Today marked yet another new beginning for the WBBM-TV/CBS 2 morning news program with the debut of Erin Kennedy as co-anchor — exactly 367 days after the (unnecessary) firing of Susan Carlson. In that time, CBS 2 has rotated midday anchor Roseanne Tellez and weekend anchor Marissa Bailey as fill-ins while searching for Carlson’s permanent successor.
In the year since, I’ve come to enjoy Bailey’s contributions to the morning show and had hoped she’d win the job permanently. Even though she was only working three days a week (in addition to anchoring her weekend morning newscasts), I thought she fit in nicely with co-anchor Kris Gutierrez, meteorologist Megan Glaros and traffic reporter Derrick Young.
CBS 2 has been stuck near last place, ratings wise, for as long as I can remember. While it is extremely hard for a bottom feeder to climb its way up, CBS 2 would put themselves in a better position to do so by building a brand on the merits of outstanding journalism along with familiar and likeable faces. Instead, CBS 2 insists on playing musical chairs with its on air team seemingly every other year, essentially starting from scratch. While changes sometimes are necessary (i.e. Steve Bartelstein’s brief time as morning co-anchor was a colossal failure), CBS 2 unnecessarily rocked the boat one year ago with the firing of Carlson. CBS 2 had finally had a foundation to build upon, with Carlson and Gutierrez in the morning, and Rob Johnson and Kate Sullivan at night.
After disrupting what was a outstanding morning newscast by ousting Carlson, CBS 2 spent a year re-training viewers to get used to Bailey and Tellez, only to rock the boat a second time.
I should make it clear that this isn’t about Kennedy. She may very well prove to be worthy of the job. This is about CBS 2’s management squandering a full calendar year when it is consistency they need most. They’ve essentially shot themselves in the same foot twice, in the span of one year and a couple of days.