Longtime East Greenwich resident and Channel 10 anchor Gene Valicenti has moved into the morning news slot on WPRO radio. He will continue on at Channel 10 anchoring the 5:30 and 6 p.m. news.
Valicenti, who has been with NBC 10 since 1992, has hosted a Saturday afternoon radio show on WPRO since 2010.
"I think that doing the radio for the past 2-and-a-half years got me off to a pretty smooth start," he said Monday, the first day in his new position. "Those listeners really sort of opened the door for me ... at WPRO."
Valicenti said the Saturday program helped get him ready for the morning show, though not entirely.
"There’s a lot of moving parts in that morning show," he noted, more than on Saturdays. He said the plan is to incorporate some of the Saturday call-in show qualities to the weekday mornings.
"I want it to be informative and entertaining," Valicenti said, "what you need to start your day in Rhode Island."
Valicenti started in Rhode Island as a freelance reporter for Channel 10 in 1992 and worked his way up the ranks. He moved into the 11 p.m. anchor position after Doug White became ill in 2005, succeeding White upon his death in 2006.
"It certainly wasn’t an overnight success. You really learn how to write and how to separate the wheat from the chaff," he said. "It was a 30-year learning process."
The 6 to 9 morning slot on WPRO was the property of Salty Brine for 60 years. Valicenti treads lightly on such stuff of legend but expects to bring his own mark to the program.
Valicenti, who moved with his wife and young daughter to East Greenwich 16 years ago, said the town's been a great fit for him. They had two more daughters, both of whom now in EG schools (their oldest is in college). "It’s just the perfect mix of everything you’d want," he said of East Greenwich. "Good people, close to everything, convenient."
Valicenti said he'd just extended his contract with Channel 10 and the two news segments will feed each other. "I’m up to date on the news almost all day long. It’s enhancing my grasp of the news," he said.
"Things have kind of worked out for me," Valicenti said. "I seem to have clicked with the audience in two different venues."