Last week brought to a close the weathercasting career of Sue Palka at Channel 5 (WTTG), another in the ever-thinning herd of local-media folks whose tenure goes back to the glory days of D.C. TV news.
Count me a fan of Ms. Palka, from the perspective of a viewer; she seemed to bring the right attitude to the post she held.
Those who are newbies to the, cough, “DMV” or are just too young to have been around won’t remember those glory days of 20 and 30 and 40 years ago. Back then, Channels 9 and 4 battled for supremacy; at one point, there was even an effort made by WRC-TV (Channel 4) to create the Mount Rushmore of local news teams by adding Gordon Peterson to its ranks and pairing him with Jim Vance. It never happened (lawsuits kept Gordo tethered to Channel 9 until he moved over to Channel 7 for a spell), and I’m not sure it would have worked out as expected, but it’s an interesting eventuality to contemplate.
Nothing today is quite what it was in the local news biz lo those decades back. Every type of media outlet in the area has suffered; some are just holding on as mere shells of themselves since the money isn’t there anymore now that the media landscape is so fragmented.
Of course, new options have materialized, but for those like me who (as a mere child, I swear!) grew up in that landscape of the 1970s-80s-90s, it’s just not quite the same.