Rewriting TV History?
So here's something to think about: Would Channel 5's news ratings be bigger today if Rob Braun was anchor? Would Channel 5 have been in last place since Jerry Springer left 14 years ago, if Braun was there to take over as main anchor? It could have happened.
I've been working on a story about second-generation broadcasters for our Sunday A&E section, before Thom Brennaman does Opening Day with his dad. Among those I interviewed was Rob Braun, son of Bob Braun, the late Channel 5 TV host. Rob told me that he got his first taste of the TV business with his dad's help in 1981, doing a six-month unpaid internship at Channel 5 news. During that time, he was twice offered jobs at Channel 5 -- but corporate nixed it citing a nepotism policy, because his dad was still hosting the "Bob Braun Show" (until 1984). Even after Rob proved himself at Channel 5's sister station in Knoxville, Channel still wouldn't hire him. So he was hired by Channel 12 in November 1984.
Do you suppose the decision-makers have regrets today? Channel 12's 11 p.m. news, with Rob, has been No. 1 for years? How many main anchors has Channel 5 been through since Springer left?
Let's go one step further: Would Channel 5 still be in third place today -- or is it fourth behind "The Simpsons?" -- if the station had kept Clyde Gray, Steve Horstmeyer, Jeff Hirsh, Bill Hemmer, Thom Brennaman, and how many others that you can name? Or where would Channel 9 be today, if Clyde Gray stayed at Channel 5? Or what would Channel 12's news look like without Rob Braun?
What do you think?