As aging anchors retire, Chicago stations hope viewers stay for familiar faces

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    Bill Recto


    One of the people the article mentions is Linda Yu , Ron Magers, who retired recently and Hosea Sanders and his health problems at WLS. The overall point was that TV News is losing some familiar faces in an uncertain future.


    Hsu, 46, who immigrated to Chicago from Taiwan as an 11-year-old, grew up watching Yu and was inspired to follow in her footsteps with a career in TV news. She never expected to actually replace Yu.

    “I am trying to live up to that very high bar that Linda has set,” Hsu said after finishing her afternoon newscast Thursday.

    Viewers have responded to the change with mixed emotions via hundreds of social media messages, Hsu said.

    “Most of them start out by saying, ‘I’m so going to miss Linda,’ but end with, ‘I’m really glad you’re going to be there in the afternoon,'” Hsu said.



    On the one hand, with all those retiring anchors, Chicago’s TV stations will probably save a heck of a lot of money, since their replacements won’t be paid anywhere near as much.

    On the other hand, viewing patterns for local TV news could drastically change. And the replacement anchors may not have the kind of “institutional memory” (in this case, first-hand knowledge of the Windy City), especially if they’re hired from out of town and had never lived or worked in Chicago before.

    Additionally, Chicago is a town where once they arrive, local news anchors generally stay (unless they move to a network). This allows bonds between viewers and news anchors and long-term news viewing habits develop. There are many cities (especially small and medium markets) where local news anchors don’t stay long enough to build such bonds with their viewers.

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