the extinction of the news anchor?

At least on the local television news level, the veteran highly paid news anchors are becoming fewer in number.  They cost too much for what they propose to deliver–the human face of the local news brand.images-3

Across the country, longtime local TV anchors are a dying breed. Facing an economic slump and a severe advertising downturn, many stations have cut costs drastically in the last year, and veteran anchors, with their expensive contracts, seem to be shouldering a disproportionate share of the cutbacks. When station managers are forced to make cuts, hefty anchor salaries are a tempting target.

 In the past, the thinking was always that tv ratings were driven by subjective feelings of attachment to the anchor figure, making him or her worth the high price.  Now they run contrary to how audiences consume media, more interactively and in their own order, and fewer viewers need an authority figure to guide them through the linear mix of news, sports, and weather.  One could argue that their years of experience with the community represent a loss, but how many were actually using that experience in any substantive manner?  Had they done so, they might have justified the salaries.


One Response to “the extinction of the news anchor?”

  1. Amanda Nguyen Says:

    It’s clear that local news viewership has declined; I personally only tune into local Texas news stations to watch the weather (I get my news either through the newspaper or online), but I suspect that people who do regularly tune into local news find a sort of comfort in the familiar “authority figure” they’ve grown accustomed to. Still, I doubt who sits behind the desk would have any affect on whether or not people tune in.

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