Hubbard and Aristea Brady. Mike Barz and Takahara will anchor the 10 p.m. newscast on KWGN.

Breaking news will be handled by Landess and Barz interchangeably on both stations, according to Holly Gauntt, vice president of News and Digital Content for KDVR-KWGN.

Landess, a longtime fixture on Denver TV at KUSA and later at KMGH, will move back from East Texas, where he resumed working in TV after retiring from KMGH in 2014. As an anchor at KYTX in Tyler, Texas, he has been near children and grandchildren. His wife has been in Fort Collins; for 18 months they’ve been going back and forth. ” ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ — a great novel, but not a great way to live,” he said.

“I still love the business. I love the industry. I put up with the other stuff — the day to day, trying to get from point A to point B, fixing mistakes, the technical issues. When you hit that home run, it is such a rush it makes me want to keep going on.”

He’s more intrigued than fazed by changes in the industry as it attempts to attract younger audiences:

“The whole thing with millennials is such a giant question mark,” he said. “Social media is a wild, wild West, a crazy frontier.”