Vanessa Welch takes over for former Fox 25 anchor Maria Stephanos on evening news

–Photo courtesy Fox 25

Vanessa Welch, the anchor selected by Fox 25 to replace former evening news anchor Maria Stephanos, took her spot on the air for the first time Tuesday.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of New England and join the talented team of journalists at FOX25,’’ Welch said in a Fox 25 statement. “My husband and I are excited to become part of the Boston community, living and working in one of America’s greatest cities.’’

Welch, who spent nine years anchoring an ABC affiliate station in Orlando, now anchors the 5, 6, 10, and 11 p.m. weekday newscasts. Elizabeth Hopkins, who temporarily anchored the evening news after Stephanos’s departure, will remain at the station on weekend broadcasts, according to Fox 25’s Facebook.


Stephanos, who worked for Fox 25 for nearly 18 years, left the station almost three months ago to “pursue new professional endeavors.’’

Welch was rated the number one anchor on a 5 p.m. newscast in Orlando and has covered both the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials, according to the statement.

“Vanessa is a strong journalist who has a track record of making a difference in the community,’’ Fox 25 vice president and general manager Tom Raponi said in a statement. “We are looking forward to her joining the FOX25 News Team and being a trusted source for Boston viewers.’’

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