Thursday, September 15, 2005

Valliere makes a world of difference

It was dark and bleak outside as I took out the trash this morning, but a quick switch to KSNF brought a considerable amount of sunshine.
The KSN morning program is watchable once more and Lucas McDonald must be breathing a sigh of relief. McDonald has steadfastly maintained his professionalism on a program which has been almost impossible to watch otherwise over the past couple of years.
Now thanks to a switch in his co-anchor, the program is much improved. Toni Valliere reads the news professionally...the first time we have seen that on the KSN morning program in quite some time and actually has the viewer rooting for her to succeed.
This morning's horrendous interview with a group of youth rodeo children provides a perfect example of how much the program is changed. Ms. Valliere worked and worked to get the kids to say anything, with only partial success. If her predecessor had conducted the same interview, I would have been inclined to scream at the TV set, "What's the matter with you? Can't you conduct a simple interview?" And that's despite the fact that I know from experience just how difficult it is to get good quotes from children (or anyone else for that matter).
That's not how I felt watching Ms. Valliere in action. I was ready to lead the cry for capital punishment for youth rodeo members (not really, please don't start sending the angry e-mails).
Why the change? It's not because Ms. Valliere has a pleasant on-screen personality (though that has been a welcome change), it's because you know darned well, she is putting everything she has into the job. Anyone who has seen her work on the weekend broadcasts and seen what she has done on her weekday contributions knows she has put in her dues and earned a shot at the position. So we are already rooting for her to succeed and when she runs into a roadblock like she did this morning, we are on her side.
For the first time in a long time, discerning viewers have a choice in the morning and hopefully, with Ms. Valliere as his co-anchor, viewers will finally get an opportunity to see just how solid a job Lucas McDonald has been doing.

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