Home Miami TV First on SFLTV: WTVJ Anchor Julia Yarbough Out; Who’s In?

First on SFLTV: WTVJ Anchor Julia Yarbough Out; Who’s In?


Update: Just after checking around, SFLTV.com (yet again) broke the story. Gotta love the newspapers and big-dog sites being beat by this lil’ ol’ blog.
Lots of big news going on while I was on my little vacation… Figures! Let’s get straight to it: Julia Yarbough will be leaving NBC6 soon! SFLTV.com’s sources have been telling us for months that her departure would be coming soon, and about seven days ago, we were notified by an anonymous tipster telling us she announced her departure. According to our sources, Yarbough will be leaving the TV news industry for good, choosing to pursue a personal fitness career. We also were informed that a number of months ago, she started a new “dating-style website.” This may not come as a surprise to some. Her website has been in development for months, as well as the fact that she’s been seeking her personal training certification. We don’t have any word on her departure date; however, we are awaiting further confirmation.

But wait… there’s more juicy information! Guess who’s been seen on set testing out for Yarbough’s position with Jackie Nespral?

…Go ahead, guess. I’m willing to bet you wont guess correctly.

Roxanne Vargas! That’s right! The girl you love to hate, the girl with no previous experience, the girl who has been on the morning duty as a reporter… just may be your next main 6PM anchor? (I know, I had to re-read it myself…) But apparently, it’s true! She was seen testing late last week with Jackie on set. Now, as I’ve said in the past, I like Roxanne! I think she’s very nice, very sensitive (which is not good in this market/on this blog), and with more practice (in a smaller market) she may just have herself a very successful career in broadcasting. But as a main anchor? I’ve got to be opposed at some point.

So, what do you think? Would promoting Roxanne Vargas to “main anchor” be a smart move for WTVJ?

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You may contact me at: alex@sfltv.com


  1. This is GrEaT news! I hear they are going to start using interns to produce the shows, and the janitorial staff is going to start running the assignment desk. Everybody get those Tivo’s ready… this should make for some good youtube video… especially when something happens and she has to ad-lib! Can’t wait!

  2. Well she might not be the best qualified for the position, but who knows; tomboy Katie Couric started in TVJ and look where she is now, Roxanne may be the next latina Barbara Walters 🙂

  3. Why do people make stupid decisions like this? To go into the Personal Fitness industry??? Is she out of her mind? People like her have the world in the palm of their hands, and then they dump it all to do stupid unrealistic careers.

    Just like at WPTV, that weird weatherman they had years ago, Rob Lopicola, he left his broadcasting career to follow a “more spiritual path.” In a year he found out, you don’t make any money doing that. Now he is back at work, not even on TV, but some weather thing in Orlando. He blew his good opportunity. He had it great at WPTV.

    With this economy, I will tell you, the only thing I have been thinking about to spend my money on is a personal trainer!

  4. NBC 6 management appears to be trying VERY hard to stick the final nail in their own coffin. Putting Roxanne in as a main anchor will surely make them the laughingstock of news in South Florida, as if they aren’t already. The person above is right – can’t WAIT to see her ad-lib during breaking news. It’ll be a trainwreck.

  5. Where is the diversity in this market? When Julia leaves WTVJ, there will be no African American main anchors in this market. It seems in this market the stations promotes White & Hispanic anchors to higher positions when they give blacks the lower level positions. The stations forget there are black people that live here too. You have Miami Gardens, Libert City, Brown-Sub, Pork & Beans, Pompano Beach, and others. I like Roxanne she is better doing entertainment than hard news. I would like to see Willard & Jackie together again. Julia will be missed, and she is a better solo anchor than Jackie Nespral. Julia’s chemistry with Joe & John is more real. I love Hispancis, but I dont like to see QUALIFIED blacks being ignored. Now the UNQUALIFIED black such as Tisha Lewis needs more experience and Post Newsweek was wrong into forcing Dwight Lauderdale into retirement. It’s true! People like Tony, Kelly, Dwight where forced out. What do you all think? Should there be at least one Qualified black main anchor in this market or just go white and hispanics and no blacks at all? No matter what race you are, you should be QUALIFIED to anchor and this market is putting any1 at the desk. This market is not even competitive like the others.

    • Well….Tony and Kelly were white, so that kinda contradicts what you are saying here. I dunno why you through their names in there. Dwight, I met him in person, he’s just a jerk, so i’m not too hurt he’s gone.

    • There are many VERY qualified white folks that are ignored as well. I agree Willard would be great next to Jackie, and I spoke out voicing that opinion when Tony first left, even before that when Jose Diaz Balart left. But they should not be focused on placing someone in the anchor chair because of their race, even if they are highly qualified. They need to find the best and most well known to do the job, and frankly, NBC 6 has been one station that has put minorities ahead soley because they are minorities, and it usually does not turn out well. Willard has been there for at least 15 years now and would be the ideal anchor person for them. Perhaps he doesn’t want the job (I doubt it) but there may be some other reason they haven’t choosen him in the past that we do not know about.

      Im not sure that Dwight was forced out, he had a well planned reierment that I am pretty sure was his sole decision. However, Tony’s alleged retierment, that I question. I believe (without any proof) that they asked him to retire or just let him go and humiliate him and their station. Why would they not let him anchor his last newscast, the whole week-long send off, although legitmate to many of his co-workers (as a fond farewell) seemed like it was staged. Go back and watch the last 60 seconds of Tony’s last broadcast. He said something to the effect of: Does anybody have a job for me? when Joel Connable asked him what he would do on Monday. And as for Kelly, there was no cover up there, they just flat out gave her the pink slip.

  6. Im mentioned QUALIFIED Anchors thats why I included Tony and Kelly. Why Dwight was jerk to you? Did he act like he was above you?

  7. Roxanne Vargas. Oh my. The most popular anchor team they haven’t screwed up at TVJ is Pam and Bob, but I don’t see that happening. If you want an African American, Willard Shepard no, Jawann Strader no, but Calvin Hughes…after much reassessment, yes, I think Calvin should be given consideration for the big desk. Laurie solo probably won’t last. But back to 6. WHy doesn’t Post-Newsweek just buy 6 and be done with it? Then they can drop news on 6 altogether, and Jackie Nespral could assume her proper place–carpooling with Kristi Krueger.

  8. BTW, I don’t think Dwight was forced out. I think he saw the writing on the wall and wanted out. He was very good, and if you think he’s a jerk, consider the source. I was never a Julia fan, but I suspect she sees this as a good time to get the hell out of the business too. But fitness? I smell a reality show down the line.

  9. Alex, your dead wrong about Vargus. I saw Tammy the other day at the 99 Cent Store looking for Julia’s replacement in the “clearance Isle”….The person they were testing was on the shelf next to a dented can of cream corn !!!!

  10. It may make too much sense, but what about Bob Mayer ? He has knowledge and the know how for the job, but of course that makes way too much sense!

  11. “NBC 6 fan” — are you kidding me? What is your problem? Bringing race into this conversation? Go back and crawl under your rock. There are plenty of blacks in the market. And hispanics. If anything, there is a lack of whites. So go take your bullshit race card somewhere else.

    As for Roxanne…she is the worst person we have in this entire market. With no experience and not one news bone in her body NBC chooses her to tell the millions of people in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area the news and information that is so crucial to our lives??? Really? The girl who thinks tv is so fun b/c it’s all about her. The girl who thinks she looks cute by dancing with a snake for 5 minutes? The girl who thinks we give a shit about the “boo-boo” on her finger? She can’t even tell me the traffic without making it about her. In fact, when she’s not talking about herself..and she does talk about traffic…I can’t follow her. She’s embarrassing herself and the station each day she is on the air. I am ashamed for NBC and the management that is still left. I don’t care if the station is going under or not…go out with some dignity please.

  12. The ONLY thing NBC6 has going for them right now is Bob & Pam in the mornings. If only they could get them to do like 19 hour shifts 7 days a week NBC6 would be number 1 in no time 😉

  13. I think NBC should bring back Joel Connable and let go of Jackie and have Joel team up with Trina.I have seen both of them anchor together and they were great. I really think Trina is talented but news is better for her than weather.

  14. What is wrong with these people . who is running the show there. I mean this lady that doesn’t seem to belong on the news anyway. Just cancel NBC6 , fire everyone and get someone who can make 6 like it was in the good days .

  15. NBC6NEWS…… I said no “field reporter” is a white female! Is Pam a field reporter? Last time I checked, she is a part time employee who is an anvhor only? Ari is a male and Trina is black……guess you didn’t do well in Bio. class.

  16. David….You said Bob does too well in the morning to put him on in the evening. Don’t more people watch the news at night? Isn’t the ad rate higher in the evening? So, David, you point is??????????????

  17. My point is Mitch is that people that watch Bob and Pam at 6am are usually sleeping at 11PM when Jackie and TBA come on. They have two different audiences, and the AM fans (which make TISFL much more competitive than their other newscasts) could very well tune out to find something they enjoy more. As far as the AD revenues, if they want to attract NEW viewers to the already low rated evening newscasts, putting Bob Mayer would defiantly retain the audience, but not attract new (young/more marketable) viewers. Plus, why fix something that is not broken?

  18. Well….for many years Bob worked at 6pm not 6am. Since he is the most respected anchor, it only makes sense to have him anchor the most important newscast of the day which is at 6pm. Fix something that is not broken ? You mean you think their 6pm newscast is successful? I hope you are just joking. BTW when CBS had Bob Schaffer doing the evening news, he had higher rating then the much younger Katie Couric. So much for attracting a larger audience.

  19. How to fix 6 news at 6? Easy–Bob Mayer and Pam Giganti (Very underrated and comes across very well, and the chemistry is not forced at all)for news, Trina doing the weather, and get Andrea Brody back for sports-put that clown Rose out to pasture. That might work. Couldn’t do worse than Jackie and pretty much everyone.

  20. Julia’s replacement “Charlene Perez” Charles Perez in a dress !!! Hey, he’s latin, one of WTVJ’s requirements!

  21. Roxanne co-anchoring with Jackie? Bad idea. It’s no surprise that NBC 6 is allowing more competant talents to slip away… Julia’s deparure will most likely be viewed as a huge loss to South Florida TV. I really wouldn’t expect NBC to ever want Kelly Craig, Tony Segreto, and Joel Connable back… nor do I believe Kelly, Tony, and Joel would be interested in ever working for NBC again.

    WWJ-TV Detroit and KDNL-TV St. Louis used to have local TV news broadcasts that did poorly, as they were not very competative. Their news departments were unfortunately shuttered, due to the horrible ratings. As for WTVJ’s future, they’re quickly on their way toward becoming another WWJ and KDNL.

  22. I have started watching the 7pm news cause of Julia and watchin NBC6 News cause of Julia and now she leaves.


    Best of luck Julia!!!!!

    Julia, you are a class act and will be missed.

  23. Hehe, there was some guy calling about how hot Julia is on Joe Rose’s talk show a week or two ago. Joe said he and Julia are good friends and mentioned that she keeps herself in great shape. It’ll be a sad day when yet another babe leaves NBC6.

  24. Julia will definietly be missed and c’mon everyone OPEN your EYES. NBC6 management knows Roxanne is the right person for this because she will bring the ratings lower than what they are and eventually the 6pm newscast will be cancelled and if ratings at 11 drop after Jay Leno comes, the 11 will also be cancelled and they can just air Jimmy Fallon @ 11pm ending their late night line up earlier giving them air time to run infomercials generating revenue and all of NBC6 news op will become part-time. Bob and Pam will stay in the mornings because they are the only ones keeping the ship afloat and management will not experiment by moving them around. They can’t afford to do so.

    • I think NBC will be really screwed all around if Jay Leno fails, which i’m certain will inevitably happen. It will be popular at first, than drop. Jimmy Fallon has very bad ratings nationwide, especially here on both WPTV and WTVJ. He won’t last long either.

      WTVJ’s morning team may be a great group with good chemistry and terrific experience, but their ratings aren’t great and they don’t make money, and unfortunately, that is all that matters in this business.

  25. I can’t believe they’re really thinking Roxanne Vargas – and this is coming from someone who likes her (but only in her current context).

    I agree with commenter NBC6 NEWS – put Trina at the desk at 6, 7 and 11 with Jackie. She is much more seasoned than most anyone who’s left at NBC-6, and she really is overshadowed by her colleagues in the weather department. Not sure if she’d even be interested in leaving weather or the mornings, but it seems like a logical choice. Willard Shepard doesn’t seem to shine in the anchor chair.

    I will miss Julia – I have always liked her and thought she was a strong part of NBC-6’s B-team. Now that she’s been on the A-team for a while I think she has performed very well and I am sorry to see her go.

  26. I agree with Jason.She is a good anchor on-air and beautiful off air. Jason, do you think NBC would let Demarco Morgan back to Miami? I heard he is arrogant and big-headed but nice in the newsroom. Is that true? And Trina would be a perfect fit for Julia’s position. She is talented and knows how to dress well too and has lots of money added with her business and husband lawyer.

    • I can’t imagine NBC-6 will hire anyone new to fill Julia’s shoes. They seem to be filling everyone in house, so I doubt they’d bring Demarco back. I don’t know much about him, but it didn’t seem like he left much of a legacy. Anyone know how he’s doing in NYC?

  27. Reading prompter night in and night out, year in and year out is an intellectual sacrifice that will burn out anyone with half a brain. Julia did it well for a long, long time. Trina, seriously, is woeful. Do you news watchers really think she is talented? The woman is not a smooth reader. You’re all assuming that Julia left on her own accord. NBC is cutting costs, no matter the cost, left and right. Let’s not just conclude Julia decided to leave her cozy, high paying anchor gig to inspire folks to do more crunches. Possible. Yes. Likely? No. Don’t be naive. Julia made nearly 400k a year – Roxanne makes 57k. NBC local couldn’t care less about the quality of its product right now – just how much it costs to spew it out. Also, don’t be silly – Tammy Delgado has absolutely no authority here – her opinion is neither sought or considered in talent hires. Questions?

    • Logic, I wouldn’t be surprised if Julia was politely asked to leave and given a few months to figure things out with the way this biz is going… but if that were the case, why wouldn’t she wind up on TV in another market? My guess is she’s sick of the business and wants a change.

      I am a little surprised that they keep hanging on to Jackie as long as they have. If they are really trying to trim overpaid talent, it would seem her huge salary would be an easy target. I don’t think she’s bad, but she’s not exactly a heavyweight journalist, either.

      Re: Trina, hopefully people at least see her versatility as a major strength. I find her to be good at anchoring and reporting but just OK with weather. She seems to be willing to take on anything the station throws at her.

      Logic, who do you think should take Julia’s place?

  28. I Finally met this Tammy Delgado everyone is raving about, she’s the nicest person in the newsroom, very curdious and polite to me.

  29. Tammy.. you don’t need to try nd make eople like you on this blog. Everyone knows your true colors. Weren’t you the one who called Willard Shepard the “N” word behind his back to people? Hmmmm. Hey Intern – if you think she’s nice, just wait until she screws you like she has ever producer she works with.

  30. I DONT THINK VARGAS IS THEIR BEST CHOICE…but as LOGIC mentioned; these days it could be a budget issue and the company will risk it and ride out this economic hardship that all industries are feeling…maybe vargas will be smart and take the opportunity to IMPROVE her skills (in her ambition to be in front of the cameras.) it seems this industry is changing(&as viewer mentioned if vargas desnt have a “news bone” in her it doesnt seem to matter anymore) and it’s sad to see the effects it’s having on the quality of performance and quality of news reporting that is being put out in the market.

  31. I will really miss Julia. She was smooth, classy, and professional on air, and her exit along with all the others truly makes me wonder about the future of NBC6. Are we headed for an NBC39 or some other kind of major shakeup in our local affiliates? Not convinced on Jackie & Roxanne together either. Roxanne seems far too inexperienced for that kind of pressure; you could destroy her spirit that way if she’s not ready, and you could argue that her spirit is her best quality…

    As for Julia’s replacement, I agree with the suggestions for Willard or Trina, not because they are African-American, but as a result of their experience, and particularly in Trina’s case, her versatility. Bob Mayor’s “been there and done that” as far as evening news is concerned; he’s just having fun while awaiting retirement. I wish Julia nothing but the best….

  32. My pick to replace Julia is Sharon Lawson. She’s been a solid anchor/reporter for 15 years. I used to follow her in Minneapolis as the weekend anchor and have seen her do great anchor work all over the WTVJ schedule. It’s a salary neutral move and gives the team the expereince and chemistry it needs without more on the job training (no offense to Roxy).

    The New VP for News & Content is going to have his hands full.

    • Great choice tella! Sharon had been very consistent as the weekend morning anchor until the show was unfortunately pulled. She would be a wise move for Julia’s spot, although my first choice is still the versatile Trina Robinson. Can’t go wrong with either choice. Your observations about salary and avoiding on the job training were brilliant.

  33. Anyone remember on TBS decades ago when Ted Turner put a dog on TV with peanut butter in his mouth and someone read the news with the dog’s mouth moving on cam ? Well, that would even be better then Roxanne doing the news!

  34. I don’t bother watching late night news anymore. I don’t understand why channels 6 and 10 have their newscasters stand in what appears is the “newsroom” or at a podium. Does this give the news reporters more credibility? I don’t think so. Also, I am pretty tired of hearing Jackie Nespral’s name as she is well past her prime and boooorrrrring. Lot’s of the news isn’t even very informative. All they say is “for more details check our website…” Do you really need a journalism degree to be a news anchor anymore?

  35. Chuck, I believe your right. Tush did some crazy ass stuff back then. You could never get away with it anymore. What was the name of the program Tush had with Turner’s grown kids on it ? I think the show used his name in the title. Man, they did some crazy stuff. I seem to remember them have all sorts of people on it who you haven’t heard of in years. I think they had “Sky King” ( Kirby Brooks) on it one week too. All sorts of stars out of the past would show up on Bill’s show. I watched it just to see who would show up on his show.

  36. Shelley, Don’t you think it makes Jackie crediable when she does a serious news story and Jackie makes a frown on her face trying to make people think she’s a real journalist. And to think shes married to a doctor. Wonder what Jackie would be doing if she wasn’t the Orange Bowl Queen over 20 years ago.

  37. Chuck, I was right. The show was called “Tush”. If you Google Bill Tush, theres stuff on him and tons on UTube. For those of us who were down here in the 60s, UTube even has a commercial of Jack O’Brien doing his infamous live car commercials for Muncipal Auto Sales. I sent the clip to Bob Mayer, he loved it !

  38. I believe an affiliation change is needed… NBC has been relentless in turning WTVJ into another KDNL and WWJ. It’s no wonder that this iconic TV station has become a joke.

    Again, I could picture Tribune pulling yet another KSWB. WSFL converting to NBC… it come with a new in-house produced news broadcast. WTVJ affiliating with either The CW, or MyNetwork TV… as well as discontinuing its news broadcasts.

  39. Maybe WTVJ can get Bubbles the Chimp to replace Julia? This is no slam to her. It is towards the station that seems hellbent on getting rid of every single viewer they have.


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