NBC affiliates and sister TV stations WCSH 6 in Portland and WLBZ 2 in Bangor are making changes to their sports staffs.
Jessica Gagne, the weekend sports anchor at WCSH 6 after serving as daily sports anchor at WLBZ 2, will make the move over to news at WCHS 6 and Johnny Mehler will take over her sports gig next month.
Gagne will be the early morning weekend news anchor at WCSH 6 and will be a reporter the rest of the week.
Mehler will handle weekend sports at WCSH 6 while sports director Lee Goldberg will continue to anchor during the week.
Gagne said WCSH 6/WLBZ 2 news director Mike Redding asked her to fill in as the morning weekend news anchor for Jackie Ward, who moved to California, and it led to her being offered the job permanently.
She said she will miss sports but will still get to develop sports stories.
“This will be another tool for my toolbox. This will be another thing to have on my resume and allow me the opportunity to grow as a news person,” said the 28-year-old Biddeford native.
“I talked to Lee about it extensively because I had worked so hard to get into sports and I didn’t want this to close a door,” said Gagne, a Northeastern University graduate. “Lee has been a wonderful mentor and told me this wasn’t closing a door, it was a new adventure and will open up doors for me.”
“Jessica is a rock star and this shows her diversity,” said Goldberg. “I’m going to miss her but this is a good opportunity for her.”
He also said Mehler is deserving of his opportunity to move to Portland.
The 25-year-old Mehler, a Temple University graduate and a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, said, “I’m happy for Jess in her new role and this has been something I’ve been looking forward to since I started in Bangor.”
Mehler had shared the sports anchor job with Gagne for three months at WLBZ 2 before Gagne became the sports anchor in November 2013 and he became a news reporter. When she was promoted to WCSH 6 in June 2014, Mehler replaced her.
Mehler said he has been fortunate enough to do “a lot of things I never expected to do like spending a whole week at the Super Bowl. It’s been great dealing with the University of Maine and Husson University and learning the high school scene.
“Now I’ll have to learn a new set of high school teams down there,” said Mehler.