Shuffling the Anchors in Houston

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KPRC is shuffling around a couple of Anchors.

Lauren Freeman (pictured) is headed to the station’s 4 p.m. newscasts beginning Monday, and anchor Rachel McNeill will assume Freeman’s longtime role as morning Anchor. 

Freeman, who's anchored at KPRC since 2006 recently returned to the station from maternity leave, also will co-anchor Channel 2’s midday newscast several days a week and will report on special projects.

“Lauren just came back after having her third son and has her hands full right now, and I think the lifestyle will be a more manageable schedule for her,” said Deborah Collura, vice president of news for Post-Newsweek Stations, which owns KPRC, and the station’s managing director of news.

Collura said McNeill will be a key addition to the station's morning newscasts during a day part where the station is increasingly competitive in Nielsen household ratings with KTRK (Channel 13) and KHOU (Channel 11). KPRC edged Channel 13 for first place among local newscasts at 5:30 and 6 a.m. and narrowly trailed Channel 13 at 4 p.m. among adults 25-54 for the November sweeps period that ended Wednesday.

“We have doubled our lead-in to our 4 p.m. newscasts since we added ‘Dr. Phil’ (at 3 p.m.), and Lauren will fit perfectly with the audience at 4,” Collura said. “Rachel is a strong anchor and will be just as strong in the morning time frame. She has great chemistry (with anchor Owen Conflenti and meteorologist Anthony Yanez), and she grew up in Houston.”

H/T Houston Chronicle