Local news viewers and passengers riding in NBC taxi cabs may have noticed a familiar face sitting in the anchor chair.
Former MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer has been filling in for WNBC's Erika Tarantal during her maternity leave. Tarantal co-anchored WNBC's "Weekend Today in New York" and worked as a general assignment reporter for various station newscasts during the week. Brewer, who first filled in for Tarantal on March 10, will substitue for the anchor during her weekend post and in any other roles Tarantal would have filled. Tarantal is expected to return this summer.
Brewer stepped down from the MSNBC anchor chair in August 2011. Prior to her departure, she anchored the network's noon hour.
Brewer said she would still host MSNBC's documentary series "Caught on Camera." But the move from the national stage to a local newscast is atypical, as anchors generally move from jobs in local markets to national, network positions. For example, Matt Lauer and Al Roker moved from WNBC to their network posts on the "Today" show.
This week, Brewer will also fill in for WNBC's 5:00 p.m. hour while anchor Shiba Russell is on vacation. Following the news that the network was letting go of longtime WNBC anchor Sue Simmons, reports surfaced that Russell is widely considered to succeed the legendary New York newswoman. In addition to the 5:00 p.m. hour, Russell currently anchors the 12:00 p.m. hour for WNBC.