The Future of Anchoring? I Hope Not…

Capital New York’s Joe Pompeo writes about Alicia Menendez and Abby Huntsman on HuffPost Live but there is a cable news tie in here. Not a good one though…

Huntsman and Menendez were among some 300 candidates to try out for HuffPost Live out of a pool of more than 600 applicants, said Josanne Lopez, executive producer of HuffPost Live and a veteran TV-news talent scout who, in her previous job at CNN, had been lobbying the network to pick up Menendez and other fresh young things. (She was in Will Cain’s corner, too, lucky for him.)

In the end, Huntsman and Menendez were among the top 10 applicants who nailed it.

“The things that immediately impressed me about Alicia were her intelligence, her interest in a range of topics and her humor,” said Lopez. “That was the clincher.”

As for Huntsman, whose name was originally floated by Arianna Huffington, “I was just struck by her magnetic personality,” said Lopez. “She exudes warmth. She may not have the technical skills of a typical anchor, but she has the ability to get a conversation going.”

GIVEN THEIR INCREASING VISIBILITY AS COMMENTATORS on cable news and the experience they’re gaining as hosts on HuffPost Live, where they also produce segments behind the scenes, it wouldn’t strain credulity to picture Huntsman or Menendez sitting in an anchor’s chair at MSNBC or CNN or some other “real” TV operation down the road.

It might not strain credibility on MSNBC, mainly because MSNBC’s news anchor credibility is in tatters after the network veered away hard from straight news to opinion/analysis for most of its traditional news hours, but it sure as hell would strain credibility at CNN where such maneuvering has not yet occurred and there still is a pretty substantial firewall that exists there between the two.

The whole concept makes me want to vomit though. The idea that you can pluck someone off the street and make them a news anchor is straight out of Broadcast News. TV News, especially cable news, needs more internal vigilance to adhere to basic news journalism standards, not less.

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3 Responses to “The Future of Anchoring? I Hope Not…”

  1. I’m surprised MSNBC hasn’t made any real moves to get Abby Huntsman, Alicia Menendez or any of the other HuffPo people signed to their network.

  2. Huntsman and Menendez are regulars on Politics Nation (MSNBC’s resident Babe Show, btw. I have no idea why no one ever mentions this). I’m surprised Griffin never bothered to hire them as contributors.

  3. Abby is a good looking lady, someone at the networks should try to recruit her!

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