Davidson's return shuffles WLEX's lineup

Lexington's NBC affiliate is switching around its anchor lineup as longtime morning anchor Dia Davidson returns from maternity leave.

Davidson, who has anchored the WLEX (Channel 18) morning show for nearly a decade, will no longer co-anchor with Chris Goodman the 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. newscasts. She will continue to co-anchor the hour of newscasts at noon and is being added as the co-anchor at 5:30 p.m. with evening anchor Kevin Christopher.

Co-anchoring with Goodman in the morning will be Nicole Pence, who filled in while Davidson was on maternity leave.

Evening anchor Nancy Cox will continue to co-anchor the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts, and she said that not having to do the 5:30 p.m. shift will allow her to focus on some other responsibilities at the station.

Davidson said WLEX News Director Bruce Carter approached her with the idea.

"With the birth of my daughter, getting up at 2:30 in the morning was not necessarily going to be the best thing in the world for me, her and probably my employer, as well," said Davidson, who at her doctor's insistence has been working only half-days, doing the noon newscasts since she returned March 15. She'll return full-time on April 5 and will begin co-anchoring the 5:30 p.m. newscast at that time.

Carter said he approached Davidson because he knows first-hand what kind of toll a morning shift can take on a parent. During his career, he worked a day shift at a station while his wife worked a morning shift at a competitor.

"When I got home at 7 o'clock at night, she would hand me my first son, who was, at the time, 2 years old, and say, 'I'm going to bed. My day's over,' " Carter said. "It's a very tough shift if you're a parent."

It's something Cox said she knows, as well.

"I can tell you that I am very happy that Dia will have a schedule more conducive to her new lifestyle," Cox said. "Being a mother is the single most important thing I do every day, and I know she feels the same."

Cox said that Davidson doing the 5:30 p.m. show will allow her time to focus on other responsibilities, including a monthly breast cancer segment and women's heart disease segment.

Pence, who has taken over for Davidson in the mornings, will report for the noon newscasts after she's finished anchoring in the morning, Carter said.

"I'm thrilled," said Pence, who came to the station 15 months ago. "I think viewers can expect continued genuine fun. That's the thing with Chris and I: We are really good friends."

They both came to the station around the same time and get together to run outside of work, she said.

"Viewers are going to get two people who really, really enjoy what they do every day," Pence said. "I'm a news junkie, and he's a little bit more entertainment so, when you put us together, it's the perfect balance."