Like your best friends from college or the kids you grew up with in the neighborhood, that’s what stands out immediately about the morning anchors at News4JAX on Channel 4. “We’ve been a team for so long, we really are a family.” That’s how newsman Bruce Hamilton describes the group which consists of him, co-anchors Melanie Lawson and Jennifer Waugh, and Meteorologist Richard Nunn. Where some anchor teams try to create the illusion they like each other, the genuine affection this group has for one another was obvious on a recent morning spent over breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company in Julington Creek. “We really care about the community because our viewers are our family, and you truly can’t get the family feel anywhere else.” That was Hamilton’s message when asked to describe the “secret sauce” that’s made this group the most trusted morning news anchor team in town.
Lawson says their success comes from a strong desire to move past the obvious. “We’re just like you. We want you to know what’s happening, yes, but we really want you to know how what’s happening affects your life.We want you to feel its important to watch us every day because if you do you’ll be informed, offered solutions to problems, and learn about the good things happening where you live.”
It’s about balance according to Lawson, who met her husband in St. Johns County covering a story (Tarik Minor is also an anchor at News4JAX) and balances life as a working mom with the needs of her two young children. “We want to help you start every day the right way.” Added Nunn, “That’s right. Weather is so important in the morning. So every day I do a bus stop forecast and track storms moving through St. Johns neighborhoods.”
The viewers have clearly noticed. The Morning Show on News4JAX is St. Johns County’s number one choice for news having earned the title of most watched for six years and counting. “We love our northern St. Johns viewers and are committed to making sure you know what’s happening in your neighborhood every single morning,” says Jennifer Waugh, a Jacksonville native. “Our local roots help us sift through the news and focus on telling the important stories our viewers care about.” Waugh doubles as one of the station’s investigative reporters and insists the philosophy is simple—“We want to help you start every day with a newscast that’s worth watching.”
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