There's some interesting thoughts out there on the internet about the current Eyewitness News anchor pairing of Chris May and Susan Barnett. All the posts I'm reading indicate Chris and Susan "ain't doing it", that Susan is no draw, Chris is too new and definitely not a local and that ratings for CBS-3 have taken a nose dive fifty percent since Larry Mendte was terminated. Most feel they are in the perfect position to start with a clean slate. The consensus also feels Kathy Orr isn't cutting the mustard either with no real draw for viewers to want to watch -- and that Dave Kammerer actually fits the bill for more face time.
One poster finally said what I'VE BEEN THINKING FOR MONTHS! Management should also be held responsible for the whole fiasco involving Larry hacking into Alycia's email. No one has really written about THAT angle. Reports are out there that Lane suspected this and went to management, to no avail. If Larry was terminated and being held accountable for HIS actions why hasn't there been any repurcusions to management? What does it say for CBS-3's I S department that one can install keystroke spyware without being detected! I'd love to see a story written about that angle. Fair is fair. Personally, between the Lane and Mendte debacle I find it incredibly hard to believe that the chopping block hasn't fallen on management yet!
Back to the ratings side of the story though. Some think the solution is to bring back Larry Kane or Marc Howard to at least anchor one broadcast to bring some credibility back to the station. It's been reported neither are interested. Another suggestion is to promote Ukee Washington to the 6p/11p anchor chair but it's also been reported that Ukee is content with his current post. One poster, however, hit the nail on the head by pointing out "good writing, good story selection and decent research" is ACTUALLY the secret to increasing ratings. It's widely felt that, although Chris May and Susan Barnett are probably "good people"--they are not Philadelphian's and viewers recognize it. Yes, Susan is from the area but -- just bland. Also, that Susan might have been promoted prematurely for a position she wasn't quite ready for I would agree wholeheartedly. I don't agree that the answer is to steal away another talent or two from a competing station. They need to think this through slowly, like channel 6 does, and bring in at least a replacement for Burnett or May who has some buzz and good experience about them. What could happen immediately is Orr should switch places with Kammerer who has much more appeal than Orr. That is an easy fix that could happen NOW. Once new talent is in place -- promote the hell out of it and one poster even suggested CBS-3 should copy what channel 10 did back when..."weather, weather weather". The main reason most viewers watch local news is for weather. FOX-29 is trying to be the weather leader with their new "THE Weather Station" moniker with John Bolaris while "EarthWatch" seems to have taken a back seat lately at NBC-10 with Glenn Schwartz. There always could be room for a station to focus on weather. Nevertheless, the next six months will prove to be interesting to see how CBS-3 plays its cards.