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Heidi Godman’s replacement …

Well, I don’t know if she’s replacing Heidi or Monica (in my mind, she can do neither!), but here’s the very skinny skinny (I couldn’t find a whole lot about her except endless Internet comments about her being a “hottie”) on the woman most likely … to come on board at Channel 7 WWSB in Sarasota.


She was a health reporter and lead anchor (hmmmmm. just like Heidi!) at a station in Tallahassee. So, why get rid of Heidi to bring someone in with less experience? Well, according to some comments on the blog here, it’s a ratings gambit. I doubt someone like Dorsett comes dirt cheap … but maybe it was also a financial consideration.

But what about loyalty? I don’t know, is that crazy? I know businesses are business. It’s not personal. But there’s something sad when we see very well-liked, respected, and appreciated news folks — in television and in print — get shuttled off for reasons or in ways that seem distasteful at best.

One of the reasons I went to work for myself was because many years ago, the firm where I worked refused to take women employees seriously. The straw that broke the camel’s back was while we were doing some hiring, senior management actually commented (in front of me) that among the two female candidates we’d narrowed it down to, he wanted to go with the “young, good-looking one” because she would “look better” when clients came through.

I knew right then and there that I was never going to work for someone else again. I knew I’d get older, I knew someday I’d have salt and pepper hair like the woman they didn’t want, and I knew someday my fate would be in the hands of some aging neanderthal who was no longer quite the swinging dick of his youth but could pretend he was as long as he was in a position to fire and hire.

I did end up working for employers again, but it was always done with an awareness that my ultimate goal was to move closer and closer to the day of being self-employed. Which I did do eventually. Not everybody has the luxury to do what I did (no kids, no husband, no debt), but I went out on my own and though I’m still making half of what I used to make, it’s worth it.

I don’t want to bash the new person — and I know she’s in a hard position, coming in to a town where the women she’s replacing were such incredible professionals with such outstanding reputations and very popular to boot. But …

Well … anyone has anything to add … feel free.

Posted on April 24th, 2010Comments RSS Feed
32 Responses to Heidi Godman’s replacement …
  1. So, I guess this means a revamp of Channel 7’s news promo:

    “Scott Dennis, 24 years at Channel 7;”

    “Bob Harrigan, 25 years at Channel 7;”

    “Linda Carson, 15 years at Channel 7;”

    “John Scalzi, 15 years at Channel 7;”

    “(squeee) Hi, like, I’m Lauren Dorsett everybody. Ima, ummmm, like, gee, well, what time is it now…..?”

  2. She will not be walking into a welcoming office I can tell you that. Everyone will be equating her with that idiot news director who is already hated throughout the building. Welcome to Sarasota : )

  3. I can imagine. Thanks Real Deal, for reading and commenting. I think I didn’t realize that the station had this new news director. I must have missed that somehow.

  4. Well he’s not really a news director. He was the operations manager and was kind of propped up by the old GM Manny Calvo to fill both roles so they wouldn’t have to spend money on hiring someone else. The problem is he thinks he’s a news director when he’s actually just a very, very stupid and arrogant man. Stupidity and arrogance are a dangerous mix. He also did not have a good relationship with Heidi or Monica because they called him like they saw him. The fact that the ownership kept him and let them go has everyone at the station shocked to say the least. Blame Manny Calvo. he took the easy way out by sticking this guy in there and the station has paid the price.

  5. sounds like things are chaotic at the station, to say the least. Thanks for the input, Real Deal. I do think Monica and Heidi both seem very straightforward and if he was a bit off the mark, I can’t imagine them suffering fools too easily.

  6. Those were the days my friend we’d thought they’d never end….
    Sing it if u like !
    The beautiful are always beautiful

  7. What you can say about Heidi Godman is that she is a professional. I saw her sign off on Friday and, despite everything, she acted in a most professional manner. I thought at the time that, were I station management, I’d have thought I made a big mistake in not renewing her contract.

    This is a small town and we like the anchors we like and really dislike the ones we don’t like. We are loyal viewers and, again, I think station management has made a mistake in disrespecting its audience. Let’s hope the advertisers take note of this as well.

  8. Thanks for reading the blog, Ellen and for commenting.

    I agree — it’s a small town and we get attached to anchors and personalities … especially the really good ones and Heidi and Monica both were great. I hope the advertisers take note as well. and who knows, maybe management will.

    thanks for visiting the blog!

  9. I can’t believe they got rid of Monica and Heidi. Loved them both. Always made a point of going to WWSB ABC 7 at noontime to catch Monica and the same with Heidi at 5pm. They were great and I am totally disappointed and planned to purposely avoid the WWSB ABC 7 news and anything else on that channel.
    Again totally disgusted.
    I am a retired library director from Massachusetts and I found your news friendly and warm and comfortable.

    gail lyon

  10. Gail — thanks so much for visiting the blog and for posting a comment. I know a lot of people share your opinion. It’s just kind of a rotten feeling in the community right now.

    I lived in Boston for many years — and love libraries — so very glad you feel comfortable here on this site. Come back anytime! MC

  11. I can’t believe Heidi is off the air. Her voice was so “nice”; not this high pitch that you get from alot of female newscasters. I’m so disappointed and can’t bear to watch anymore. Heidi was great with all the guests especially with Richard. And Monica too!!! What are they thinking?



  12. Thanks for visiting the blog, Barb — and for sharing your thoughts. I always thought the same thing — she had such a good voice — pleasant, professional, and very sincere sounding.

  13. melliss swenson
    May 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I think it is an age thing AGAIN and would not happen to a man. They were lovely professional ladies and deserved better treatment. They will be missed.

    Melliss K. Swenson

  14. I do think age had a lot to do with this — which is crazy since they’re both young! but even if they weren’t — who cares. thanks for visiting the blog Melliss — and for posting a comment. come back anytime!

  15. Heidi did a super job, but things change. Some might remember the outrage when Nancy White left, or when Vicki Oldham’s show went off the air. Maybe some were steamed when John Hill was let go. Heidi’s replacement is like any other in the business; she went with the better offer. She has nothing to do with management decisions or the sentiments of outraged loyal viewers.

    Frankly, I think ABC7 could use a bit of revamping. Too bad the owners thought a staff change would do the trick. It probably will not. However Heidi’s exit, nor Monica’s, will sink the ship. If you want that local narrative about what’s happening around town, then it’s ABC7 or SNN6. Or the Tampa stations if you crave details about news stories in our area. Take your pick. But don’t hold a grudge against the new lady.

    We got used to Linda Carson, didn’t we? Now, my husband, 25 years her junior, calls her the hottest and most professional news talent in the area. Carson is great, I agree. But it took some time before she move away from the stigma is “just” being Bud Carson’s (RIP) wife.

    Good luck to Heidi. She lasted much longer than most. Ask around. How many people do you know in their mid-forties, and in this economy, can claim 24 years on the same job?

    Life is good; even for Heidi Godman.

  16. Very good points, Cynthia — thanks for visiting the blog and for posting your perspective. You’re right — things do change and that’s a part — necessary and good most of the time — of all aspects of living. Just sometimes it is badly handled and that’s what stings.

  17. Where did Heidi go? She was terrific and channel 7’s replacement is not anywhere near the professional that Heidi was…..she seems more concerned about her hair than the news…..I hope that Heidi found a better position somewhere else. What was channel 7 thinking????

  18. like my mother said to me “common sense is not that common” !!!! i’m not watching channel 7 again!!!

  19. Judie — thanks so much for visiting the site and leaving a comment. I agree Heidi was terrific and I really don’t feel the newscast is the same. If I hear where or what Heidi is up to, I will try to let readers of this blog know.

  20. Dick Miles — thanks for visiting the blog and commenting. I’ve heard from I don’t know how many people saying the same thing — they just don’t want to watch Channel 7 anymore.

  21. I’m about ready to stop watching Channel 7’s news…..this Dorsett person has a voice that is difficult to listen to…..her “s’s” go on and on. She is trying to act like she and the other newsmen and weather men are just the best of friends…all the giggling and laughing is so fake….and that hair, oh my goodness there has to be more to that girl than her hair…..come on Channet 7, what are you thinking??????

  22. I agree that the changes are a tough pill to swallow. Unfortunately, the interim news director – who had no right whatsoever to be in that position (and made that very clear by most of his decisions and the way he apparently handled the staff there) somehow felt the need to stir this stuff up – I think more ‘because he could’ than ‘because he should’. Thankfully, his 15 minutes is coming to an end.

    That said, I find it odd that folks would boycott the station entirely. The love for your local anchors is appreciable. We grow to “know” them in a way. And in a small town, many people actually DO know them…And they do make up a large part of our decision to watch that station vs. others (not that we have a lot of options for local news around here) – however, the main reason I, and presumably most people, watch, is for the news is it not? I don’t know – it just seems to me that boycotting the station is a little extreme. Just my opinion.

    Hopefully this new news director will straighten things out, and those folks that boycott will simmer down a bit and find themselves tuning in once in a while to a show that they can tolerate – and maybe even learn to love again.

  23. I know I am late to this discussion but I must say that I am tired of the changes at Channel 7. I don’t care what the news anchor looks like if they are good at reporting the news and trustworthy. Everyone here is correct in that we should not blame Lauren Dorsett fo rthe change, she is just taking advantage of the stupidity of management. Like one-eyed dick alluded to, one of the great advertisements that channel 7 had was the longevity commercials. I understand business is business but there is something to be said about loyalty and respect. I won’t boycott the station because that would be blaming Scott Dennis, Linda Carson and Bob Harrigan. But I have started watching SNN with Jim Hill a lot more lately and if there was an effective wayto boycott just the management team then I would certainly do so.

    My 2 pennies….

  24. I miss Heidi. It doesn’t sound like she left because she had other options, etc.
    Whoever is in charge “of the store” is not doing a very good job. Heidi was professional, warm and personable. I will not watch CH7 news again.

  25. I miss Heidi. It doesn’t sound like she chose to leave CH 7. Whoever is “in charge of the store” is not doing a good job. Heidi was professkion, warm and personable. I will not watch CH 7 news again.

    Roberta Robinson

  26. Heidi did not choose to leave. That was the result of the beginning of some really bad decision making by people that had no understanding of the value of their employees – both in terms of talent, and longevity, which builds a great amount of equity in the community. The people behind the decision to get rid of Heidi and Monica were apparently the precursor to what they have now, which is even worse management. The ball has continued to drop… Leigh Paynter is gone, Callie Zanandrie is gone, they are shuffling people around like a deck of cards, with no idea how to play the game, and a complete lack of concern for those that are being treated more or less like management’s little pawns.

    There are a number of behind the scenes people that have either left or been fired as well. It’s sad really. Just by the responses here you can see that the station and it’s employees were well-respected and had a good place in our community. Now, just because of some incredibly overactive egos, some very self-centered decision making, and a complete lack of management skill, not to mention people skills in general – well… you can see where it’s headed and how it’s being received – both by the community, and the employees themselves.

    The management has shown themselves to be completely self-absorbed idiots, in my opinion, and from what I’ve heard, the opinion of many on the ‘inside’.

  27. For what it’s worth, insiders tell me Ms. Dorsett’s relationship with management is innappropriate, to say the least. They treat her like a queen; making her privvy to information no one else on the news staff is aware of and elevating her above all and everyone. Considering the management is made entirely of old men, I wonder why? (Yes, you do detect a note of sarcasm) There is one person in particular whose relationship with her is even more out of line than most. I do not believe they are romantic, but I’d imagine that’s entirely her choice. As for the news staff themselves, most of them remain as suspicious of her now as when she first started. She is, to put it plainly, resented.

  28. Bring Heidi and Monica back and get rid of the giggling Ms Dorsett. They honored the 2 men who had been there 25 years but fired Heidi. :(

  29. I love Bob and Scott. I wish Heidi were still around too. I didn’t see the sports guy though. Did they get rid of him too? Not that that would be such a bad thing. He’s kind of annoying. His laugh is worse than the girls.

  30. Couldn’t agree more. That guy is the absolute worse.

  31. I really miss Heidi-she was great. The new barbie doll drives me crazy with her giggling and inability to put a “g” on the end of any word-goin,comin sendin,doin,etc. I thought the hair was a wig-doesn’t move. Wish we could get Heidi back but she has too much class to do that.

  32. Everyone…please, get a life. The pettiness and the jealousy on this board is overwhelming. Was the Heidi and Monica situation handled poorly? Yes, without question. Is Lauren to blame? Hardly. I happen to work with her and she is a complete professional. If you don’t like her, turn the channel and watch the brilliance that is SNN.

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