CBS and CNN are discussing a partnership. ABC News downsizes hundreds of workers. CBS’ Atlanta affiliate partners with a local radio station for sports coverage. The technology-induced bad news is piling up on TV now just as it has been doing on newspapers for years.
Amanda Rosseter, a former anchor at Atlanta’s dominant broadcast station, WSB TV, sees part of the reason in her own home. She notes that her daughter can pull up a TV show on her iPad. “There’s so much more competition now,” Rosseter noted in a speech Thursday (5/6/10) at an Atlanta-area church she attended as a youth. “When I started, there were only three channels. Now there are 130 (via cable and satellite). That pulls from your base.”
So television is having to embrace the change, too. I noted to Rosseter that anchors on both broadcast and cable channels are quick to send viewers to their Web sites; she responded that the stations now know how to make money online, and that Web ads are more profitable. (In my video of Atlanta-based consumer advocate Clark Howard, he noted that his Web site makes more money than his entire syndicated radio network.)
Rosseter herself has made a career change recently. After almost two decades in television, the University of Georgia grad left WSB last year and now works in media/public relations at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta. Reasons are twofold: she tired of reporting on “apartment fires and gang shootings” (are you listening, Doug Richards?). But she also has a long background in health-based reporting, and this makes publicizing the faith-based health system a natural fit. “Medicine affects everyone,” she said. (Updated 7/4/2010: Rosseter is joined at Saint Joseph’s by another former WSB-TV personality, reporter Ashley Hayes, per Hayes’ LinkedIn profile.)
Her background is typical of the media industry: she worked at stations in Charlotte, NC; Columbus, GA; Indianapolis; and Boston before coming “home” to Atlanta, first to CNN Headline News (now HLN). She remembers interviewing presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992 in New Hampshire, but she is most proud of the health-related stories that spawned regulatory changes.
In Indianapolis, Rosseter worked on a story involving Ruth Lilly, heiress to the Eli Lilly estate. Her probe of caregiver abuse resulted in caregivers being dismissed. Another story there involving a 7-year-old girl exposed that Indiana had no regulations on who can mix and apply pesticides.
In Boston in 2000, she reported on a college student who contracted bacterial meningitis, was in a coma for weeks and who twice was administered last rites. He recovered, though he had a leg, foot and hand amputated. The man later obtained a Master’s degree. This reporting also revealed that 48 states had no requirements for dealing with the highly contagious disease in colleges.
So like many others in the media field, Rosseter is dealing with change. And her future seems healthy in more ways than one.