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. http://larry%20bonko,%20The%20Pilot,%20Norfolk. 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. http://larry%20bonko,%20The%20Pilot,%20Norfolk. 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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