What will the post-Carolyn Holly strategy be for KTVB7?
I’m already popping popcorn and pulling up a chair.
The Channel 7 news anchor announced this week that she will leave broadcast TV early next year to join Saint Alphonsus Health System as its vice president of marketing, communications and public relations. As a highly recognizable face, Holly is a “get” for Saint Al’s.
When it comes to local TV, Channel 7 dominates the evening news primarily with two female anchors who have been synonymous with the station for decades. Yes, Dee Sarton is the No. 1, but she and Holly feel like a 1A and 1B scenario.
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Holly’s replacement will be a thoroughly weighed choice. This is marketing, folks, the root of Channel 7’s success.
After more than three decades at KTVB, Sarton couldn’t be faulted for retiring any time she wants — now or years from now. It’s definitely a smart move not to let Holly and Sarton say goodbye at anywhere near the same time.
But who do you plop down in that seat, sometimes right next to Sarton?
Do you take the predictable route and hire a young, attractive anchor? Or do you pay for experience? (It’s tough to see that happening in today’s media economy.) Do you call up shamed TV anchor Brian Williams to ask if he’d love a job in the nation’s 107th largest TV market? (Maybe he’d fudge the truth and say yes.)
Or do you just not hire anyone? That’s actually quite plausible.
Whatever happens, Holly definitely gave us all plenty of notice. Channel 7 has four-plus months to reminisce about the good ol’ days, milk those sweeps ratings — and find that replacement.
Pass the butter and salt.