Filling Rather's Void…

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Via Drudge comes this Variety report that tragicomedian news anchor (and we mean anchor in the sense that he weighed down CBS's ratings for most of his career) Dan Rather may be replaced by a geek chorus of demi-anchors.

CBS is considering multiple newscasters to replace Dan Rather in the anchor's chair when he steps down in March….

The possibility of a second or even a third chair on the "CBS Evening News" set throws a new angle into the anchor-heir handicapping, but it also brings back some sour memories at CBS of the failed partnering of Rather and Connie Chung in 1994, a year before [CBS head Les] Moonves joined the network.

Whole thing here.

I honestly can't remember the last time I watched a broadcast channel evening news program but I hope just for variety that CBS at least tries to do something innovative and different–especially given NBC's stated intention of replacing Tom Brokaw with a younger, more suspiciously tanned version of himself.

Read Matt Welch's fond farewell to Dan "Frog and Side Pockets" Rather here.

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  1. “…especially given NBC’s stated intention of replacing Tom Brokaw with a younger, more suspiciously tanned version of himself.” –Gillespie

    It could be worse — and it will be worse in the near future. At least we suspect that Brokaw’s replacement will be a human being (although, given Williams’ strange tan, I have my doubts). If he had retired just a few years later, Brokaw might have been replaced with a live-action “animation,” which colleague Chuck Scarborough anticipated some years ago, in his novel, “The Myrmidon Project.” Perhaps Disney will hand the evening news over to Pixar when Jennings steps down.

    As far as anchor variety, technology can fix that, too. Want to see the news — delivered — by — Captain — Kirk? How about Shrek? Nemo? Gollum? Or maybe our old favorite, Max Headroom? You’ll be able to pick your anchor in the years ahead, from a cast of thousands, including Rather, Brokaw, Jennings, Cronkite, Huntley & Brinkley, etc. I definitely think that will happen years before we send real people back to the moon, for instance.

    Enjoy the last years of the human anchors. Brokaw and Rather are getting out while the getting’s good.

  2. Didn’t ABC have an evening newscast in the late 70’s – early 80’s with multiple anchors? I seem to remember David Brinkley in New York, Bernard Shaw in Chicago, and Connie Chung from Los Angeles. All taking turns anchoring various news packages with local flavor.

    By spreading out the anchors it was supposed to provide more thorough coverage of the nation. One of those concepts that sounds good in discussion but really flopped in practice.

  3. I saw Brokaw’s replacement on the Daily Show last night. He appeared to be quite lively and humorous. But that’s the only time I’ve ever seen him (and I don’t watch network news programs), so I might have been misled by my first impression.

  4. Didn’t ABC have an evening newscast in the late 70’s – early 80’s with multiple anchors? I seem to remember David Brinkley in New York, Bernard Shaw in Chicago, and Connie Chung from Los Angeles. All taking turns anchoring various news packages with local flavor.

    It was Frank Reynolds in Washington with the government news, Max Robinson in Chicago with the heartland news, and Peter Jennings in London with the foreign news.

  5. Apropos of this, Harry Shearer did a great piece on the Rather/Brokaw departures for Le Show this past weekend. Link to the RealAudio file is here:

    http://www.harryshearer.com/active/leShow.php

  6. Filling Rather’s void…

    How about the void between his ears?

  7. Is it my imagination or do all these guys they’re considering as replacements have same chin?

    Have the networks been conducting some sort of secret anchorman breeding program without telling us?

  8. “…secret anchorman breeding program…”

    Imagine the auction.

    What am I bid for this little filly here….A great starter by Harry Reasoner out of Leslie Stahl….:)

  9. I like James Anderson Merritt’s prediction that in the future, human anchorpersons will be replaced by the computer-generated person of your choice.

    I’ll go further … you’ll be able to see the news delivered by whomever you like, to whatever slant you like. You’ll be able to go to FoX-X-Xtreme News and watch the news being “tortured out of” some annoying person thought to harbor liberal bias–maybe Katie Couric –by a simalcrum of Rush Limbaugh in leather Nazi regalia.

    LIMBAUGH (removing Couric’s ballgag): Tell us the news now, left-wing media whore!

    COURIC: Four people were killed and seven injured today by a gun —

    LIMBAUGH: Audacious tart! Inanimate objects do not kill! For that, a taste of the lash!

    (WHACK!)

    COURIC: Ow! … killed and injured by a man wielding a gun —

    LIMBAUGH: What kind of man, politically correct, fact-concealing wench?

    COURIC: OK, OK! A black gay man who recently immigrated illegally from Mexico! Not the lash again, I beg you!

    Etc. etc. Over on other channels, Andy Rooney is doing something similar to Ann Coulter. Or, you can have woman-empowering Couric-on-Limbaugh action. Or Couric-on-Coulter. Whatever you like.

    (I am such a perv-head. But I’m an imaginative perv-head, and that’s the best kind to be.)

  10. What’s the point of an anchor, anyway? Do you want someone who can MC a parade of reporters? If so, then someone like Ed McMahon is all you need. No reporting credentials necessary.

    On the other hand, do you want someone who will engage in a dialog with the reporters, who can ask legitimate questions of those guys who are stading in the rain in front of the Capitol? Then you need a reporter type, but damn it, let him/her ask serious questions, instead of just read the someone else’s copy.

    Taking a real reporter and shoving him behind a desk is a wate of talent.

  11. Never trust an anchorperson who isn’t fat, bald, old and ugly.

  12. Hmm. In retrospect, I obviously shouldn’t post at Hit & Run immediately after clicking on one of the OlympiaPress.com ads that run alongside. I got infected by some memes there … holy cow.

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