While schnarfing stir-fry and trying to keep up with the world on my lunch break, I just came across this AP story about the retirement of Charles Gibson from the ABC evening anchor desk.
In January, Gibson will be replaced by the estimable Diane Sawyer, who will be leaving ABC’s morning show, Good Morning America. That means that two of the The Big Three networks will be anchored by women; Katie Couric took over the CBS Evening News desk from Bob Schieffer in 2006 (to serious–and seriously ridiculous–hoopla).
While I’m pleased as punch that anchoring a news desk is no longer seen as the sole provenance of men, a little part of me is skeptical. I wonder if this is indicative of the tide turning, or if women are just being tossed a few crumbs. Are women being “allowed” to anchor because the advent of the Internet means that the attention to traditional news broadcasts has waned? Or is the prevalence of (usually white, slim, blonde, pretty) women anchors/newsreaders on cable channels prompting network TV to “up their game,” so to speak, and bring the eye-candy for male viewers? Is the anchor desk turning into a new pink-collar ghetto?
We’ve got a few more months of “In what respect, Charlie?” Gibson left, but I’ll anxiously be awaiting to see how Sawyer is received by both the media and the public.
I wonder if Brian Williams is watching his back…