Two of Austin’s best-known television news anchors are swapping shifts.
Quita Culpepper, anchor of KVUE’s 5 p.m. newscast, will add the station’s 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. broadcasts to her workload on a permanent basis starting next week.
Culpepper will also continue to do her popular “Does It Work Wednesday” consumer segment.
Terri Gruca, who currently anchors the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts, will now co-anchor with Culpepper at 5 p.m. She’ll focus the remainder of her time working on the ABC affiliate’s Defenders team, where she’ll take on a larger role in putting together investigative reports for KVUE’s evening newscasts, according to the station.
“KVUE is lucky,” president and general manager Kristie Gonzales said. “We have two incredibly talented anchors who are beloved by our community. This scheduling shift allows Terri Gruca and Quita Culpepper to fully pursue their individual passions.”
KVUE is still looking for a co-anchor for Culpepper for the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. That spot has been vacant since Tyler Sieswerda left in May 2016.
Sieswerda departed to be closer to his partner, CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez, who was living in Dallas at the time. The two recently relocated to Miami.
Culpepper, a graduate of what is now known as Texas State University in San Marcos, joined KVUE in 1998 and served as a reporter, weekend morning anchor and weekend evening anchor before getting the 5 p.m. gig in 2012.
Gruca was hired as co-anchor of the station’s evening newscasts in 2008, arriving from the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis, where she was a weekend anchor and investigative reporter.
“Terri Gruca has the desire and skill to be a more active investigator for our Defenders unit,” KVUE news director Mike Redding said. “Working dayside and anchoring the 5 p.m. newscast will allow her the time it takes to dig up and report the stories that matter to our viewers. Quita Culpepper will continue to be a mainstay out in in our neighborhoods, advocating for the good people of Central Texas.”
Both Gonzales and Redding joined KVUE in 2016.
In the November Nielsen ratings, KVUE cited key wins in advertiser-favored demographics, including adults ages 25-54 and women ages 25-54, in several news time slots, including at 5 p.m.