Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Anchor Away?

I don't think there is a news anchor on television today that will ever have the gravitas of Walter Cronkite, or the long gone Chet Huntley/David Brinkley team or many of the others who pioneered the roll of news anchor as I was growing up.

The only one we have now that was ever actually a newsman is Brian Williams and he's been reduced to little more than a news reader. As for the women? How can you consider someone who graduated from the ranks of Today or Good Morning America a news man? Oops - news woman. To me they come across as news 'light'. When in serious mode they tend to strike me as maudlin.

I could never understand CBS paying Ms. Couric $15 ,000, 000. She has never generated the ratings to justify that amount and apparently has not moved up in the ratings even with Diane Sawyer replacing Charlie Gibson. I must admit that surprises me a bit.

What it comes down to, Ms. Couric is just out of her element. It's not that she doesn't have ability. I thought her interview with Sarah Palin was one of the best I've seen. She was properly tenacious without being abrasive. That takes skill.

Now, according to the New York Post she is nearing the end of her three year contract and facing a salary cut. If they even want to retain her. She was a grand experiment that failed.

It is suggested she may be in the running to become the next daytime diva, replacing Oprah or even taking over Larry King's slot on CNN. She might not have quite the presence to replace Oprah but neither is she as benign as King. I could see her making that show more substantial.

I hope she does move on and that Sawyer is close behind her. Their strengths are not in the anchor's chair. Really wishful thinking is that the evening newscasts would become just that again - news, rather than a recap of the day's sound bites.

My fear is that Ann Curry will replace Williams and our choice will be one of the three. I'm all for women breaking the glass ceiling but to break it just for the sake of breaking it is a waste of ability if it could be better used elsewhere.


Sansego said...

I never understood why people make a big deal about Katie Couric being the head news anchor at CBS, or Diane Sawyer's selection for ABC. Many reporters got their start doing fluff pieces at the begining of their careers. You can't hold that against them.

Diane Sawyer is one of the best journalists out there. She has covered a lot of serious topics. She's not Barbara Walters. Just because they did their stint on the morning programs does not mean they aren't qualified to read the news.

Besides, I much prefer Couric or Sawyer. I can't stand the news anchorman voice of Brian Williams, Stone Phillips, or Tom Brokaw. It always sounded phony to me. At least Couric and Sawyer sound more authentic when they read the news.

Dogwalk said...

Talk about opposing opinions! Lol!

Word Tosser said...

I don't think we will ever find the likes of Walter Cronkite, or Chet Huntley/David Brinkley team.

I like Diane as a person. Anchor, well, that will have to be proven. Never did like Katie.. just couldn't take her seriously.

I haven't seen any of the men who don't seem like stiff boards.

Margie's Musings said...

I have to agree with Sansego. I'm not all that impressed with Couric but Sawyer seems to be doing a great job.

Terrace Crawford said...

I love Katie Couric... but I do think she was a better fit at The Today Show.

--Terrace Crawford

Margie's Musings said...

I think it's all in what you get used to. We are always had men as news anchors. It will take some time for us to get used to women doing that job..

What's strange to me is it doesn't seem to matter if the man is attractive or not, but a homely woman will never have a chance as a news anchor.

Sansego said...

Margie, there seemed to be a push towards more telegenic men as well. The entire media became surface for the major networks. Peter Jennings, Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Stone Phillips, Anderson Cooper...not a single one of them are known to be "ugly" or unattractive or untelegenic. That's just the nature of television and what people want to see. Its probably the reason why Rush Limbaugh's TV show didn't last very long. No one could stand looking at him.