New face ushers in weekends at Fox 29

Lauren Johnson (right) will join Karen Hepp as co-anchor of a new morning news show on Fox 29, starting Sept. 20.
Lauren Johnson (right) will join Karen Hepp as co-anchor of a new morning news show on Fox 29, starting Sept. 20.
Posted: August 27, 2014

FOX 29 will have a new face for its new weekend broadcast, alongside a familiar one.

Lauren Johnson will be the new kid on the block when Fox 29 debuts its weekend morning newscast starting Sept. 20 at 8 a.m.

Johnson hails from Georgia and has worked at Fox affiliates in Memphis and Orlando, including a stint as a morning-show host.

Johnson will be joined by Karen Hepp in the newscast, which is reportedly going to put a heavy premium on social-media use and interactivity. The duo was seen shooting promos for the new broadcast around the city all day yesterday.

Caitlin Roth will take on weather. I hear other prominent Philly names are being bandied about for regular segments as well.

Gillie vs. Soulja Boy

Philly rapper Gillie Da Kid has signed a $1 million contract to box fellow rhymer Soulja Boy, courtesy of local celeb promoter Damon Feldman. Neither Gillie, who formerly beefed with Philly rapper Meek Mill, nor the "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" rapper has been quiet about each one's distaste for the other, often taking their aggressions out via Twitter. Their whole kerfuffle started after Gillie accused Soulja Boy of flashing fake cash in photos. Last week, Soulja Boy threatened to kill Gillie.

Gillie signed the contract that reportedly leaves the winner with $750,000, while the loser walks away with a measly $250,000, once again proving that I should have become a B-list rapper with a predilection for pugilism rather than a journalist.

"I was gonna beat the breaks off you for free, but now I'm getting a check," Gillie said while signing the contract. "This is the easiest money I ever got in my life."

Soulja Boy, upon hearing about the deal, called $1 million chump change and upped the ante to $10 million.

The event will take place in Las Vegas on Oct. 25. But this is a little different from your average main-event action. Each of the three rounds will last a minute and a half, and both rappers will don protective gear.

Beyonce's back(pack)

Beyonce, in partnership with State Bags, will hold a #BeyGood pep rally tomorrow at the Shane Victorino Boys & Girls Club (4001 N. Clarissa St.) at 10:30 a.m. Three hundred students from the area will receive free bags and school supplies to help them start the school year right. Want to help? Buy your own #BeyGOODxSTATE at or

6ABC grows

6ABC's newscast will grow come Sept. 8. The noon newscast, featuring Sarah Bloomquist, Rick Williams and David Murphy, will go from a half-hour to an hour, while Action News at 10 on PHL17, featuring Brian Taff, Shirleen Allicot, Adam Joseph and Ducis Rodgers, also will expand to a full hour.

Tony Luke's, Allentown-bound

Allentown will have the first Tony Luke's in the Lehigh Valley next month when Atlantic City food dude Praveen Vig opens his first Luke's franchise. The new spot will open down the block from the city's new, under-construction sports and entertainment venue, the PPL Center.


* Eagles running back LeSean McCoy enjoyed dinner at Positano Coast (212 Walnut St.) with three friends on Friday night. I hear McCoy enjoyed zucchini crab cake and seafood risotto.

*  Craig Robinson, who broke out as Darryl Philbin on "The Office" and will be seen in upcoming NBC comedy "Mr. Robinson," caught the Phillies' win over the Cardinals on Sunday before his one-night stand at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom St.). Robinson also will reunite with time-traveling buddies Clark Duke and Rob Corddry for "Hot Tub Time Machine 2," in theaters on Christmas.


On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN


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