Curt Menefee is dipping into Fox Sports colleague Michael Strahan’s playbook.
Fox’s lead NFL host will expand his role with the company, and will hold down a co-anchor slot with Rosanna Scotto on “Good Day New York” at Fox’s WNYW in New York. Menefee will keep his Sunday football role, and during the NFL season, will co-anchor at WNYW Tuesday through Friday. Bianca Peters,. who has been Scott’s co-anchor, will co-host WNYW’s “The Noon” and “The Fox 5 News at 6 p.m.”
“There’s no place like New York. No place,” said Menefee, who worked at WNYW as a sportscaster in 1995. “I can’t wait to get back to the energy of the city, the culture, the restaurants, the people, everything that makes it the greatest city in the world.”
Fox’s cross-media maneuver for Menefee marks the latest attempt by some of the nation’s entertainment conglomerates to prop up their news programs with sports-TV personnel. ABC News won new notice for its long-running “Good Morning America” by adding Strahan to the anchor roster in 2016. CBS News has made Nate Burleson a central part of its “CBS Mornings” and CNN is trying to win new viewers to primetime with a weekly program led by Gayle King and Charles Barkley.
It’s not clear that the sports anchors would have the confidence of viewers in the case of a terrorist attack or stock-market plunge, but in an era when news programs are increasingly focused on existential topics such as polarized political races, climate change and the heady effects of improvements in communication and connection, such figures might draw broader audiences with a crowd-pleasing demeanor.
Menefee has “got the rare ability to combine his journalistic skills, approachability, and innate curiosity to connect with morning viewers,” said Lew Leone, senior vice president and general manager of Fox’s two New York area stations, WNYW and WWOR.
Menefee Fox Sports in 1997 as a sideline reporter. He has served as a play-by-play announcer for the network’s NFL, USFL and NFL Europe League coverage, in addition to hosting studio shows. He has co-hosted “Fox NFL Sunday” since 2007, and also hosts “The OT,” Fox’s late-day NFL wrap show.