Even by the minimal standards for news anchors these days at WFLD-Channel 32, poor Alexa Helms just couldn’t cut it.
Three months after she was plucked from the Fox affiliate in Miami and hired as a weekend and fill-in anchor at the Fox-owned station here, Helms has been taken off the anchor desk and moved to full-time reporting duties, according to station insiders.
Until a permanent replacement is named, Lisa Chavarria, Melody Mendez and Tisha Lewis will rotate filling in on Fox 32’s Saturday and Sunday newscasts alongside Larry Yellen.
It would be unconscionably cruel to recount the multitude of mistakes Helms made during her brief tenure as anchor. She clearly lacked the performance skills, journalistic experience or knowledge of current events to handle the job when Fox 32 news director Tom Doerr brought on the Dallas native and 2009 graduate of the University of Oklahoma.
Staffers were mystified as to why Doerr hired Helms after just two years as a general assignment reporter at WSVN-TV in Miami. Before that she’d worked for a couple of stations in El Paso, Texas. Perhaps it was the three months she’d spent as a news intern for Fox 32 in 2008 that made her return to the station such a compelling story.
“I’m thrilled to officially announce my new position as weekend anchor at WFLD Fox 32 Chicago,” Helms posted on Instagram June 12 — more than two weeks after I first reported her hiring. “After interning at this very station in college it feels great to be back in the #WindyCity! Thank you to everyone who has congratulated me. Restaurant recommendations and winter tips are welcome!”
It’s not clear how long Helms will stay on since even her work as a reporter requires constant writing assistance, insiders said. (OK, I’ll admit I did enjoy her piece the other night on how to escape if you’re locked inside the trunk of a car. Great visuals!)
Helms’ Los Angeles-based agent, Ken Lindner, did not respond to requests for comment.