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Stealth-y choice: Absent fanfare, Curtis supplants Snyder on NBC5's 10 p.m. newscasts

The Brian Curtis/Jane McGarry era began late Thursday. Photo: Ed Bark

Brian Curtis joined Jane McGarry on Thursday's 10 p.m. newscast, marking his first appearance as Mike Snyder's official replacement.

Not that you'd know it. There were no welcomes or acknowledgments from McGarry, meteorologist David Finfrock and substitute sports anchor Randy McIlwain. Instead, Curtis and McGarry dutifully plowed through 23 stories plus an end-of-newscast "kicker" before giving way as usual to Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show. McGarry tripped over words a couple of times; Curtis was smooth as silk.

"We thought about a welcome but decided not to do anything formal," Susan Tully, vice president of content development for NBC5, explained via email.

Curtis, who will continue to co-anchor the station's 4 p.m. newscasts, joined NBC5 in 2003. Snyder, who had teamed with McGarry for 19 years at 10 p.m., remains as co-anchor of the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts after taking a substantial salary cut to continue at the station.

Thursday's 10 p.m. newscast also came and went without any of those obligatory "live" shots from reporters standing in the dark. Was that also a way to cut expenses as Curtis began co-piloting? Tully said it was pure happenstance.

"All the live trucks had technical issues last night," she said. "We planned for live; sometimes it just doesn't happen. If it went flawlessly and you thought it was planned that way, you have given us a compliment! Sometimes it gets ugly on air when live trucks go down."