New Jack City: TV Anchor’s Weighty Dilemma

Heard the one about the plus sized news anchor in Wisconsin?

Her’s the deal. Jennifer Livingston of WKBT-TV in LaCrosse received a private communique from a viewer criticizing her for her weighty look on TV. A message that her husband, who also anchors at the station, promptly posted on Facebook.

Ms. Livingston in turn addressed—or confronted — the situation publicly on WKBT’s air and compared the incident to America’s growing problem of bullying.


Well, I too have an opinion on the matter.

I’m sure a lot of you will probably disagree finding it to be totally incorrect.

First let’s agree that commercial television these days—almost any show, even news— falls into the category of infotainment or advertainment. So let’s not split hairs.

And every station wants a leg up on the competition because the higher the ratings, the more they can charge for ad spots. That’s what it’s really all about.

So like it or not, but when a face at the station changes for the worse (or in this case, the fatter), news directors get nervous. And it doesn’t just have to be in the weight category. The wrong wardrobe, hairstyle, makeup, shrill laughs, poor transitions, can set off alarms in the GM’s office.

Anything that could negatively impact the ratings MATTERS!

So it’s important that any negative occurs after the talent’s initial hire because if a person with a weight problem say is hired, good luck reprimanding them later.

The cleanest way out of sticky situations like those are for management not to renew the individual’s contract.

Think I’m kidding?

That’s why stations pay big bucks to consultants. These guys not only advise about air talent, they do one-on-ones with staffers.

And some of those discussions can be brutal.

They may call for changes in matters of appearance that could include – wait for it – weight loss.

I had a discussion last week with an acquaintance who recently retired from a network affiliated management position in television and a former anchor who dreaded the “demeaning ball busting sessions with those f****** out of town consultants.”

Both spoke on conditions of anonymity.

The ex-manager’s take: “HIRE a  chubby, shame on me. Let her put on the poundage AFTER the hire, shame on her.”

Let’s just say that there’s no business quite like show business.

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17 Responses to New Jack City: TV Anchor’s Weighty Dilemma

  1. Super Dave says:

    Life in broadcasting has sure change from say 20 years ago. Is it better for all concerned?

    It’s all about ratings, rather they tell us anything that really matters is moot long as a majority of the viewers saw it.

    Plus I think too many in media today share way to much of their personal lives to the viewing public. Then turn around and scream bloody murder if someone sneaks a picture of them.

  2. Rick Nichols says:

    Mind if I “weigh in” on this “heavy” matter?
    Memo to out of town consultants:
    I don’t give a rat’s rump if my anchor’s thinner or fatter –
    Just want my TV news served up on a platter
    (Like a hanging curve to a “hungry” batter),
    Long on valuable information and short on chatter.
    As I am particularly turned off by the latter
    And won’t hesitate to “scatter”,
    Quickly turning to a different channel.

  3. the dude says:

    Who cares?

  4. harley says:

    People want to look at good looking people on tv. Not overweight obese people.
    Thats a fact.
    If you’re overweight, it shows a lack of self discipline in your lifestyle.
    Lose the weight…feel better…be healthier .
    I watched kshb news on sunday night and both the women were thin
    but they looked like they just got out of bed….they looked bad…
    who allows that…can’tthey comb their hair….wow.

  5. mike says:

    I thought anchors were supposed to be heavy!

  6. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    If all this is true, how in GOD’S name does Karen “The Sad Clown” Kornacki still have a job? What kind of village idiots does KMBC hire to do their consulting?

  7. Rick Nichols says:

    That was a great one from Mike!

  8. mark smith says:

    Who was the anchor lady that sued hell out of one of the local stations some years back? Hearne? anybody? I think with her , she got fired for being a butter face. Or too old. Anyway as the Guy Who stated, Kornacki could make a freight train take a dirt road she is so ugly. Kathy Quinn is chunky and dresses like a round heeled Indy ave hooker, or harleys mother, same difference. Busby looks like he ate the camera man. Probably did. But I digress, the BBAW, big beautiful anchor woman, is just the latest example of this ongoing bullying trend. She should have just emailed the guy back, told him he had a tiny meat whistle, and went about her day. People in this country, maybe everywhere, love to play the victim. We are devolving into a nation of thin skinned pussies. We can’t wait to be offended and then we turn that offense into a campaign of outrage on facebook or twitter. There was a time when someone offended you , you offended them in return or put something on em that ajax wouldn’t remove. sigh…………

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      These people only have to be good READERS. I would prefer they not look like trolls, but thats about it, from my vantage point. I’d be fine letting this one “read” to me, as long as its the facts and not more flaming left or right wing, one sided crap, like most our news outlets provide.

      BTW, very funny, Mark.

  9. Hot Carl says:

    I see fat, gross people all day long. I have no problem with local news stations not putting them on the airwaves.

  10. Rick Nichols says:

    The answer to Mark’s question is Christine Kraft. Not sure if her first name is spelled right by me, but it’s close enough for government work, as they say.

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