Does Local TV Anchors’ Diversity Still Matter?

At the end of May, the legendary Jim Vance will step down from the 11 p.m. news on WRC Washington, 43 years after he started. His latenight replacement, Jim Handly, will team with Doreen Gentzler, Vance’s longtime co-pilot. Anchor changes are usually ho-hum affairs, but the Gentzler-Handly pairing is significant because it runs counter to an unspoken, if more or less rigidly observed, commandment in the TV news business, to wit: In a racially mixed region such as Washington, thou shalt have a mixed anchor “team.”