ABC made a good decision

ABC ended months of speculation today when the network named Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas as co-anchors of World News Tonight. (Is it Elizabeth and Bob or Bob and Elizabeth?) They also announced separate — and one hopes updated — versions for Central and West Coast time zones, a very smart move.

I know Bob Woodruff. He worked for me at WRIC-TV in Richmond in 1993 (UPDATE: It might have been 1994.) and was the inspiration for one of my most memorable spontaneous moments. We hired him away from the competition, where he worked as an $18k-a-year reporter, to be our morning anchor. His former station invoked a non-compete, which stated that he couldn’t work for a competitor doing the same job.

“Mr. Heaton,” the attorney asked, “please explain to the court the difference between a reporter and an anchor.”

I replied, “In a courtroom, every judge is an attorney, but not every attorney is a judge. It’s that way with anchors and reporters in a newsroom.” I thought it was brilliant. The judge ruled against Bob, however.

I can tell you this, Bob Woodruff has one of the purest souls on the planet, a truly wonderful human being. He personifies the term “family man,” and is way smarter than most probably think. He gave up a lucrative legal practice to take that $18k-a-year job, because he felt inspired to change professions. As a corporate attorney in San Francisco who spoke Mandarin, he was working in China when Tiananmen Square went down. CBS hired him as a translator, and he got the bug to be a reporter.

I’s a good move for ABC, and I’m very proud of and for Bob.

(And Elizabeth,)

Comments

  1. larry bonko, The Pilot, Norfolk. says:

    hi, nice to hear good words for bob woorfuff. I remember when he worked in richmond. do you hire hin as an anchor or reporter, and did he indeed leave a 6-figure salary in SF? Tnx. Larry Bonko, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk.

  2. larry bonko, The Pilot, Norfolk. says:

    hi, nice to hear good words for bob woorfuff. I remember when he worked in richmond. do you hire hin as an anchor or reporter, and did he indeed leave a 6-figure salary in SF? Tnx. Larry Bonko, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk.

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