A former producer at a local New York news station has filed an age discrimination suit, claiming the station wanted to replace experienced anchor people with cheaper, younger talent. Notice I said cheaper and younger, because TV executives apparently believe “prettier” people are more appealing to audiences, and younger equals prettier.
Someone needs to tell these geniuses that the reason no one is watching the local news has less to do with who’s delivering it than with how they’re delivering it–and what exactly they’re delivering. As TV advertising revenue has declined and staffs are sliced, diced and chopped all over the place–from writers and camera crews to producers–the medium has lost imagination, not to mention urgency and relevance.
Tired and old are not the same thing. TV news is tired. Even if Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio tag teamed to deliver it, it would still be old.
Think about this: Larry King’s ratings are dropping, not because Larry’s old but because his style and substance are tired. Betty White’s style and substance, on the other hand, never got tired. When someone asked Andy Rooney recently when he’s retiring, he answered, “Ask me when I’m dying.”
Life is about energy, enthusiasm, passion, new ideas and new challenges. Fresh, young faces are irresistible, but without the rest, they start to look tired pretty quickly.
* Grandma Moses