Letters “…the public is losing trust in local television news.”

Broadcast Follies

I READ THE TRACY ROWLETT STORY TWICE. Once quickly before our newscast, and once. ever so slowly, after the newscast. I used to work with Tracy, Byron Harris, and Doug Fox in Oklahoma. In 1973 I was the new weekend meteorologist, and Tracy was the weekend anchor.
It seems unbelievable that this was allowed to happen. My supposition is that it boils down to ego and power. Now I can say welcome to the CBS family.
TOM MAHONEY
CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WFRV
Green Bay, WI
I WORKED BRIEFLY FOR WFAA-TV YEARS ago doing the morning weather with Doug Fox as the anchor, while Tracy and lola made up the evening team. At the time,even in the mornings, the attitude was one of quality and the desire to improve on our product.
Should WFAA-8 have made a change? The answer is probably yes because the winning support anchor team is still in place. But they needed to be professional about it (they should not expect to have it both ways). If they could not reach terms, then they should have parted on good terms. Stations do not give their anchors credit for wanting to leave with their professional dignity intact, often jerking them off the air or meeting them at the door of the studio to give them the bad news that their desks have been cleaned out.
GAY CHILDRESS
Tyler
SADLY. TRACY ROWLETT IS THE VICTIM OF A station manager who treated her longtime star anchor as little more than chattel. Broadcasting is one of the growing number of industries where the only reward for longevity and service is to get unceremoniously booted out while lower-paid, less-experienced employees are brought in to ease the owner’s bottom line.
This was not “just business”; this case revolves around a human being. The station manager seems to have gotten that confused with her conception of Rowlett as an aging. highly-paid piece of on-air talent. What a shame. I wish Rowlett and his family well. At least CBS and Mel Karmazin will shoot straight with him.
JOHN DENISON
Monroe, LA

THANKS FOR LETTING FANS OF TRACY KNOW the skinny. The reason I watched Channel 8 for so many years was because of Tracy Rowlett’s integrity in reporting the news and his community-minded focus of bringing difficult situations to our attention that we might otherwise have not known about or not wanted to know about.
Shame on Channel 8 and thanks. D, for your clarifying article.
JUDITH BROWN
Dallas

WHAT A MAGNIFICENT-AND DISGUSTING- story. Great reportage. The goings-on emphasize why the public is losing trust in local television news. In Texas that is a tragedy. Texas is the birthplace of many of the greatest news-people (of all media) in the nation.
ANDY PARK
Littleton, CO

PLEASE LET CHANNEL 8 KNOW HOW BADLY it messed up. In an informal pool of 50 of my over-35 friends, all of us watched Channel 8 because of Tracy Rowlett and/or Chip Moody. After your cover story.even if Moody remains at Channel 8. all of us will travel to Channel 11 (or anywhere else) with Rowlett.
ROBIN W. PATTERSON
Richardson

IT’S RIDICULOUS FOR ANY NEWS CHANNEL TO underestimate the intelligence of the young demographic group. I’m 32 years old, and I certainly don’t watch the news to observe how young a newscaster looks. If news is going to cater to the looks of individual newscasters instead of what’s important and relevant to society in general, I might as well start watching the fiction of professional wrestling as a source of news.
JOHN CONLEY
Plano
ONE OF MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND WELL WRIT-ten articles I’ve ever come across. Good job.
TED ROOKE
Gainesville, G A
FORGIVE ME, BUT I HAVE A HAKD TIME FEELING sorry for Rowlett. He was making upwards of $400,000 a year at WFAA and has now movedontoKTVTfor$l million. I’m wondering if he and his wife are praying for the estimated 100 employees of Channel 11 who are now getting pink slips.
BRETT JOHNSON
Fort Worth
I WILL CONSCIOUSLY TRY TO AVOID WATCHING the Channel 8 newscast. But they probably won’t care -I’m not a female, age 18 to 49.
KING H.FAULKNER
Fort Worth
D Magazine really came through with a great story. Hopefully, Tracy will find out soon that he has friends whom he has never met-those of us abandoning WFAA for KTVT, where a real anchor will soon exist.LARRY MCCOY
Dallas
I APPRECIATED YOUR STORY ON TRACY Rowlett but was angered by the cover title, “Tracy Rowlett* s Revenge.” He is far too intelligent and kind to engage in a cause as worthless as revenge. I applaud and support his efforts to take care of himself and his family, and I see nothing vindictive about them.
Rebecca Merlick
Hutchins
I FOUND THE STORY ON TRACY ROWLETT VERY interesting and familiar. 1 anchored the news in Birmingham for 11 years and a very similar thing happened to me. The station was sold and the GM decided he wanted me off the air (although the ratings were number one). When the local media found out about the move, I was interviewed and told the truth. After newspaper and radio reports the station management decided to remove me from the air immediately. Their ratings dropped 39 per-cent the first book and they haven’t been number one since I left. I have learned there is no such thing in broadcasting as loyalty. You can do a good job and keep your nose clean and the ratings up, but if a GM sees a way to make a extra buck you’re out of there.
GENE LIVELY
Birmingham, AL
After reading your story on Tracy Rowlett. I wish to inform WFAA and Belo that their coveted 18- to 49-year-old female market has just become softer. The behavior of Kathy Clements-Hill is a disgrace to female professionals who have truly earned management positions.
TONI GERNSBACHER
Fort Worth
Tracy helped make Channel 8 News a huge success for a long time and is missed on the air. We will see him help to build a professional news team again at Channel 11, management willing.
KEN COLLINS
Fort Worth
Olympic Fever
Since you chose to critique possible Olympic sites, you owe it to your readers to do thorough research. Lone Star Park is an ideal location for equestrian events. Our stable area and track surfaces are world class. Our parking and patron facilities are second to none. We understand what it lakes to host Olympic equestrian events. Two of our top executives worked at Santa Anita when that track hosted the 1984 equestrian events.
Lone Star Park is not just a racetrack, it is an entertainment facility…and the ideal location for a major event such as the Olympic equestrian competition in 2012.
COREY S.JOHNSON
LONE STAR PARK,
Grand Prairie

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