A strong circumstantial case for age discrimination and sex discrimination could be brought against the local TV stations for the way in which they treat their 5, 6 and 10 p.m. anchors.
For some reason, we go through a series of young women, one after another after another serving as anchors beside men who have been there for years.
This is not to say anything about the quality of the work done by Jim Jackson at Channel 16 or Dowe Quick at Channel 7. For years, Jackson was the only saving grace of KSNF, which now appears to be the closest to having someone beside the lead anchor who might be staying around for awhile in Tiffany Alaniz.
But there must be a good reason while these male anchors are staying around so long. I would guess they are paid well (and deservedly so), but why do we continue to see these pairing of middle-aged men with girls in their 20s?
Part of it I'm sure is this notion that you can attract more people to a newscast with a pretty young woman. Local news across the U. S. seems to have come to that conclusion.
In the meantime, we continue to have to get used to one new face after another.
The most recent defection was Channel 12's Malorie Maddox. I remember when she was doing KODE's morning show and the Diamond Middle School Student Council went on to promote its project to collect books for the new middle school library. She was very kind to us and thoroughly professional.
Ms. Maddox is now working at WOWT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Omaha, Neb.
Former Channel 12 anchor Amy Anderson, whose time in Joplin was marred by sexual harassment from her co-anchor, according to a Joplin Globe story, went from Joplin to WFTV in Orlando, Fla., where she was right in the middle of the coverage of the controversial 2000 election. She recently returned to Missouri as a general assignment reporter for KCTV5 in Kansas City.
Another former Channel 12 anchor, Tracy Turner, recently returned from a television stint in the Pacific Northwest to join the news team at KSPR-TV, Channel 33 in Springfield. The news director there is former KODE Sports anchor and news director Erik Schrader.
Ms. Turner did an extremely professional job in a story on Cait Purinton, when the Lamar High School graduate was making a name for herself as an award-winning teenage investigative reporter.
Yet another Channel 12 anchor, Heather Turco, went on to bigger and better things. Ms. Turco anchors the 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. news at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., TV station, where she also has a regular Healthbeat segment.
Sheradee Hurst, who recently left the morning show at Channel 16, has been a general assignment reporter at KJRH in Tulsa, Okla., since June.
It is nice to know that these young women have gone on to success in television in larger markets, but it seems a bit discriminatory that the local TV stations appear to be ready to pay good money to get male anchors, but not to either get experienced female anchors or to hold on to promising young female anchors until they become experienced professionals.