Sept. 3 2009 12:00 AM

WLNS anchorwomen swap roles


After three years off the desk, a Lansing news veteran will return to anchor WLNS TV 6’s evening news next week.

Starting with the 5 p.m. broadcast on Tuesday, Sept. 8, Jane Aldrich will take over for Sheri Jones as news anchorwoman of the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news, which is co-anchored by Dave Akerly. Jones, who is cutting back to parttime at the station to spend more time with family, will continue to co-anchor the 11 p.m. news with Akerly.

Aldrich, who has been with the station for more than 20 years as a reporter and anchorwoman, made a similar move three years ago to spend more time with her own family, at which time Jones took her seat on the anchor desk. Alrdich said coming back to the desk is her way to give back to the station and say “thank you” for granting her such flexibility, now that her daughter is grown and off to college.

“Not only is it fun to do it, but I look at it as a great responsibly,” Aldrich said. “It’s such an honor and privilege to be of service that way.”

Aldrich continued to work as a reporter during her time away from the desk and developed the weekly positive news segment, “Tell Me Something Good.”

When she came up with the idea for the segment three years ago, she was told viewers wouldn’t be interested in “fluff, a notion backed by consultants, who say people want more hard news. Since she started doing the segments, Aldrich said, people have told her it’s the reason they watch the 5 p.m. news on Channel 6.

“I wish consultants would talk to the people in the community,” Aldrich said. “They’re really tired of all the negative news. Why can’t we, once a week, highlight something good that’s happening in our community?”

Aldrich said “Tell Me Something Good” would continue, but others at the station may take turns producing the segments.

For Jones, less time at the desk means more time for her three children, who are in elementary, middle and high school.

Jones expects to miss being involved in the other newscasts, but she’s looking forward to her new free time. “TV broadcast journalism is my passion,” Jones said. “I’m especially going to miss that 5 p.m. show. I really like the audience for that show. It’s been a winner since I’ve been on the desk. I am going to miss it, but I know the rewards I’m going to have with my children; you can’t put a price tag on that.”

Jones and Aldrich, who are both actively involved in local charity and community work, have worked together for the last 20 years, which Jones said helps the transition. “We’re really good friends,” Jones said. “We have a good working relationship. That’s what makes this so easy and so comfortable.”

Years down the road, when her children are grown, Jones said she would like to come back to full time if the work is there. “If the opportunity presents itself, that would be wonderful thing,” Jones said.