Anchor away at KSBY-TV

November 15, 2009

Veteran KSBY news anchor-reporter Shari Small is apparently out of a job after station management decided not to renew her contract.

Sources say Small will be replaced in January by Central Coast native and Cal Poly graduate Jeanette Trompeter, who recently lost her news anchor position in Minneapolis. Trompeter was a high-profile reporter for KSBY during the mid-90’s before moving on to broadcasting gigs in both Des Moines and Minneapolis. She will co-anchor at KSBY with Tony Cipolla.

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Nothing against Shari Small. She’s been a very qualified reporter for KSBY. What I notice about Jeanette Trompeter is that she brings with her large-market experience in hard news reporting and producing in addition to an engaging personality and hometown roots. A half-dozen news Emmys, (including the Edward R. Murrow Award) doesn’t hurt, either. The chemistry with Tony Cipolla will likely be a good one.

Sympathies to Shari Small, but she was not the brightest star in that already vanishingly dim galaxy. To be let go from the news-at-dawn slot at a small local station like KSBY is to lose one’s grip on the very outer edge of the Vast Wasteland. Her only recourse now is to join the action news team at CalCoastNews, the Tribune or Plus Magazine — all outlets where mastery of English is not a prerequisite. Or maybe she and Rick Martel can sing duets at the Madonna Inn.

I understand the Japanese are way ahead of us: they’re starting to replace their local newsreaders with CGI-rendered digital manga puppets.

I guess it’s not a Small world, after all . . . .

Too bad. Shari Small was one of the hardest working, gracious, and ethical reporters out there. When Jeanette first showed up, my husband and I both went ‘Oh-oh’, because we could see the road ahead for poor Shari. We like everything about Shari and her performance. The only reason we can see this change is because one woman is younger, less experienced, and so far, less paid than the other. Sure, Jeanette will do OK, but they were many things Shari brought to the table; candor, thoughtfulness, reliability, responsibility. KSBY has made a serious miscalculation if they don’t think this has gone unnoticed. Good luck Shari.