Susan Kidd Is Latest Channel 4 Victim of NBC's Downsizing

By John Maynard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"NBC 2.0" has resulted in another departure from WRC.

Anchor Susan Kidd, who's been with the NBC-owned station since 1983 and has anchored its 5 p.m. newscast for the past 18 years, will leave at the end of the year, according to WRC (Channel 4).

The channel's parent company, NBC Universal, is carrying out a restructuring plan, dubbed "NBC 2.0," that involves cutting 700 jobs nationally and trimming $750 million from its budget.

"I've been kicked to the curb," Kidd, 56, wrote in a lengthy memo e-mailed yesterday to her colleagues. In the memo, she referred to her dismissal as being "2.0'd."

Kidd's departure comes less than a week after longtime sports anchor George Michael announced he was leaving the station in the wake of cuts to his sports staff. Reporter I.J. Hudson, a 21-year veteran, is also being let go at the end of the year.

A Channel 4 spokesman said yesterday that no replacement has been named for Kidd. Vickie Burns, the station's vice president for news, did not return a phone call to her office. But in a statement, Burns said of Kidd: "She is a respected member of the Washington community and has been a tremendous role model for countless people over the years. We wish her the very best."

The 5 p.m. newscast, anchored by Kidd and Wendy Rieger, has consistently been the top-rated newscast in that hour.

Kidd said by phone yesterday that she does not have her next career move planned, noting, "All this is too new."

She added that being let go "was not totally unexpected, but it's still a punch in the gut. It's clear that they're concerned about attracting younger viewers . . . so old heads are on the block."

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