With all the talk of the actual stations leaving the CBS fold, it was a little unclear to me what was going to happen to CBS Radio News.
Long distributed by Westwood One I worried that without the all-news stations under the same corporate umbrella, they would lose carriage of the still very very good newscasts (see: ABC News & its former radio stations). Or, would the Radio anchors and reporters spin off with the new company, with a content agreement in place to use TV's resources when necessary?
I started to get a little worried when Harvey Nagler announced his retirement a few weeks ago. But I chalked it up to someone nearly the end of their career that just doesn't have the will or energy to drive the organization through the next transition (I've witnessed numerous people do that over the years, at companies I've worked at, when we've gone through M&A activities).
Looks like the other shoe dropped last week.
Exec Producer Charlie Kaye
Washington National Correspondent Barry Bagnato
Evening Anchor Bill Whitney
Afternoon Anchor Harley Carnes
Washington Bureau Chief Howard Arenstein
All took a retirement buyout.
All of these guys are in their 60s; a couple of them may be at or already past 65. They're all long time veterans. I'm going to miss them.
But I have some mixed feelings. If CBS actually brings in some newer, younger talent (at lower salaries, sure), I'd be hopeful for the product. Eventually, the old guys have to retire and make room for those trying to climb the ladder themselves.
But I'm afraid we're going to see another dilution of a what was a great radio news product, much like we've seen at ABC. Fox News Radio is the only one whose news product is growing, and they sound really good with quite a bit of experienced, but younger talent.
Today, Dave Barrett anchored afternoons, and the World News Round-Up Late Edition (the same schedule Bill Whitney worked until about 2006). White House Correspondent Pam Coulter had Harley Carnes' Sunday night spot over the weekend, and was doing the evening newscasts tonight.
Bill Whitney says goodbye, on 12/1, at the very end of the Late Edition:
Howard Arenstein says goodbye, at the end of the Weekend Roundup.