The guy about to take the co-anchor chair at KSHB, Channel 41, turns out to be a familiar face.
On Monday the station announced that Mike Marusarz — former KSHB intern, reporter and weekend morning anchor — will become a primary evening anchor beginning May 11. He replaces Mark Clegg, who left the station last July.
Marusarz, 32, is a hometown boy: He graduated from North Kansas City High School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (in 2004). For one 10-month period he worked 3 a.m. to noon as a freelance reporter for KSHB, then drove to WIBW-TV in Topeka for a nightside reporter shift.
At 21 he was anchoring weekend news at WIBW.
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He left KSHB in early 2010 to follow his wife, Rhiannon Ally, to New York. Ally, a former reporter for KCTV-5 who grew up in Raytown, had landed a correspondent gig on the national TV show “Better.” (Meredith Corp. owns both “Better” and KCTV.)
In New York, Marusarz freelanced for ABC News, where he often served as substitute anchor on overnight broadcasts “World News Now” and “America This Morning.” He also reported for “Good Morning America” and “World News Now.”
Since 2011 he has been an evening anchor and reporter at Fox affiliate WSVN in Miami, where he was known as Mike Marza.
WSVN asked him to “shorten it in some way to make it easier to pronounce,” Marusarz said Monday from Miami. But he prefers to use his real name, he said. (If you’re wondering about “Marusarz,” his dad’s side of the family is from Poland.)
In Miami, Ally has been a morning host on a competing station, CBS affiliate WFOR. The couple has a 14-month-old son, Roman.
Marusarz will anchor “41 Action News” at 5 and 10 p.m. weekdays with Christa Dubill, and at 6 p.m. with Jadiann Thompson. Since late last year Justin Wilfon, host of KSHB’s 4 p.m. news show “The Now,” has been filling in at 6 with Thompson.
In a statement, KSHB vice president and general manager Brian Bracco said: “We look forward to Mike returning to the award-winning ‘41 Action News’ team. Like in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ there’s no place like home.”
Marusarz called the Channel 41 job “a tremendous opportunity professionally and personally. KSHB is a dynamic news station with an incredibly talented team.”
He added that he and his wife, after living in New York and Miami, are “thrilled to be coming home.”