Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Is Dana Tyler Being Ousted from NY’s Channel 2 WCBS Over Her Age? It Sure Looks Like It, and It Stinks


Cool people don’t watch the local news in New York. At 5, 6, or 11pm they’re out doing something. If you went to a movie or Broadway premiere, and took a poll, many people would think Bill Beutel is still on Eyewitness News.

But I’ve enjoyed watching Dana Tyler anchor the Channel 2 News for years. She’s a real journalist who’s worked her way up, starting 34 years ago. She’s also the longest running reporter currently on WCBS TV. She just turned 65, looks more like 45, and could go another ten years.

But a couple of weeks ago, Channel 2 announced Tyler — with at least half a dozen Emmy Awards and many more nominations and other accolades — was “stepping away” from her anchoring duties, along with her on air partner Dick Brennan. They made it seem like it was her choice. Come on! Is she going home to water plants?

No, it’s clearly a case of ageism. WCBS is replacing her and Brennan — who’s 55 and is also a seasoned top notch journalist — with two presumably hotter people, Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson. They’re very nice, and will surely do a good job, but they’re not Dana Tyler.

I haven’t seen much outrage about all this because, let’s face it, local TV news isn’t a sexy media story. I thought of it when I saw Sue Simmons participating in the Channel 4 tribute to Chuck Scarborough. Sue was cut from WNBC in 2012, when she was in her late 60s, too. Chuck just kept on going, no questions axed.

Sound familiar?

I guess there won’t be a swelling tide of lit torches and protests on West 57th St. But I sure hope Dana Tyler has another chapter. She’s too good not to keep seeing on our sets for years to come.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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