By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published May 20, 2015 at 3:06 PM

In recent years, we have seen more of Joyce Garbaciak on the air at the ABC affiliate WISN-TV Channel 12. When I chatted with her in 2013, we talked about her wanting to return to the anchor desk.

"When I left Channel 6, I did say that … when it was right for my family, I had hoped to return to anchoring," she said. "And now, because of the timing of this opening and most important – the ages of my children – the time is right."

At that time, she meant co-hosting the hour-long 10 p.m. newscast on Sunday nights with Toni Valliere. Well, for the one-time anchor at WITI-TV Fox 6 and special correspondent at WISN since 2006, that now means anchoring the main desk with Kathy Mykleby at 6 and 10 p.m. on weeknights.

"We are very excited to bring Kathy and Joyce together at 6 and 10," Jan Wade, president and general manager of WISN 12, said in a statement Tuesday. "Kathy has traveled the globe for 12 News, bringing viewers important stories and big interviews that have become her hallmark. Joyce’s experience is equally impressive, including Peabody and Emmy award-winning reporting."

"These are two well-respected journalists who have wonderful passion for what they do."

Garbaciak will take on the new shifts on Monday, Sept. 14.

"I’m excited to add to my duties at WISN 12," Garbaciak said. "Working with Kathy on the air will be an extension of the rapport we have now behind the scenes. Kathy is so well respected in the community, and I appreciate the passion she brings to the job every day. I believe our combined experience enhances our credibility and gives viewers the context they deserve.

"Patrick has been such an important part of 12 News for so long, and this is a well-deserved promotion for him," she continued. "I appreciate his tenure in the market, his approach to news gathering and his insight which will help guide our decision-making. I know this team will give viewers the professionalism they expect and deserve. I'm honored to be part of it."

Joyce, thanks for the transition.

Patrick Paolantonio has been the co-anchor of "WISN 12 News This Morning" for 12 years. He came to Milwaukee after working at WOLO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Columbia, S.C. He is the recipient of several awards, including from The Associated Press and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA). Most recently, his newscast was awarded "Best Morning Newscast" from the WBA.

In his new role, he will be teaming up with Toya Washington to co-anchor "WISN 12 News at 5" and will play an enhanced role on the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

The "enhanced role" for the other newscasts is vague … and by analysis, it has to be. Paolantonio, after anchoring the 5 p.m., may return to a longer story that will be presented later in the evening. He may have to anchor from the station’s breaking news desk or report live from the newsroom. Depending on the news of the day, Paolantonio’s role will change for the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. This move gives the station a ton of flexibility knowing a utility player can step up into whatever is needed at the moment.

"Patrick has been with 12 News for over a decade," Wade said. "He’s very familiar to the WISN 12 audience and will be a wonderful addition to our evening newscasts."

The changes to the 5 and 6 p.m. anchor teams will take effect on Monday, June 15.

This isn’t the first time Paolantonio and Toya Washington have teamed up at WISN. The two previously anchored "WISN 12 News This Morning."

"I am excited about the opportunity to work with Toya again; she is an incredible journalist, colleague and friend," Paolantonio said. "The chance to work alongside Kathy and Joyce is also terrific; I have tremendous respect for the experience, talent and journalistic integrity they bring to our news team."

Paolantonio’s move away from mornings means some future announcement will be on its way to fill the open chair. Melinda Davenport came over from WMUR-TV in New Hampshire. She was working the breaking news desk and has recently moved over to co-hosting the shows with Paolantonio. In the last couple of weeks, UW-Milwaukee alumni Tim Elliott has been broadcasting from the breaking news desk.

These staffing change announcements were made the day after it was announced that anchor Craig McKee is headed to WCPO in Cincinnati.

For now, as reported by WISN 12, here are the weekday evening lineups:

5 p.m.: Toya Washington, Patrick Paolantonio, Mark Baden

6, 10 p.m.: Kathy Mykleby, Joyce Garbaciak, Patrick Paolantonio, Mark Baden, Dan Needles

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

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