There’s a lot of talk lately how younger the news reporters and anchors are getting lately. Now the Boston Herald takes a shot at WSVN’s sister station in Boston, WHDH, for hiring Adam Williams, 26 and Brandon Rudat, 27 to anchor the weekend newscasts. The newspaper calling the move, via the anonymous industry insider, ‘ kid’s casts’.
Of course by the end of the article the writer comes to the same conclusion all the rest of his colleagues did – young talent is cheap and the station is doing to get a younger demo.
Except that … we the young are not watching. At least not as much, and not as many of us, as the station suits want. I read somewhere recently that even though the cable nets are doing everything to attract demo viewers those viewers comprise barely 10% of the total audience. At most.
I don’t know how much it is for broadcast local news, but if I had to guess it’s not too different. There just isn’t much to see, and I find myself yelling out “Who the fuck cares about this” more and more often.
7New: Fresh, young faces grace WHDH-TVÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬ËœkidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s castÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
By Jessica Heslam
Boston Herald Media Reporter
Thursday, March 22, 2007 – Updated: 02:04 AM EST
Boston TV station WHDH- Channel 7 has hired two new, young newsmen to anchor their weekend newscasts, the latest in a long line of baby-faced hires who have yet to celebrate their 30th birthdays.
In the past year or so, WHDH has hired a bevy of 20-something TV talent, including Anne Allred, Sorboni Banerjee, Grant Greenberg and Ryan Schulteis – prompting one industry insider to call it the Ã¢â‚¬Å“kidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cast.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The latest hires – Brandon Rudat and Adam Williams – are 27 and 26, respectively.
Industry insiders say young talent is inexpensive and breaking into a top ten TV market – Boston ranks seventh – is pretty rare for someone in their mid 20s.
Michael Carson, general manager of WHDH, said his station tends to attract younger people who are building their careers because they like the stationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s approach to aggressive news reporting.
Some hires were needed for the new 10 p.m. 7News on WLVI [website]-TV (Ch. 56). Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure how conscious the effort was but it is a younger skewing news,Ã¢â‚¬Â Carson said of the 10 p.m. show. The latest two are replacing Phil Lipof and Jeff Glor.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have anything against old people. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not going out of our way to be as young as we can be,Ã¢â‚¬Â Carson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sacrifice quality and professionalism just to attract youth.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Williams will co-anchor WHDHÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s weekend morning news and is a transfer from their sister station WSVN-TV in Miami. Rudat was recently with NBC 30 News in Connecticut and will co-anchor the weekend evening news.
Yesterday, Williams said heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worked hard and takes every story seriously. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think age is a factor. I earn viewersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ trust through the way I do stories and they way I interact with people,Ã¢â‚¬Â Williams said.
Rudat, who was hired as a production assistant at age 19, said in an e-mail: Ã¢â‚¬Å“My youth and passion for this business have given me great success. I have worked so hard to earn this great responsibility of reporting the news.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Linda Douglass, a fellow at HarvardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Shorenstein Center, said some of the most exciting journalists she encountered during her TV career were also the youngest because they work the hardest and are much more curious and driven.
However, Jim Thistle, a former news director at WBZ, WCVB, and WHDH, said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking to appeal to a younger demographic. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s as simple as that.Ã¢â‚¬Â