Jim Watkins has been the definition of “laying low” since parting company with WPIX in October.
The accomplished anchor has resurfaced to promote his new project, executive producing a documentary to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Army-Navy Game. Players went directly from the football field to the battlefield in Vietnam.
On a battlefield of a different sort, Watkins tells the Daily News that “it’s been an interesting time,” since ending his 13-year association with Channel 11. “I’m not going to say it’s not a trying time.”
Watkins spent a dozen years as half of the popular anchor tandem, alongside Kaity Tong.
Apparently not popular enough.
Management changes in 2010 displaced the veteran team in favor of Jodi Applegate. Ultimately, Tong replaced her former on-air partner on weekends, which was Watkins assignment for the final year of contract at WPIX. Ratings, though, in February sweeps period were abysmal–not only losing handily to WNYW/Channel 5–but losing to itself from a year earlier.
“I used to say from 10 to 11 o’clock was my favorite hour of the day,” Watkins tells the Daily News. “I never had one single, five-minute stretch where I phoned it in and took it for granted.”