A critical look at the Wichita TV news

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New KSN Anchor team announced

On Jan. 30, the KSN website announced that longtime KSN anchor Anita Cochran was to step down as anchor. Immediately the question rose as to who would replace her: (A)someone from within the station, (B)from another station, or (C)someone new entirely. Those who chose A and C are right. Two will replace Anita. Stephanie Bergman, the longtime KSN morning anchor will soon become a main anchor. Its actually a move I think was long overdue. Of the talent at KSN I always thought she would be someone viewers could relate with more than Anita. Kudos to KSN management for making the change. As to a male counterpart, a former cable news network anchor will soon be sharing the desk with Stephanie. According to a column in Today's Wichita Eagle, by Carrie Rengers, John Snyder will be moving from North Carolina to the Air Capital. Snyder most recently worked in North Carolina. He certainly has an impressive biography. Included in that are stints in sports broadcasting in Oklahoma City, the Big 10 network, MSNBC, CNBC and ABC. He anchored the early ABC morning news and also served as a backup news reader and reported on Good Morning America. He most recently worked for WCNC in Charlotte as a midday anchor. The article says that Anita's final day as anchor will be April 24, but did not say when the newest team will premiere.I am actually interested to see Stephanie and him paired up. I think its a good move for KSN, but now they must promote this idea they are a new KSN (as new as they can be while still having Dave Freeman). They need to actively promote this new anchor team and let people know there is some new blood on the main show.

With that I think they need to get John out in the community, meeting people and letting them know that they (hopefully) have a friendly anchor for people to watch each night. I think with Stephanie that persona comes across on the morning show and I have no doubt that it will with John. I like the fact he has a little sports background. I think that should work well with Jim Kobbe. Along with Stephanie, I think the two men should really create some fun moments for the three on camera. As for Freeman, I am not holding my breath. I must admit much of what I have read about John comes from his former station's website and I haven't seen him on set. I have never been a Freeman fan. If John comes across just a tad schmucky, and being along side a schmucky Freeman, might make it as uncomfortable to watch as the pairing now of Anita and Dave. I have hope though, John can put Dave in his place early and all four will be more watchable than it is now.
Thanks to an email for a link to some of John's past work. -Hal
UPDATE 3-22: I have been in and out of town the last week and have not been able to post. I also thought it was weird I didn't have any new comments. I tested it myself and couldn't get one of my own "test" comments to work so I don't know what is going on. Sorry about that. I am sure you all have some opinions. I will be occupied for most of this week too.
Weather Woody - All the stations are hyping the chances for a possible tornado or hail outbreak on Monday in the area. KAKE and KWCH both led off with that, (KSN always leads off with weather so no big deal). Lets see what happens. -Hal


Anonymous said...

Why no new comments? You on Spring Break, Hal??!
What are your thoughts on 12's new weather graphics? Look a lot like KAKE's if you ask me. Will KSN follow suit?
And what do you think about all the changes KSN is making. Rumor is they are about to totally move everyone around. A whole new weekend team too.
Here is another one for you. Do you think it is wise that the stations are spending time and money sending sports crews all the way to MN?

Anonymous said...

KSN just announced today that they are switching anchors for EVERY show. All new weekend anchorS, yes, two. New morning show anchors (one is a sports guy moving to news), and even a new 5p set of anchors.
They also changed two of their meteorologists around.
Talk about changes. But will it pay off for them.

Anonymous said...

So, in light of these changes, will there be a wholesale change in the on-air product for KSN? Graphics, set, etc? Any closer to the transition to an HD broadcast? I remember Buch saying it was coming in 2009...just no specifics at that time.

Anonymous said...

Actually 12's graphics are nothing like KAKE. They have the same software it looks like but customized it big time. KAKE only took what was given to them. It's more of a refresh than the complete rebuild that 12 did.

As for KSN, how many times can you rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic before it sinks? They tried this before, it didn't work. They tried Kansas Nightly News...didn't work. They tried Weather First...didn't work. And until NBC's programming comes back, they don't have a chance at anything.

Anonymous said...

Anon 445,
Maybe they tried it before, but all of those changes you mentioned had two common bonds. Cochran and Freeman. Maybe getting rid of just Cochran will be enough to see a rise in ratings. I think Freeman needs to go before they will see a noticeable bounce, but let their current viewers and a few straglers get used to the upcoming changes and then they can replace Freeman in a year or so.

Anonymous said...

Still very bummed about Stephanie being named an anchor. How Bland!

... and my earlier comment must have been lost?

Anonymous said...

Stephanie isn't the hottest anchor by any means...but she is solid. She seems to roll with the punches, doesn't make a lot of errors and delivers well.

She's comfortable in front of the camera, respectable and she's not over dramatic about stuff. There are a few people in this market that could learn some lessons from her.

Hopefully this change-up at KSN will lead them in the right direction. Watch-out KAKE, they are coming to get ya' very soon!!!