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
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like