Kathy Orr, a popular, Philadelphia CBS evening meteorologist, has been let go in a station shakeup that also replaced a news anchor and a sports reporter. Her summer Thursday broadcasts from the Jersey Shore, called “Orr At the Shore,” were a feature for twelve years. “Orr at the Shore” was often located on the Ocean City boardwalk.
Orr, about 49 (sounds suspiciously like Jack Benny’s permanent age of 39), projects an image of a very sharp, very classy lady (but high maintenance), always tastefully dressed, almost the opposite of the typical weather girls. If she said it was going to rain, I knew it would rain at her command alone. I don’t care what her age is.
The photo above is one I took in June of 2013 when we were on the boardwalk one evening for our mini-reunion. She was promoting a charity. I had walked right past her when Jerry Jerome pointed her out. I swung around with my camera, clicked, and got this lucky shot through the crowd. I don’t think she could look bad in any photo. (Okay, a little heavy on the makeup and fake eyelashes, but she is a TV personality and has to meet her fans’ expectations. And at 49, looking that good takes work.)
The bloodbath at the TV station and the bloodbath at the Phillies are similar. Both have new managers who need to demonstrate their worth and establish their legacy. The manager has to think of what is best not for this season and not even for the next season, but of five years in the future. Do you want to have the same players with high salaries but five years older? Youth is important in both areas, and that is why you see so many almost-teenagers reporting the weather and traffic, and pitching and fielding baseballs. Five years from now they will still be cheap and just the right age, and everybody will be calling the manager a genius for his foresight in putting it together.
Orr could do well at another TV station who is trying to build viewership. She would probably have to take a salary cut and a shorter contract, but that’s life in a society where youth rules. Maybe by then maturity and judgement will be better appreciated. Look at Judy Woodruff who was crowned Young Miss Augusta in 1963 and started out as a news anchor at the local CBS station there. Once valued for her pretty face, she matured into a respected, knowledgeable interviewer. (And, unfortunately remembers too well how good she once looked with bare arms.)
(Note, 10/15/2016: Kathy Orr was quickly scooped up by Philadelphia’s Fox 29 News (WXTF), where, over a year later, she is now a solid member of the news team—and appears much happier. She fits in well with the other newscasters.)