Anchors Away 

Will Cope go to G.A.G.?

Attn: Bill Cope,

We here at G.A.G. Media have been disappointed in the results of our previous attempts to include you in our on-air family. While it is possible we didn't make clear exactly what we were looking for, your submission for the "What A Great Day!" feature bordered on the offensive--which is certainly not what we had in mind as an inspiring segment to our daily broadcast. And the "Six Degrees of Boise" proposal was outright bizarre. How you managed to include an unidentified corpse found in the sagebrush south of Jackpot as a connection between the Torino Winter Olympics and our thriving community was, to say the least, not what we meant by "perky."

But the KGAG management team is willing to overlook past miscalculations and offer you another chance, seeing as how we are in urgent need of a person to anchor our evening newscast. Our morning newscast, too. And our noon newscast. (Should you accept the anchor person position, don't overly concern yourself about the noon newscast, as we generally fill that with cooking tips and fishing reports, anyway. All that would be required of you is to sit for an hour in the anchorperson chair--which swivels, by the way--and intermittently say things like "So, Jimbo ... where are they bitin' today?" and "Betty, that looks absolutely scrum-dilly-itious!")

It is a convoluted path to how we found ourselves short one crucial on-air anchor person, but essentially, it started when Dan Rather lost his job with CBS. Rather's removal set in motion a veritable tsunami of changes that has yet to recede back to the accustomed continental shelf of normal television fact-based reality showage. The most noticeable shift concerned Katie Couric, as she was chosen to fill Rather's seat, which has been kept warm in the interim by veteran reporter Bob Schieffer. Some have wondered why Schieffer couldn't remain as the CBS anchor, but to the trained eye of a broadcast journalism professional, the answer is obvious. (My husband says Bob Schieffer looks like a Romulan. As in that Star Trek show? I, personally, wouldn't know, being too goal-oriented to watch anything on TV other than tapes of myself.)

Meredith Vieira was picked to replace Couric on NBC's Today show, leaving a gaping hole on ABC's The View--and who better to fill a gaping hole that Rosie O'Donnell. But then Star Jones Reynolds created another gaping hole on the same program by being fired. That much you probably know. The rest hasn't been announced publicly yet, but we have it on good authority that Gwen Ifill has been enticed away from Jim Lehrer's Newshour to become the next whatever it is Star Jones was. (Conventional wisdom has it that Ifill won't last long on The View. As hard as she tries, she just can't seem to say "I'm talkin' downtown!" with any real conviction.)

Jim Lehrer, needing someone to fill Ifill's shoes when she leaves, has decided on a different approach and is bringing Steve Irwin up from Australia to do those penetrating interviews for which the Newshour is known. Of course, this means there will be need for a new Crocodile Hunter--an opportunity Geraldo Rivera simply couldn't let pass. Then, since Rupert Murdock needed a replacement for Geraldo, and since he's concerned about falling Fox ratings, anyway, he's raided a local broadcast market in Tupelo, Mississippi, confident he could find the sort of talent he was looking for in the local WKKK news organization.

Mr. Cope, the average non-broadcast journalism professional wouldn't know this, but once one local anchorperson anywhere leaves for another position, local anchors from all over the country start rolling around the broadcasting board like BBs on a Tilt-A-Whirl, hoping to move into a more prestigious market. Our previous anchor (whose position you would be taking should you accept this offer) moved to Salt Lake City's KMOR, where he's willing to give up one-tenth of his salary simply to be seen by more viewers. The man he is replacing went to St. Paul, the woman he replaced is now in Amarillo, and the man she replaced went to take up the slack in Tupelo. That's just the way it is in the anchorperson biz.

We realize the move from weekly newspaper opinion to daily broadcast news may seem a largish leap for you, but others have done it. I, for instance, was the award-winning editor of the "Dairy Farmers of Bingham County Newsletter" before joining the KGAG team, so I know it can be done. We are willing to give it a try if you are, particularly since no one else has applied for the position. Please consider our offer--and by five this afternoon if at all possible. Wear a coat and tie. Pants are optional.

Signed: Claudia Sarton-O'Malley; Human Resources Director/Certified Weekend Climatologist; G.A.G Media Group

Dear Ms. Sarton-O'Malley,

You bet I'll take the job! I'll even bring pants. I've always dreamt of being an anchorperson. No ... that's not precisely true. What I've really always dreamt of being is one of those public-relations spokesmen for some municipal agency. You know, like maybe the Boise School District or the Ada County Head Lice Abatement Program.

But I realize there are dues to be paid for a plum career like that, and from what I can tell, the dues seem to be a stint reading the news from one of our local broadcasting joints. You know what I'm talking about, I'm sure. We get used to seeing someone's face every night, interviewing a police spokesperson or a highway department spokesperson or a Bogus Basin spokesperson ... and then--Presto!--a couple of days later, that same face is the police spokesperson or the Bogus Basin spokesperson.

I'm being straight up with you. That's what I want--to be a spokesperson. To follow in the footsteps of titans like Gretchen Anderson, Lynn Hightower, Rick Wright, Eric Exline, Dan Hollar, that smily woman from Channel 2 and that smily woman from Channel 2's husband. My ultimate dream is to be the spokesperson for the American Association of Municipal Agency Spokespersons, but I suppose I could start somewhere around the Nampa-Meridian Irrigation District level and work my way up.

So there's the deal: I'll come and get you through your anchorperson crisis, but as soon as a spokesperson gig comes up, you write me up a glowing recommendation. Deal? And once I'm a spokesperson, you folks at KGAG will be the first to know when I have something to say.

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