It's been close to a year since Chesapeake Energy tossed its Shale.tv start-up down an deep, dark shaft -- and, along with it, former KTVT-Channel 11 anchor Tracy Rowlett, who left the CBS affiliate in the summer of '08 to work for the online news service that wasn't. On Monday, Ed Bark checked in with Rowlett, who's now teaching broadcast journalism at SMU and "spending much of his free time with wife Jill and their autistic son, Michael," writes Uncle Barky. Rowlett tells Ed why he thinks Shale.tv really cratered, and what he thinks of the state of local TV news ... or, rather, what's left of it.
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"If someone actually tried to do good, hard investigative reporting and put on a decent, informative newscast, I think it would still work. But whether the managers running those stations would have the guts to do that is very, very doubtful ... I don't mean to sound as negative as all that. I certainly think that television news should have an important role to play in all of our lives. But it's not playing that role now, and I'm not sure it ever will again."