The death of Ted Baxter

The death of Ted Baxter
: Lost Remote sends us to a column by Terry Heaton arguing that the days of the TV news anchor are numbered.

He says that in our connected world, time is precious and anchors (and news shows) take too long to get through a story. Right. In fact, they drag out stories to fill time because fewer stories means lower cost.

Second, he says he’d rather hear from the reporter who is on the scene than the anchor in the studio.

Third — and this is key — he says “the only ‘personalities’ I care about are those who share my beliefs and provide the arguments that I need to communicate those beliefs with other members of my ‘tribe.’ I don’t care what these people look like or sound like. What they say is paramount.” There, ladies and gentlemen, is the key to the success of FoxNews. Bill O’Reilly is not as pretty as Peter Jennings but at least you know where he stands.

Finally, Heaton says, that the age of the media elite is over: “I have little time or respect for people on pedestals.”

I’m not so sure that anchors will go the way of dodo birds quite yet. But I certainly do believe we’ll see an evolution in TV away from dull, overpaid, pretty news readers and toward grizzled, opinionated news thinkers.

: Heaton also sees a different future for TV reporters:

The video news people of tomorrow will be very different than those of today. You’ll write, shoot and edit your own material. The ability to write will be paramount, for