DMA 50: NEW ORLEANS

WDSU Adds Travers Mackel, Christina Watkins As Weekday Anchors

Hearst-owned NBC affiliate WDSU New Orleans (DMA 50) has changed its anchor pairings for weekday and weeknight newscasts effective Monday, Oct. 28.

Travers Mackel and Christina Watkins join Sula Kim and Gina Swanson to anchor the weeknight newscasts.

After 16 years as a reporter for WDSU, Travers Mackel will co-anchor WDSU News at 4PM with Christina Watkins and WDSU News at 5PM with Gina Swanson. In his time as a reporter at WDSU, Mackel has covered some of the biggest stories in New Orleans, including Hurricane Katrina, former Mayor Ray Nagin’s Trial, the BP Oil Spill and the Olympic Games in Rio and South Korea.

Over the years, Mackel’s reporting has earned him two Emmy Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, a national Edward R. Murrow Award and he was named AP Reporter of the Year (2014) and AP Newsperson of the year in Louisiana (2016).

Mackel is also embedded with the WDSU Investigates team to inform the community of concerns with local government and policies. Mackel’s investigations include the blogging scandal at the U.S. Attorney’s office which led to sweeping changes in that office, the off-duty police for-hire scandal in the City of New Orleans which led to several resignations and terminations, and his investigation into 7,000 improperly issued parking tickets that led to refunds for citizens and changes to how tickets are issued in New Orleans.

Along with his new duties, Mackel will continue to cover breaking news and daily news from the scene and continue to provide Southeast Louisiana residents with the extensive coverage they’ve grown to expect from Mackel’s reporting.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Weekend Anchor Christina Watkins will also be moving to weekdays to co-anchor WDSU News at Noon with Charles Divins and WDSU News at 4PM with Travers Mackel.  Watkins joined WDSU in January 2018 and has covered several major breaking news stories including hurricanes, elections and, most recently, the hotel construction collapse in downtown New Orleans.

Watkins also wrote and produced WDSU’s special presentation, Dillard University: Celebrating 150 Years. The hour-long special focused on the rich history and exciting future of Louisiana’s oldest HBCU college as it celebrated its 150-year anniversary. In addition to her duties at WDSU, Watkins co-hosts Hearst Television’s Stitch, a half hour episodic series highlighting the powerful and heartwarming stories from local markets bringing people across the country together as a national community.

Prior to WDSU, Watkins covered several other national stories including Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco and the Pulse Nightclub Mass Shooting in Orlando.

WDSU anchors Gina Swanson and Sula Kim will continue anchoring weeknights as well. Gina Swanson will now co-anchor WDSU News at 5PM with Travers Mackel. Swanson and Sula Kim will pair up to co-anchor WDSU News at 6PM and WDSU News at 10PM.


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