Though this may seem at first to be of little importance to anyone who doesn’t live or has lived in Chicago, there is a larger issue here worth addressing.
For those in Chicago, the name Robin Robinson will be an all-too familiar one. Suffice it to say that she could be called a genuine TV legend.
For the past 26 years since 1987 she has been the anchor for the Fox network's local Chicago station (WFLD Fox 32) nightly newscast, and her career goes back even longer than that, starting out as a reporter and weekend news anchor for the CBS owned Chicago station WBBM TV for a couple of years, before moving on to Fox.
She has co-anchored the Fox newscast with six male co-anchors who have come and gone over the years, but Robinson was the one true constant; and considering she’s been anchoring and reporting news events for almost 30 years, that’s quite a remarkable achievement. There are very few people working today who can claim a career such as hers.
However it’s been revealed that it will all come to an end soon.
Veteran Chicago media reporter Robert Feder reported today that Fox will soon force Robinson out of her anchor chair, most likely after the November ratings sweeps, and will severely reduce her on-air appearances on the news to a once or twice week “special report."
That is if she accepts it.
She could very possibly refuse her new limited position, and move on to other pastures. Considering that she’s been a daily fixture on TV all these years, I’m hard-pressed to believe that she would go along with such a new arrangement, and will instead say adios to Fox.
But, Robinson’s situation is quite similar to what happened last year to Sue Simmons, another veteran African American female news anchor who had been a daily presence on the NBC owned New York station WNBC for 32 years, before she was given the boot by the station, the spring of 2012
Of course television is, as I’ve called it before a cutthroat, take-no-prisoners world, and the very nature of television and how we watch, and increasingly not, is changing. Robinson, as no doubt was Simmons, are well aware of this fact, and that no matter how successful or how long you work for any network, you are always subject to the particular, and most of the time, nonsensical decisions of station managers and TV execs, who can decide on a whim that you’re not needed anymore.
This is especially cruel considering that there are very few high profile African American women who appear on a regular basis on local Chicago TV. In fact, when I think about it now, Robinson is the only black female anchor currently on Chicago TV. I can’t say what the situation is in New York, Los Angeles or other major cities, but I assume it might be only just slightly better.
Still Robinson is being treated shabbily by her network, and it goes without saying that that, despite all her hard work and all the years she’s devoted to the station, she deserves a hell of a lot better than this.