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WSLS Anchor Jay Warren and WDBJ Weatherman Move On

Jay Warren
Jay Warren

Jay Warren, anchor at WSLS Channel 10 is leaving the Media General NBC affiliate at the end of the week. Warren, 42 said it was time for change.

On Warren’s facebook page he shocked many when he posted: “After 15 years at WSLS, I will be leaving at the end of the week to pursue other opportunities. It’s was a tough decision I’ve been praying about for months. But, ultimately, I am ready for new challenges and hoping to be closer to family in Texas (or with a job that provides the flexibility for me to travel home more often). I love WSLS, the team here, Roanoke and the people of Southwest Virginia. This has been my home and and you my family and I am deeply grateful for how openly you accepted me. This is certainly not goodbye… simply a new chapter!”

Warren earned a master’s degree from Texas Tech University. While in college he interned at the White House and with “Larry King Live.” He is also an adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech, where he teaches broadcast writing. He taught at Hollins University for 8 years as well.

Jay may be best known for his extensive political knowledge, coverage and the many political forums and debates he has monitored. He returned from an extended visit with family in Texas in late March. His well-kept secret had been in the works for sometime he said.

There have been many local media changes lately. Jay Webb Meteorologist at WDBJ7 is leaving after seven years and will be relocating to Harrisonburg, VA. On facebook he said his last day on air at WDBJ7 will be May 22. Webb will be returning to where he started but this time as Weather Director and primary morning and noon meteorologist at WHSV-TV. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to grow in this industry that’s been so good to me,” he said. Jay and his wife, Sarah lived in Harrisonburg from 2000-2006.

In a press release WDBJ7 announced it was expanding its election and political coverage with the addition of Dr. Robert Denton as a political commentator/analyst. Dr. Denton is leaving WSLS for WDBJ7 at the same time Jay Warren leaves as anchor. Warren and Denton have been a political coverage team for many years.

Denton joins long-time WDBJ7 senior political commentator/analyst Dr. Harry Wilson to provide in-depth broadest analysis to viewers in southwestern Virginia.

Dr. Bob, as many television viewers know him, is the W. Thomas Rice Chair at the Rice Center for Leader Development in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.  He also serves as a Professor and Department Head in the Department of Communication at Tech’s College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences. He has a twenty-year plus background as a broadcast political commentator in Roanoke.

“By combining the insightful expertise and analysis of both Dr. Wilson and Dr. Denton we’ll be able to provide our viewers on television and users of our digital news products unparalleled coverage of local, regional and national elections,” according to WDBJ7 news director Dan Dennison.

Dr. Wilson is a veteran on-air political analyst who is already familiar to SW Virginia viewers, via frequent appearances on WDBJ7, leading up to and during elections.  He is a professor in the Dept. of Public Affairs at Roanoke College.  He is the founder and serves as the director of the college’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research.  It provides public opinion polling at least quarterly each year.

“My expectation is that by teaming Dr. Denton and Dr. Wilson with our veteran political reporters and anchors we will help our viewers make better informed decisions about candidates and issues each Election Day,” Dennison explained.  “The combined stature of these two well respected political commentators, each with outstanding academic credentials and experience, will undoubtedly lead to a depth and breadth of analysis before and during election cycles unmatched in our market,” he said.

By Valerie Garner

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