Somebody asked in email recently what's with all the Paul Magers mentions here. All I can say is check out the big Times Calendar story Sunday on the $2.2 million-a-year news anchor at Channel 2. He was brought in from Minneapolis as part of a larger Viacom strategy, write Greg Braxton and Maria Elena Fernandez.
Although CBS is the country's most-watched network in prime time and during the day, its local news affiliates in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — the top three TV markets — have generally trailed their competitors in the ratings. And "Late Show with David Letterman's" camp has made no secret that it wants better lead-ins. During the past year and a half, in addition to Los Angeles, new anchor teams have been set up at Viacom-owned stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami and Denver...
KCBS has never recovered from the departure of anchor Jerry Dunphy in the mid-1970s or the final decline of the once-dominant "Big News" block of afternoon and early evening news programs in the late '60s. Poor ratings and a revolving door of general managers, news directors and news anchors have plagued the station since then.
For the last three decades, KCBS tried numerous anchor combinations and news approaches to win back viewers. In 1986 there was a disastrous experiment with a so-called news wheel, where every 20 minutes a new topic and new anchor appeared.
More recently, in 1999, "Women2Women News" was a failed attempt at a 4 p.m. newscast aimed at wives and mothers. Occasional short-lived ratings bursts aside, nothing has had a dramatic impact.
The story (behind the CalendarLive pay wall) says Magers doesn't appear to be on the anchor track for CBS News, although he used to sit in on the national anchor desk for NBC while in Minnesota. It alsi reveals that Magers was angered by the LAT "Hot Property" item in January on his $6.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills.
Previously: Paul Magers draws web traffic...