Former KMTV (Cox Channel 5) anchor Greg Peterson is headed to Mobile, Ala., to be a weekday evening news anchor at NBC affiliate WPMI.
Last week, WPMI fired its three primary news anchors in the midst of lackluster ratings and management changes. The station is one of a number of Clear Channel Communications properties up for sale.
Peterson starts Monday and will anchor at 5, 6 and 10 p.m., beginning March 26.
"We hate to leave Omaha because my wife, Jill, is from here," Peterson said. "But it's golf 12 months a year there and that was a big factor."
Last December, Peterson's contract at KMTV was not renewed after nearly five years, along with that of veteran co-anchor Deborah Ward. She has since become the director of public relations and marketing for the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Peterson said he enjoyed his three months of "retirement."
"I got to spend some great time with my family," he said. "It was also the first ratings period I haven't participated in in 25 years, so that was kind of odd. It's been a great break but I'm chomping at the bit to get back at it."
Nielsen Media Research groups the Mobile market with Pensacola, Fla., and lists it as the 59th largest in the country (Omaha is No. 75).
In a press release issued today by WPMI, Station Vice President and General Manager Bob Franklin attempted to control the negative publicity that sometimes occurs when veteran anchor teams are abrubtly terminated. Peterson's co-anchor is expected to be named in the coming weeks.
"NBC 15 recently made a commitment to institute some significant changes to our local news programs in an effort to make them even more relevant for our viewers," Franklin said. "We're thrilled to welcome Greg and are confident in his ability to bring our viewers the day's top stories with the most informative and entertaining delivery in town."