WTVM Editorial 12-24-19: Chuck Leonard retires

WTVM Editorial 12-24-19: Chuck Leonard retires

(WTVM) - Chuck Leonard’s retirement from WTVM happened last week after a broadcasting career of over 40 years, 38 of those years at WTVM.

Chuck’s TV career was a distinguished one, starting in Columbus here at WTVM in 1987. He hosted a noontime show and a high school quiz show called Head to Head before doing the weather in the mornings, then moving to news reporting and anchoring.

Local broadcasting has always demanded versatility. Back then, reporters and anchors like Chuck often produced their own newscasts.

He used typewriters to write his stories, transitioning to computers in the ’90s. Chuck used big, clunky videotape cassettes back then. Now, video is recorded on graphic cards the size of a thumbnail or even just straight to a server. There are no more actual videotapes. Now, the local news business once again demands versatility, thanks to technology that allows us to go live from virtually anywhere, with or without our live truck.

Chuck saw the advent of live newsgathering, using microwave signals sent through antennas mounted on big trucks to transmit the story live back to the station.

Now, we use small backpacks to accomplish the same task, using wireless technology. We even have TV field cameras with built-in wireless capabilities – allowing a reporter to go live just by using the camera alone - truly amazing.

Chuck’s career began during a time of expansion in local news that has continued to this day. Chuck has seen the changeover from analog to digital television, the addition of digital news on special apps, the use of social media to both gather and share news and of course the rise of cable news. Of course, no cable newscast can tell you what Chuck could, which is: what is happening here, right now, where we live.

That is the value of local news and the value of news anchors like Chuck Leonard. So, while trust in the mainstream media is at a low point, trust in local news remains high but we know we need to keep working hard to maintain your confidence. Anchors like Chuck Leonard are a big part of that trust. You know him and he knows you. He’s more than a familiar face, he is a trusted voice in the community.

We appreciate everything Chuck has done for WTVM for nearly four decades.

We all hope Chuck’s retirement is as fulfilling as his long and storied career.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings an editorial a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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