CBS 11 anchor Tracy Rowlett (left) really, really doesn’t like Regent Ducas. Ducas, you might recall, is the now-departed news director who was known for a “run ‘n’ gun approach” during his five-month stint at the station last year. Ducas was “the worst news director I ever knew,” Rowlett told TV critic Ed Bark during a live, freewheeling interview at Stratos Greek Taverna Saturday. “He was a one-trick pony. He didn’t know how to do anything but to do crime news in a small-town way. That drove people away.” Jump for more of Rowlett’s unplugged opinions.
During the second installment of The Uncle Barky Show Saturday, Rowlett–who made his bones in this market as a longtime reporter and anchor at WFAA-TV (Channel 8)–also told Bark that:
— When Kathy Clements-Hill took over as GM at Belo8, she told the staff that the station would ” ‘look to attract 18- to 49-year-old women. That’s why we’re here,’ ” Rowlett quoted Clements-Hill as saying. Then he added: “I was just aghast. Instead of journalism and the community coming first, business would come first.”
— It’s not just Channel 8. All local TV news operations, Rowlett said, are pandering to the younger demographic coveted by advertisers. As a result, we have “consultant-driven newscasts” these days, he added. “They say, ‘Here’s what you need to do.’ And that leads to these vanity pieces … and the crime coverage. [Crime statistics in Dallas] are actually going down, but you wouldn’t know that by watching TV news.”
— When Katie Couric was announced as Dan Rather’s permanent successor on the CBS Evening News, Rowlett heard repeatedly from viewers, “My God, what a liberal” the new anchorwoman is. “That was because of The Today Show, I guess,” Rowlett said. “I think Katie Couric is a very talented woman. They had tremendous image problems going in. Now they’re paring down a really bad format. She’s working hard to be a good network anchor, and I think and hope she will be.”
Bark’s entire interview with Rowlett should be posted soon at Pegasus News.