Naked City

Doing the TV Anchor Dance

As expected, Fox affiliate KTBC-TV has responded to sluggish ratings by saying adios to veteran anchors Dick Ellis and Carrie Schumacher in order to make room for two fast-track news readers, Mike Warren and Linda Stratton. Station general manager Danny Baker would only say Ellis and Schumacher were "offered contracts but they didn't accept." In the lingo of TV news, that usually means they were welcome to stay, as long as they didn't mind taking lesser jobs and a cut in pay. Ellis, who's been on Austin TV for 34 years – since he was a 20-year-old UT student – told reporters last week he has no current plans to stay in the business.

Replacements Warren and Stratton launched their foray into the increasingly combative local news game on Monday. Warren is fresh from the mean streets of Phoenix, where he was known for co-anchoring a failed attempt at a lighter, feature-oriented newscast called the NewShow. Stratton's journey through the TV news minor leagues includes stops in San Angelo, Odessa, Spokane, and Las Vegas. According to her bio, she's been singing her whole life and "used to play piano," which helps her "definitely appreciate the variety of music here." Baker said he likes Warren and Stratton's "energy, their personalities and overall likeability."

Meanwhile, CBS affiliate KEYE-TV has officially launched its new weekend morning news, going forth to do battle with established weekend morning shows on KVUE and KXAN. KEYE is attempting to grab the attention of groggy Austinites with auto news, special reports, and other segments designed "to differentiate us from the competition," said news director Tim Gardner. "We've built the show and put the team together to build a better mousetrap."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

KTBC, Fox, Dick Ellis, Carrie Schumacher, Mike Warren, Linda Stratton, Danny Baker, KTBC, Tim Gardner

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