Who would your ideal local news team consist of?

So I would never call my wakeup routine “culture,” but I thought that the whole “waking up” process was worth looking at. I mean, I don’t know what most people’s routine is. For my partner Daniel, it involves sleeping through twelve alarm clock notices and being a bit difficult to all of those around him. However, for me, it’s pretty easy. Charlee (our little dog) wakes me up at about 6:15 or so, and I let her out and then feed her. That, of course, brings up the local element of my morning.

When I first moved back to Northwest Arkansas in 2006, I had a very important choice to make: which local morning show would get my vote. I moved around a bit to try to find the best fit, but in the end, it was my national television news obsession that dictated my local decision “The Today Show.” It is true that I have been drinking the Today Show Kool-Aid since the days of Bryant and Katie. However, I now have a flat out love affair with Matt, Meredith, Al, and especially Anne. I think the effortlessness that they display in doing their job is pretty fantastic. I recently watched Anne Curry tear John McCain up with the same quiet effort that my dog uses when dismembering a Greenie dog chew. Don’t even get me raving on the sly way that Meredith Vieira can go from skiing in Vancover to taking down a former vice-presidential candidate. I can only hypnotize that her time on that crazy staple “The View” prepared her for this.

However, I wasn’t as quick to love its local sister show “KNWA Today.” The first major problem with KNWA was the recently replaced Kelly George. Her voice alone made me want to drive nails through my forehead. I had that condition where I had to watch “KNWA Today” with the same eyes that can’t look away from a car wreck. However, Ms. George left last year and was replaced with Layne Baker. Some people might have been slow to warm to Ms. Baker but I was loving her from the start. She has the ability to both appear creditable and sarcastic when quietly rolling her eyes at her co-host.

Now I can’t say that I am on the Tom Yazwinski train yet. I admire his workmanship and eagerness, but I grow tired of all the joking around and game playing. His new obsession of playing little games on Monday mornings is annoying and green. However, I can’t be too hard on him. He does appear to try hard and actually makes me calm down and stop cringing during his interviews with FAC’s Mica Mitchell and that Eureka Springs big cat lady. I suppose his is a good ying to Layne’s yang. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing his replaced by JR Davis who has a very public following with the gay men and single ladies. Note to KNWA: This would increase viewership.

Jason and his weather are fine and I appreciate his eager attempts at making our weather interesting. So this brings up an interesting question that I would like to pose: What local news are you waking up to, and why? Do you let your favorite national news show dictate your local choice or do you stray to a particular anchor or format? Furthermore, when looking at evening news, why do you choose the station you do? Is it because of its national news correspondent (yes, Brian Williams) or is it based on a particular news caster (hello, Garrett Lewis)? Is it because of a local channel’s tabloid -style (yes, FOX) or are you sleeping with a local anchor (Houston, we have a problem)? What dictates your local news choice? What do you love and what do you hate? Who would your ideal local news team consist of? I’m thinking mine would be JR, Layne, and Garrett. I’d even tolerate Aaron Peters and his eyebrows. How about you?


Wayne Bell is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. He moved to Fayetteville in 2003 for his Masters Degree and you can almost always catch him at Little Bread Co. or Hammontree’s. For more of Wayne’s contributions, visit his author page.