A critical look at the Wichita TV news

Friday, January 30, 2009

KSN's Anita Cochran to Step Down as Main Anchor

It first came as a comment, but now I see it in a Wichita Eagle story: Anita Cochran to step down. It certainly was something that doesn't surprise me and something I would think if handled in the right way may improve things, ratings wise, at KSN. I always thought Anita was a great newsreader, she just for whatever reason didn't fit Wichita very well. Its unknown from the article whether she is still going to stay at the station and who possible replacements would be. It sounds like she would like to move on while KSN would like to fit her in a smaller role. So lets open it up. Who would you like to see anchor at KSN? Also, please vote in the new Poll question.
Also, here is an article which appeared on the station's website from the station's news director. -Hal

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

KSN's problems have more to do than just on-air talent.

1. NBC's lineup is non-existent (No. 4 and falling)

2. Weather-first. Really? It was a novel idea but it didn't work. People want the news not a 3 day forecast of sunny weather.

3. Farming out national and international news to a pre-packaged MSNBC segment. People over there have to be able to write about what's going on in the world.

4. Presentation and graphics are stale. Still better than KAKE's but the maps are horrific and there's no originality in them. They are cookie cutter.

5. Yes the talent. But it goes far beyond Anita. No one on their bench can match Anita so what are they going to do now?

Anonymous said...

10:34 makes good points, except number 3. That MSBNC segment runs on NBC stations all over the country. It's pretty good. Fox stations do something similar. You're making something out of nothing. But you're right about having to go out of house for someone, and that NBC ratings are just not helping matters.

Anonymous said...

KSN's Kansas 22 channel looks way better than KAKE's did. Maybe that's a sign of things to come.

Anonymous said...

That MSNBC segment is lazy news producing and pacing is awful in most of the shows. Graphics at the station are good, but not a fan of the maps they use.

Anonymous said...

who else should leave? she's not the only one who needs to.

Anonymous said...

This post proves why Hal is an idiot. Didn't fit in well in Wichita? Is that she lasted 20 years here?

Ever think maybe this is Anita's decision in her life to find other ventures? Not every on air move with talent is one to manipulate ratings.

Anonymous said...

No surprise here. Anita's a good anchor, but the numbers just weren't there. It's simple math.

Anonymous said...

Dave Freeman and Anita have held KSN back the last 4-5 years because KSN news has basically become the Dave and Anita show..It can only mean good things in the long run for KSN

Anonymous said...

Who would ANY station have to take over for their current main talent. No one. Maybe Larry at 10. That's it. 12 has no one. Heap? Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me. 12 has the deepest bench. Schwanke already co-anchors the 5, did the weekends for years. They also have Wilhelm who anchored Fox and Hnytka who anchors weekends now.

Anonymous said...

It is going to be a tough call for a replacement. Do you bring in someone new? Do you replace from within. Jason and Al may have something new, fresh and innovative up their sleeves. I as a viewer personally hope they do.

My opinion is that KSN does not have anyone with TRUE anchor abilities. They have excellent reporters who are GOOD at filling in but their strengths are in reporting, not anchoring.

The sad fact is, we may be seeing the start of a trend here. Poor economy, budget being cut, dwindling viewership all reasons to make changes in Wichita TV News.

Anonymous said...

Anon 809

I don't think the post necessarily proves Hal is an idiot. When he wrote Anita didn't fit well in Wichita, maybe he should have written didn't fit in with the viewers well. Was she a complete failure in Wichita? No. But she sure wasn't getting Wichita to watch and she had been given plenty of time. Sure there were plenty of changes during her tenure (various anchor partners, no sports, and then sports again)but at some point enough is enough. The ratings might be more of a result of things outside of her control than her, but when its time to change, those on top generally are the first to go. It comes with the territory or salary.

Anonymous said...

Ha... Schwanke and Hnytka as replacement for Roger and Cindy? Oh gosh. I like Schwanke, but your are so quick to offer up Hnytka and Wilhelm? You really will say anything to make a point, won't you troll.

Anonymous said...

Al Buch loves to bring back former employees. Wouldn't be surprised to see him bring Melissa Beck back.

Anonymous said...

KSN was never #1 when Beck anchored, so why bring her back? Seems to me it's just radical reaction.

From what I've read on this blog, since Buck returned, he has driven off a good marketing director, a good news director and now a good anchor. Probably none of them perfect (but who is), but is the station any better? I don't know the ratings you all talk about, but I'll bet your answer would be in them.

I know some peole in KSNW sales and they say he may drive of their boss, too.

Maybe someone needs to hand Mr Buck a mirror.

Anonymous said...

Al Buch may have flaws like every other human being in news or not in news. However, he has helped keep morale up, hold frequent catered meetings to recognize the good work of employees and works very hard to maintain a "family" type atmosphere. His door is always open, and once you get to know him, you'll see he is one of the most well respected and easily approachable GM's around.

He knows what he's doing.

Anonymous said...

6:23am is way off base. I can tell you from the inside, KSN is the best shop to work in as far as environment goes.

Anonymous said...

Denise Hnytka would make an excellent prime time anchor.

Anonymous said...

Poor KSNers.

Al is feeding you, so you are happy. Al is telling you what a good job you are doing, so you are happy.

Seems like anyone with any brains has left or is leaving the station.

Just curious. How are your ratings? Go ahead, spin away. But the numbers don't lie.

Wake up, people.

Anonymous said...

9:05...I know for a fact that is not true. And unless you've worked at the other stations you can't say that.

Anonymous said...

anon 313.

Ratings have nothing to do with moral in a newsroom. Nothing at all.

KWCH has brainwashed you well.

viewer said...

I think KWCH is doing an excellent job with their Thurber coverage. Cliff Judy's blog is interesting and informative. He seems to know a lot about trials. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Too bad moral is as high was 12's ratings over on 37th street. By which I mean both are high.

Care to try again?

Anonymous said...

Both KWCH and KAKE are "Skyping" live shots from Winfield, but KAKE's looks horrible. It freezes, there are glitches and it looks distorted. I wonder with their financial problems if they got Skype version 1.0 while KWCH got 2.0?

Anonymous said...

if things are so dandy at KWCH, why do they go through NDs like underwear?

Anonymous said...

Anon 230

What? Ever try writing a coherent sentence?

You know, with all the layoffs both in and outside of this business ...

This pissing match stuff seems pretty small and petty.

But hey, if it helps you feel good about yourself.. go right ahead.

Anonymous said...

6... KAKE and KSN have had more ND's in the past 3 years than KWCH.

Anonymous said...

So maybe we should blame the market, not the stations?

As for seeing Anita go, I'm excited to see what changes KSN might bring to the scene. True, I work for a competitor, but sometimes change is needed in this market to make everyone better.

New talent - could - help facilitate that, bringing fresh faces and fresh ideas to the scene.

I expect all stations will have a rotation of their prime news talent soon -- not because they're bad -- but because some are edging near retirement... or maybe that's a big assumption?

Either way, change can be very good. Best of luck to everyone.

Anonymous said...

With all the discussion here--one previous post may have hit the nail on the head. The poster mentioned that KSN made Anita take a pay cut. Sounds to me like THAT is the answer here.

It may be all about the money. Any idea how much of a paycut KSN was talking about?

That may indicate whether KSN was looking to go a different Anchor direction, or KSN was simply looking to save money, or some combination.

If KSN was asking Anita to take a modest pay cut, thats just the reality of today's business. A HUGE cut is a de facto firing.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they can get rid of Dave Freeman next. I'm pretty sure that they would gain some viewers.

Anita & Dave have been holding the station back for years. There are several great journalists working there & I would like to see them get the credit that they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Gee, all these people must really do a hard watch on all the news programs to be so smart about the going and comings of people in the news world. They could use some help in WDC and NYC and Atlanta and etc...... you people make me sick go get a news program you like and stop watching Anita!! Gwj

Anonymous said...

Only reason I watched KSN was because of Anita. Big mistake getting rid of her. They need to get rid of Dave (Stiff Hair) Freeman.

Anonymous said...

Your current anchors on 5:00 & 10:00 pm are great and Dave Freeman does a super job! Now that Anita is gone, does this mean that we don't get the Larry Steckline farm report? We as farmers need his reporting.

Anonymous said...

I think Anita is a great anchor and I wish her the best. I'd love to see her join KAKE. :)

Anonymous said...

I've known Anita for over 20 years. Nice person? Yes. News Reader? Yes. Reporter? Not so much. Maybe the "Daddy Connection" finally fizzled out. Larry Steckline maybe a great advocate for farmers, but he's p*****d off ALOT of folks over the years. As for Dave Freeman, he's also a nice fellow at first blush but he's tried to run every show he's been connected with. Just ask some of the former KFDI Ranch Hands!

Anonymous said...

I personally liked Anita Cochran.