3.26.2009

CBS' Randall Pinkston


On Wednesday of last week, anchor Meg Oliver closed out CBS’ “Up to the Minute” with an announcement that, after three years, she was leaving the broadcast.

The next couple of days I got really antsy as the show disappeared from the local affiliate’s lineup. I tuned in for news and got Judge Judy instead.

Since I’m up early in the morning, I have, for some time, watched this comprehensive news broadcast, one of the best on television. When I switched to basic cable a couple of months ago, I became more dependent on it for, as the program says, up-to-the-minute news. The 30 minutes of nothingness offered nightly by the networks doesn’t do it for me.

It’s been pretty tough on low-key political bloggers lately what with the glut of economy reporting and the dearth of any other news of note.

I was thrilled, then, to tune in this week and find “Up to the Minute” and even moreso to find a long-trusted newsman in the anchor seat – CBS’ Randall Pinkston.

***

In the early ‘70s, when Mississippi schools were being integrated – a transitional, even traumatic, time for blacks and whites – WLBT-TV in Jackson hired the state’s first African-American evening news anchor – Willie Pinkston.

Pinkston, a Yazoo County, Miss., native, and graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, soon became the state’s most popular newsman. Not only was Willie Pinkston “cool,” he was a real pro, and bolstered the station’s viewership.

***

To my surprise and delight, I learned some years back that Willie Pinkston of the old WLBT days and Randall Pinkston, one of CBS’ best reporters, are one and the same.

At that time, I left a message on his CBS voice mail. I had something to say to him. Although a call-back wasn’t necessary, this gracious gentleman returned my call. We chatted for a while. I told him a lot of people get credit for positive changes which took place in Mississippi during turbulent days, and I felt he played a very important role in those days. He seemed genuinely touched and told me if I ever needed anything to give him a call. What a nice guy!

***

So, here I am, needing real news, news I can trust, and once more I’m turning to Mr. Pinkston.

Sticking with the “tried-and-true” can be very comforting in times like these.

2 comments:

Papamoka said...

Its funny how we become attached or should I say addicted to certain anchors or formats of a news broadcast. We've seen many of the old timers in the anchor chairs leave the local news in New England and its nice to finally find them again still reporting the news but in a different format.

bbj said...

Morning, BJ ~

Pinkston was behind me at Millsaps, but he's spoken at the college several times in the last few years. I greatly admire him too, and I'm proud he's a Millsaps alum. Thanks for keeping me alerted to your fine comments, m'friend. :)