Originally posted Wednesday, February 26, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
With HLN retrenching its day-time lineup back to CNN Center in Atlanta, two existing hosts have been rewarded bigger roles.
Lynn Smith, “HLN Weekend Express” host since 2014, will take over “On the Story” from noon to 2 p.m. while veteran HLN anchor Mike Galanos will helm a new daily program “True Crime Live” from 2 to 3 p.m. Both start Monday, March 11.
Susan Hendricks, a fill-in anchor, will take over for Smith on “Weekend Express” starting March 16.
Smith is coming back from maternity leave after the birth of her second son Ryder on November 2.
“I’m happily getting out of baby daze,” she said in an interview. “It’s been a wonderful experience. Now I’m ready to get back to being me.”
She said the show will be not just meat and potatoes but dessert for viewers. “We hope to get stories with human elements in them such as a missing pregnant mom. It’s getting the uncle and doing a longer-form interesting take on that.” She also wants to insert lifestyle stories that she liked to do on weekends about topics such as health, parenting, food and fitness.
Politics will be addressed but as has been the case with HLN for years, the network leaves most of that to the core CNN cable network.
And Smith said she wants viewers at home to know “I’m straight down the middle.” You won’t hear her spouting her political views at the anchor desk.
Prior to HLN, Smith worked at NBC and MSNBC, mostly on early morning shows. She learned from long-time HLN morning host Robin Meade to be authentic and the viewers will hopefully embrace that. “If you can be yourself in this business, then you’ll be hugely successful if you have the personality,” Smith said.
She is also thrilled to stay in Atlanta. “I married a native Atlantan,” she said. “It’s a great metropolitan city that has things other huge cities offers but allows people the lifestyle they want.”
And for the first time in years, Smith gets to have a more normal schedule, which will get her in the office by 7 a.m. and out by mid afternoon.
Galanos has been with HLN for 17 years and 31 years with the company. His “True Crime Live” will focus on high-profile court cases, mysteries and investigations.
A few years ago, HLN added several new shows based in New York and Los Angeles. Under AT&T, HLN decided to cut costs and having all its live shows based in Atlanta made better financial sense.
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