Best Local TV News Show (2001)
CBS 11 (KTVT-TV Channel 11)
If Ed Bark at The Dallas Morning News were ever again allowed to write about local TV news, we get a strong sense that he would disagree mightily with this pick. Not because Bark is a shill for Belo--in fact, we believe it's his record of objectivity that so bothers the higher-ups at the Belo Death Star (we're looking at you, Jack Sander). After all, synergy is a team sport; can't have one Belo property objectively reviewing another, can we? No, we think Bark would object because he's a bit of a ratings hound. He enjoys--or used to, when he was allowed to cover his beat--the racehorse aspects of a ratings race...as we all do, to a point. But we think ratings reflect only someone's comfort level (they watch a station because they've always watched that station) or titillation-inspired interest (hello, Channel 5) in a news broadcast. But our fave broadcast right now is low-rated Channel 11's. The anchors--Tracy Rowlett, Karen Borta, Rene Syler--are engaging. Two of them are even really nice to look at. We're a fan of Babe Laufenberg on sports, and the news team is solid: Ginger Allen, Angela Hale, Mary Stewart, Michael Hill. There are a few better reporters at other stations, like Brett Shipp and Valeri Williams, and we're still big fans of Channel 4 workhorse Shaun Rabb. But for the whole package, we'll take Channel 11--even if, according to the ratings, you won't.