This post was originally published on this site
Question: How many anchors does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: None! That’s what producers are for.
Okay, here’s an easier one:
How many anchors does it take to do the late news?
If you said two, chances are you work at pretty much any local TV newsroom in America…and you definitely don’t work at KVIA in El Paso, Texas.
The NPG (News-Press & Gazette)-owned ABC affiliate broke new ground last June by introducing an unusual three-anchor format for its late news. What may sound like a gimmick turns out to be a valuable lesson in three R’s — research, reporting and risk.
The risk was tinkering with a successful formula. KVIA’s late news had survived the retirement in January 2020 of beloved anchor Estela Casas after nearly 27 years at the station. The new team of Stephanie Valle, who in 20 years at KVIA worked her way up from intern to main anchor, and relative newcomer Erik Elken, who joined the team in the fall of 2018, was holding up competitively. That said, everyone’s late news was declining, as it is in many markets. “We have to give people a reason to stay up late, and we cannot do that doing the same newscast that we’ve been doing,” says news director Brenda De Anda-Swann, “because the audience is changing the way it consumes news, and we can’t do it the same way.”
Saul Saenz reporting on the vaccine rollout.
That’s where the second R — reporting —