It was always striking to hear employees of WXIA’s news room refer to Cal Callaway in rather affectionate terms. Such terms rarely came from the mouths of employees of other newsrooms while speaking of their managers. Callaway, by all accounts, is a reasonably sane man. Inside his chest, there reportedly beats an actual human heart.
Perhaps those two qualities made him ill-suited to be a news director in a major TV market.
WXIA’s news department needs help. The crushing dullness of its newscasts has hindered its effort to win an audience. But its newscasts do have an element of humanity that one doesn’t see at the other stations. Brenda Wood may be responsible for much of that, as well as its literate and thoughtful reporting staff. Callaway may be responsible for it as well.
One cannot envy Callaway’s replacement. WXIA is now asking reporters to shoot their own stories. In October, WXIA will insist that photographers no longer drive their station cars home. Both moves will inhibit WXIA from getting timely video and solid information into its newscasts.
Compare that to the new guy at WGCL. Whose job would you rather have? At least WGCL is trying to become competitive. WXIA is throwing in the towel.