As the Daily News reported Saturday, Both Penacoli and Gialanella were victims of a one-two punch at the troubled news operation: a tightening budget and falling ratings. Channel 3 is third in the local news race, where WPVI (Channel 6) consistently dominates, and is losing viewers.
KYW-TV news director Scott Herman said Friday the NBC affiliate plans a complete overhaul of its newcasts this spring, and the new look has no place for the two veteran staffers.
Neither Penacoli nor Gialanelli could be reached for comment, but Herman said neither had told him of any job offers.
Penacoli, who grew up in nearby Marlton, joined KYW in 1982. He had worked as a reporter and producer for two Florida television stations in Jacksonville and Miami.
Six months after joining KYW as a reporter in 1982, he was named anchor of the station's 6:30 a.m. newscast. Two years later, he was awarded the co- anchor post for the 5 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Diane Allen (now of WCAU- TV). For a while, the Allen-Penacoli team dragged the KYW newscasts out of the ratings cellar, as Channel 10 fell to third place. He lost the 11 p.m. anchor chair to Steve Bell in 1988.
For nine years, however, Penacoli was highly visible at KYW, hosting the station's teen program "Check It Out!" for three years (and its morning talk show "People Are Talking" for eight months), coverage of big events like the Mummer's Parade, and (with Gialanella) several charitable telethons.
But he also reportedly entertained other job prospects in recent years,
discussing roles as game- or talk-show hosts.
Gialanella, who came to KYW in 1984, at first prompted some joking and bitterness among local colleagues for her background and high salary.
She was Miss New Jersey in the 1973 Miss America Pageant. But after working as a feature reporter and weathercaster for a New York City newcast, she became the first female network weathercaster on ABC's "World News This Morning." When she joined KYW, Gialanella's $200,000 salary put her second only to veteran anchor Allen.
Gialanella distinguished herself from other local weathercasters by drawing cartoons - people wearing sweaters or carrying umbrellas, depending on the day's forecast. The cartoons, like Gialanella's bubbly personality, became her trademark.
In September, Gialanella's late-night forecasts were trimmed for many viewers when KYW launched its cable "Citycast." She also began reading the public-school lunch menus for the following day.
During their first few years at KYW, both Penacoli and Gialanella underwent the kind of scrutiny that often plagues local celebrities. Penacoli was subject to the usual kidding about his anchorman looks - hair, eyeglasses, etc. - and less-kind speculation about his personal life.
Gialanella took the heat for her lack of meterological credentials. At one point in 1985, KYW began airing the announcement, "Linda Gialanella's weather forecast has been certified by the National Weather Association."
KYW spokeswoman Joanne Calabria said Friday the station had waived the ''non-compete" clauses in both Penacoli's and Gialanella's contracts. That means they are both eligible to work immediately for KYW's competitors, normally prohibited its contracts.