Olney, Rutledge Out as KCOP Anchors : Television: Ross Becker and Kim Devore have been named as replacements. Rutledge will leave the station, Olney may stay on.


The anchor team of Warren Olney and Wendy Rutledge at KCOP Channel 13 is being replaced, Jeff Wald, head of the station's news operation, said Monday.

Wald said the new co-anchors for KCOP will be Ross Becker, a former longtime newsman at KCBS Channel 2, and Kim Devore, currently a reporter for the syndicated Fox TV series "Personalities."

Rutledge declined an offer to remain at the station as a reporter and will leave by year's end, Wald said. Olney, a highly regarded political reporter, has been offered an opportunity to stay on in that capacity and as an investigative journalist, at the same salary he is receiving as an anchor, estimated in the low six figures.

According to Wald, Olney is thinking it over and the station expects him to accept.

Becker will take over as KCOP co-anchor Monday and Devore is expected to assume her new role Oct. 22, Wald said.

Hired away from KTLA Channel 5 to make KCOP a major player in local news competition, Wald now has changed the major on-air personalities at his new station. He previously replaced sportscaster Vic (The Brick) Jacobs with Tony Hernandez.

Wald's moves come after a lengthy period of disappointing ratings for KCOP's news.

The changes will have the station's new anchor team in place by the start of the pivotal November ratings sweeps period, one of four months each year in which audience estimates help determine advertising rates for local TV stations.

Wald recently tried to land long-retired Christine Lund as co-anchor of KCOP's nightly 10 o'clock news roundup, reportedly offering her major money.

But Lund, who was pursuing a schedule that would allow her to spend morning and evening hours with her two young children, signed up instead as a 4 p.m. news co-anchor with her old station, KABC Channel 7.

She had also turned down an offer from KNBC Channel 4 to be host of a morning show.

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