Both Robert Feder, via Twitter, and Larz at Chicagoland Radio & Media reported yesterday that WBBM-TV/CBS 2 has released morning news anchor Susan Carlson. According to Larz, CBS 2 opted to remove Carlson from the air prior to the expiration of her contract, most likely to shake things up as the ratings for the morning newscast remain at or near rock bottom.
This move is a real shock to me. As a regular viewer of CBS 2’s morning news, Carlson was not the problem with that newscast. As a matter of fact, I have a hard time identifying any real significant problems with the newscast.
Carlson and co-anchor Kris Gutierrez were a respectable team – they worked well together, were capable of showing personality when appropriate, and did a solid job at delivering the morning’s news. The added personality coming from Meagan Glaros (weather) and Derrick Young completed the newscast, as far as on set goes. There was real chemistry.
CBS 2 has a real tendency to play musical chairs, seemingly every other year or so when their ratings don’t show improvement. Sometimes, such moves are necessary, such as when the station opted to remove Steve Bartelstein, who was not a great fit. Other times, the moves are done just for the sake of change, such as when the station decided to remove evening news anchor Anne State several years back.
And for the sake of honesty, even though I am a huge fan of State’s eventual replacement Kate Sullivan, she hasn’t been much of an upgrade. That’s not a knock on Sullivan — it just means that there was nothing wrong with State!
And there was nothing wrong with Carlson either. While there are plenty of talented female news anchors out there, it’s not a given that the new choice will do as good of a job as Carlson. And even if she does, it will be hard to find someone who does a better job than Carlson. So at best case scenario, they find someone who does as good of a job. To that, I ask, what’s the freakin point!? Besides demoralizing the rest of the morning news staff and potentially upsetting the on air chemistry, this move will do nothing to shake the ratings. At best, CBS 2 will likely find whoever they hire to replace Carlson will be nothing more then a lateral move.
Just for fun… Since CBS 2 is desperate for attention, maybe they should consider hiring recently ousted Comcast SportsNet reporer Susannah Collins. At the very least, that would probably generate added views to their YouTube channel!