CBS 2 bets on anchor Irika Sargent

Irika Sargent

Irika Sargent

You read it here first: Irika Sargent, a Miami news anchor and Cornell-educated lawyer, has been hired to replace Kate Sullivan alongside Rob Johnson on the Monday-through-Friday anchor desk at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2.

Sargent, 35, most recently has been 5 and 11 p.m. anchor at CBS-owned WFOR-TV in Miami. Starting October 19, she’ll co-anchor the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts here with Johnson.

“Irika is a talented broadcaster who possesses great experience as a journalist and additional insights that were developed during her time as an attorney,” Jeff Kiernan, vice president and news director of CBS 2, said in a statement Tuesday. “We look forward to welcoming her back to the Midwest and having her share her many talents with her colleagues and our viewers.”

Rob Johnson and Kate Sullivan

Rob Johnson and Kate Sullivan

The move marks the 12th time in 15 years that CBS 2 has reconfigured its 10 p.m. anchor lineup. Latest Nielsen figures show the station at an all-time low with a 0.7 rating among viewers between 25 and 54.

Before joining WFOR in May 2014, Sargent was weekend news anchor and reporter at KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Houston. She also worked at WPMI-TV, the NBC affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, KOMU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri, and the London bureau of NBC News.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, and a graduate of the University of Missouri and Cornell Law School, Sargent practiced law for four years in New York City. She also holds a black belt in tae kwon do.

“As a proud Midwesterner who embodies the core values of our region, I am curious, fair-minded and inherently connected to the people and places that make up the heartland of our country,” Sargent said in a statement. “I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity to live in Chicago and be a part of a news team that is committed to providing original reporting.”

No word on what’s next for Sullivan. “We have enjoyed having Kate as a member of our news team during the past five years,” Kiernan told staffers in a memo. “She is a talented and experienced broadcaster and we have no doubt that she will continue to shine, both personally and professionally, in all of her future endeavors. We wish her all the best.”

Sullivan, 39, a native of Lakeville, Massachusetts, and graduate of the University of Notre Dame, joined CBS 2 in 2010 from WCBS-TV in New York, where she anchored morning and noon newscasts. She previously worked at KATV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas, and WSBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana.

CBS 2’s ever-changing 10 p.m. anchor lineup:

  • Carol Marin (2000)
  • David Kerley and Linda MacLennan (2000 to 2001)
  • David Kerley and Tracy Townsend (2001 to 2002)
  • Antonio Mora and Tracy Townsend (2002)
  • Antonio Mora and Linda MacLennan (2002 to 2003)
  • Antonio Mora and Tracy Townsend (2003)
  • Antonio Mora and Diann Burns (2003 to 2007)
  • Rob Johnson and Diann Burns (2007 to 2008)
  • Rob Johnson and Anne State (2008 to 2009)
  • Rob Johnson (2009 to 2010)
  • Rob Johnson and Kate Sullivan (2010 to 2015)
  • Rob Johnson and Irika Sargent (2015)