"He's very popular here," said Hal Boedeker, long-time TV writer at the Orlando Sentinel. "I thought he would be here forever; he seemed like the future of the ABC affiliate to me. He's a solid newsreader. He shares a lot on social media; that may not be to every liking but it boosted his popularity."
Estevez has 21,000 Instagram followers and 66,000 likes on his Facebook page, significantly more than his predecessor Craig Lucie, who decided to leave in August to start his own public relations firm.
He will start in 2020 but his exact schedule has not been released.
"He's terrifically talented and we think he is complementary to our team. We are excited to add Jorge to the WSB family," said Ray Carter, WSB-TV general manager.
Estevez is the station's second Latino anchor on staff, along with Wendy Corona, who joined the station in 2013.
He is also the first openly gay anchor WSB-TV has ever hired and was honored earlier this year with the Champion of Equality Award from the LGBT+ Center Orlando.
“As a member of the LGBTQ community, I have a unique perspective on the kinds of people who need advocating for in our Central Florida community,” Estevez told the Orlando Sentinel in May. “We’ve come so far as a society where we are finding equality in pay, educational opportunities and basic human rights, but we still have more to do to find equality for everyone.”
Boedeker said Orlando citizens especially connected with him after the 2016 Pulse nightclub mass shooting deaths. At the time, Estevez spoke frankly about the challenges of coming out, including his father rejecting him.
WFTV-TV and WSB-TV are both owned by Cox Media Group.