Icons

"Get this creepy blogger away from me!"  Monica Pearson, WSB

"You're a blogger now? Awesome!" Monica Pearson, WSB

When Tom Houck jumped up to ask the first question at last week’s Atlanta Press Club TV news director’s forum, he referred to local news anchors as “icons.”  He asked a very good question:  Given the contraction of the news business, how long will local TV stations be able to justify paying large salaries to TV personalities like Monica Pearson at WSB, and Brenda Wood at WXIA?

Marian Pittman, news VP at WSB interrupted the question to say Pearson was “worth every penny.  Plus some!”

Unfortunately, only Pittman and Budd McEntee at WAGA answered the question.  McEntee’s answer consisted of a lengthy justification of the presence of iconic anchors.  He also artlessly dodged moderator Denis O’Hayer’s follow-up question about whether anchors would continue to pull in “the kinds of money” they do as newsrooms tighten budgets.

Pittman, employer of Pearson (who is Atlanta’s most iconic anchor and undoubtedly brings home the largest paycheck in local TV news) had a more interesting answer.  After saying that Pearson was “worth every penny,” Pittman referred to a Radio and Television News Directors Association survey that pointed to a likely decline of anchor salaries.  She also noted that across America, iconic anchors are losing their jobs because of tightening budgets.

Hear their answers to Houck’s “will anchors keep making big money” question below.

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form, zero, zilch, nada. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

5 thoughts on “Icons

  1. Sammy

    Can you do another story on Dagmar.

    She is hot!

    [[ Thanks Sammy. That's enough. Don't make me tag you as spam. - LAF ]]

    Reply
  2. Juanita Driggs

    When enough viewers start tuning-out, the bloated (and they definitely are) anchor salaries will start trending down accordingly. Capitalism coupled with market forces when left alone to have their way will usually arrive at the correct balance. What should happen budget wise before then is getting rid of co-anchors. Probably the only reason they’re there is because the media consultants(another waste of money for something the local G.M.’s and news directors should be figuring out for themselves) say it’s necessary for the brand or image. I’ve always wondered how is it that network anchors are able to do their thing just fine solo but the local guys can’t? Yet another example of the many silly things associated with this business.

    Reply
  3. LBJ

    Monica is ok by me, but when WSB goes the entire first block with blood and guts, I don’t care who is behind the desk.

    Reply
  4. Jay

    I think John and Monica are safe for now, but I don’t think Justin and Jovita are going to become local icons and pull in the big bucks. I have no idea about Russ and Amanda, but with comments like that from McEntee, folks at WAGA should be wary of a leader who thinks all is okay. They are likely to get slapped upside the head by reality sooner or later. I imagine Brenda Wood has already taken a pay cut, along with everyone else at Gannett, and I heard more cuts are on the way. I wouldn’t be surprised if WGCL doesn’t replace Bill Gaines at 6 and 11.

    Reply

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