News-3 sacrifices asset by dismissing Choi

Class got a kick in the … rump. And a TV market takes a boot in the butt.

Blunt imagery clashes with the elegance of Sophia Choi, yet matches the fate she was handed last week when Channel 3 canned the 4 and 6 p.m. co-anchor, tossing away one of its best assets. (Jeff Gillan and Jim Snyder, respectively, solo-anchor those newscasts for now.)

Word is Choi did absolutely zilch to trigger the firing that was part of Channel 3’s future “plan,” though an insider describes co-workers as “confused and disappointed.” Count this critic among them. News-3 GM Lisa Howfield says the station does not comment on personnel decisions, but an out-of-the-blue beheading certainly leaves staffers on edge.

Cut loose with about six months remaining on her contract, Choi also will be bound by a “noncompete” clause after it expires, barring her from joining any competing station in Las Vegas for another year.

Earlier this week, in a conversation posted on the R-J’s Vegas Voice blog, Choi — an ex-CNN Headline news anchor who also worked at KCBS in Los Angeles and joined News-3 in 2007 — spoke to me about the dismissal that “stunned” her. Among the highlights:

■ “I started getting a sense they were not going to renew because they started taking my promos off the air. Typically during a sweeps period, with ‘Crime Tracker 3’ being their strongest franchise, they would have me do more pieces, but the last couple of ratings periods they didn’t let me.”

■ “Producers say, ‘You’re the hardest-working anchor we know.’ I never got bad reviews. It’s odd because I’m nominated for two Emmys right now for ‘Crime Tracker 3.’ “

■ “So many people have lost their jobs that I can’t feel too sorry for myself.”

■ “My agent is talking to some network people and larger markets, but if another station here wants me, I’d definitely consider that. I love Las Vegas. I really felt I connected with viewers.”

Station “plans” may succeed spectacularly, but from today’s vantage point, we respectfully ask News-3: Are you nuts?

Poised, dignified and journalistically solid, Choi embodied the better angels of this market. Few anchors so refreshingly contradicted the grating, self-important caricature of TV talking heads with a delivery and demeanor that rendered the day’s depressing headlines less frightening, subsequently leaving viewers less anxious.

Even inane anchor chatter between segments sounded almost sophisticated when Choi bantered with Snyder and Gillan. Such qualities are rare and to be valued, not discarded.

Was that, indeed, the issue? Sadly, Choi’s approach is counterintuitive to TV’s scare-tactic style. Combined with similarly inclined Kendall Tenney’s departure, one hopes this doesn’t indicate News-3 is heading down the melodramatic path stomped through by Channel 13’s drama queens. Speaking of which …

Though they’re separate decisions by separate stations, one wonders what to make of a market where journalistic sinner Nina Radetich remains on-air, while Sophia Choi is booted off.

Given contract stipulations preventing her from re-emerging on another local station for 18 months, we’ve likely seen the last of Sophia Choi on Las Vegas airwaves.

And this TV market should be rubbing that throbbing ache in the … rump.

Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at sbornfeld@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0256.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Famous Infinity Mirror Room is open in Las Vegas
Yayoi Kusama's "Aftermath of Obliteration of Infinity" mirror room is open at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Glittering Lights dazzles Las Vegas
The Glittering Lights holiday display is shining at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like