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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Star TV anchors on the endangered species list?

Elizabeth Jensen of TVWeek has an interesting article about the state of the highly paid and pampered TV news anchor. It doesn't look like a bright future for them all:

In St. Louis, KSDK-TV’s lead anchor, Deanne Lane, a 25-year-veteran of the Gannett Broadcasting station, was let go mid-April. That same month, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles said goodbye to highly paid Paul Moyer, who retired after 24 years. At New York’s WNBC-TV, sportscaster Len Berman signed off on April 22, after nearly a quarter century there, when he couldn’t come to terms on a new contract; his old one paid an estimated $1 million annually. READ THE REST

I think the time of the star anchor making boat loads of money and just reading the teleprompter (I am not saying the above anchors were this way - I don't know them) are probably coming to an end. Why? Well, lots of that staff that supports them is thinning out. Someone will have to pick up the slack or script in this case. Face it, if you were an anchor in the last 25 years, you had it pretty good. You were in the golden era. No future anchors will get it that good!

Could we actually be going backwards in terms of the TV industry. As newsroom staffs shrink (one man bands, eliminated positions), it appears to me that we are returning to the staffing levels of the old days.
Randy Tatano had a recent post about "the good old days." Could his description actually be the future for anchors and the newsroom?:

The year was 1982. My first reporting job was in Roanoke, Virginia. The staff consisted of reporters, photogs, and anchors, a News Director and an assignment editor. No producers.
"What?" you ask. "How did you ever get a newscast on the air?"
Well, the anchor produced the show. Reporters wrote and edited the packages, intros, v/o's and vosots. The anchor wrote copy stories and teases, then tied everything together. READ THE REST

Anchors producing the shows and writing teases? Oh the horror.

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