Media World: Local TV is losing experienced anchors


New York TV news anchor Chuck Scarborough's tenure dates to the Nixon era, while Jim Gardner has broadcast the 11 o'clock news in Philadelphia since Jimmy Carter was president. Unfortunately, in today's media market, where advertising and profits at TV stations are shrinking, venerable professionals like Scarborough and Gardner are becoming the exceptions rather than the rule.

Across the country, many longtime anchors are being squeezed out. Last year, Denver anchor Ernie Bjorkman left after 26 years behind the desk. He reportedly became a veterinary technician, taking about a $100,000 pay cut. Meanwhile, Phoenix's Kent Dana is out after more than 30 years and Tampa Bay anchor Bill Ratliff resigned in April rather than take a cut in pay and hours. A few months ago, there were even rumors that Scarborough was being axed, which were denied by the station.