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CBS11 brings Jason Allen back to early mornings, this time behind a new "Breaking News Desk"

CBS11’s Jason Allen will be back in early morns.

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Nearly a year after breaking up an early morning team with momentum, CBS11 is returning former interim anchor Jason Allen in a new role.

Sources tell unclebarky.com that Allen will rejoin the 4:30 to 7 a.m. shift as part of a new “Breaking News Desk” (which turned out to be named the “Live Eye” desk). He starts on Thursday, April 28th, which not coincidentally is the first day of the four-week May “sweeps” ratings period.

Last May, Allen was still co-anchoring with incumbent Karen Borta when CBS11 ran better than last in the 6 a.m. hour among 25-to-54-year-old viewers (main advertiser target audience for news programming) for the first time in station history. The station nipped TEGNA8 for the bronze in that month’s sweeps.

But news director Mike Garber already had announced that Allen’s nine-and-a-half-month tenure would come to an end on June 1st, when the newly hired Russ McCaskey would be stepping in and sending Allen back to the reporter pool.

CBS11 also decided to send interim traffic anchor Tammy Dombeck packing during that period, even though the station had been making steady gains with the team of Borta, Allen, Dombeck and meteorologist Scott Padgett. Chelsey Davis became the new early morning traffic anchor on June 8th. (As previously posted, Padgett lately is filling in for departed chief meteorologist Larry Mowry, with Lisa Villegas doing the early morning weather.)

By the time of the February 2016 “sweeps,” CBS11 had fallen back into a deep ratings rut at 6 a.m. in the key 25-to-54-year-old demographic, with TEGNA8 reclaiming third place. The station has never finished better than fourth in total viewers during that hour.

The new arrangement with Allen, who joined CBS11 in spring 2011, seems similar to NBC5’s recent early morning experiment with a “three-headed” anchor team. But Eric King, who initially manned a secondary news desk, left the station in January after being reassigned to NBC5’s reporting pool last October.

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