John, who's been busy with a variety of jobs and entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as volunteer roles since leaving the station, brings his popular and respected visage back to the anchor chair (along with Karen McNew, who is more of a neutral presence: no help, no hurt).
WDBJ7 has been a weak front-runner (when it was in front at all) since Keith Humphry left nearly two years ago, after about 30 years in his chair as the master of this market. Carlin was always No. 2, but has 21 years of experience in TV news, a high profile that would likely serve him well in politics, and he's looking like an elder statesman in a market where the long-time leader is not the juggernaut it was. His re-hiring looks like a good move for the perpetual Avis of local news.
I'm not much of a TV news consumer because it is to journalism what an out-of-tune fiddle is to a Stradivarius (though that's increasingly looking like a stretch), but people watch it--some, if only to criticize--and it makes a lot of money for local stations. John's a good man for the lead chair and my guess is that WDBJ might want to look for some adjustments.