Queen of talk says goodbye

May 25, 2011 2:11:48 PM PDT
Not sure how many letters we get from prisoners, claiming they're innocent, insisting that they shouldn't be locked up. The truth is, many prisoners make that claim. Most are guilty.

But the other, more unfortunate and troubling truth is that some are not guilty. We know that from the many cases we've uncovered and covered over the years men (and they're nearly always men) who have been convicted and locked up and who didn't do it.

The majority, and this is another hard truth are almost always ethnic minorities, mostly African Americans. And when justice is finally done, there is a joy for them and for their families. But justice can never make up for the prime-time years that have been lost. They know that. And so does everyone else.

Tonight at 11 we are waiting for the release of Oswind David. He's in Sing Sing up in Ossining, convicted of assault even though the charges against him were dismissed ? DISMISSED! ? six months before his jury trial began in 2006. He was sentenced to 23 years behind bars.

Now the Brooklyn D.A. admitting he bungled the case. And we are awaiting Mr. David's release and reunion with his family. If it happens tonight, you'll see it on Eyewitness News at 11.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest on the tornado outbreak in the Midwest and the South. Upwards of 1,000 people have been killed this year from twisters. The folks in Joplin, Missouri, especially, will spend months ? make that years cleaning up and rebuilding.

And a fascinating story tonight from our Michelle Charlesworth about what your skin and nails might be telling you about what's happening inside your body.

Things you might ignore could actually be warning signs of more serious medical problems. Michelle's story is a must-see at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg with his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

And finally, a note about a big change at Eyewitness News starting tomorrow. For the first time in 25 years, our 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts will not have The Oprah Winfrey Show as their lead in. Winfrey, the absolute Queen of daytime talk, is off to appear on her own cable TV network. For the stations that carried her show most of them ABC stations a post-Oprah world is a big unknown. 25 years is a long time for one program to be the lead in to the local news.

How to fill that time? We've decided to start our news block earlier. An hour earlier. We believe the appetite for local news is strong. We believe that people want to know about what's happening in their neighborhood and in the rest of the country and the world. And we believe interesting and smart stories about issues and people and things that affect your life will always be well received.

Tomorrow we launch Eyewitness News First at 4. It will be anchored by Liz Cho, David Novarro and Lee Goldberg, but it's a station-wide effort. We've been rehearsing the show, in real-time, for the past 10 days. It's exciting to start a new show, and we're excited to launch it tomorrow.

The new show means that Liz, whom I've co-anchored with for the past 8 years, will still partner with me at 6 p.m., but will exchange the 11 p.m. newscast for the 4 p.m. show.

Liz has helped turn our 11 p.m. news show into a must-see, number one program. Fortunately, her replacement is no stranger to our viewers. Sade Baderinwa is one reason our 5 p.m. newscast is so successful. She's been Liz's primary fill-in for the past 7-plus years, and Sade and I have worked together closely during that time. We will not miss a beat.

We may be shuffling the chairs a bit, but not our commitment to news. In fact, we're expanding it. What local station adds an hour of news to its daily afternoon programming? In this economic environment, it's rare. But that's what we're doing. We're also building a new studio a studio where you'll be able stand outside and watch us report the news. More on that as it unfolds later this summer.

You have made Eyewitness News, and this station, an important part of your life. We thank you for that, and please know that we take your trust and the responsibility that goes along with being your choice for local TV news quite seriously, and with humility. And we invite you to check out our new First at 4 newscast, beginning tomorrow.


Click here to send a comment.