Dec 012008

As if desperate shoppers trampling retail workers wasn’t enough, The New York Times recently reported that local TV news anchors are the latest victims of the struggling economy.

The sad truth is that our beloved, attractive talking heads are the latest targets of news stations’ cuts due to plummeting advertising dollars and viewer ratings dropping. With a growing smorgasbord of news Web sites dedicated to instantly informing readers and viewers, there is less need for people to fix themselves to a TV set each morning or night at a specific time to get their news.

And even Colorado is feeling the pinch.

If you grew up in Colorado, you’re likely familiar with Channel 2 anchor Ernie Bjorkman’s smiling face, perfectly crafted golden-blonde hair and baritone voice. Sadly, the 36-year veteran will be signing off for the last time Dec. 31, thanks to the recession.

The sad truth is now that veteran news anchors like Bjorkman are being laid off due to their swollen, but deserved, salaries, communities will not be able to familiarize themselves with a face on their local news broadcast for long, because as the anchors stick around longer, their likelihood of being cut to save company money increases.

This is just a portion of the bad news that faces struggling news organizations every day as newspapers, magazines and radio stations continue to see their advertising dollars decline, partly due to online competition.

In these trying times, the Collegian offers its condolences to news organizations feeling the financial squeeze and asks for reader, viewer and listener support, for journalism is what keeps democracy alive.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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