Already four rounds in, the contest is down to semi-finalists Heather Ford (pictured upper left) from FOX affiliate KSWB, last year’s winner KSWB meteorologist Aloha Taylor(pictured lower left), Sabrina Fein (lower right) meteorologist from CW affiliate XETV and Brandi Williams (upper right) from independent station KUSI.
The contrast is provided by Maine radio station WDEA which ran a similar contest called “Who is the Hottest Newswoman in Maine” in July based on the same concept. Pictures of reporters and anchors from various local stations were posted to the station’s website and radio station listeners and local TV viewers were invited to vote for their favorite.
WDEA was forced to post an apology on its page and change the name of the contest to “Who is Your Favorite Newswoman in Maine” after the news director and a reporter from WLBZ and WCSH condemned the contest as demeaning.
In San Diego? In its first year in 2011, the 933 DJ’s hosting the contest, Frankie V and “Geena the Latina,” appeared on NBC owned station KNSD to promote the contest. [see the video here] Last year, KSWB posted the poll on its facebook page and asked viewers to “Take a moment and vote for your favorite Fox 5 lady.”
“All of the women in our newsroom at FOX 5 know we have to be intelligent to even have a position in this market (and not to mention about a decade of TV experience),” Heather Ford told TVSpy. “So I can’t say I’ve heard any complaints about a contest like this. On the other hand, I don’t think any of us necessarily care if we win either. It’s not like we are going to wear a sash and a crown on air to show off that we’ve won the ‘hottest’ newscaster in San Diego.”
XETV’s Fein reminded fans on her facebook page the time to vote was running out, “Still trying to win the news crown. It’s crunch time… I’m down 49-51%. Please vote!”
So why the difference in reaction? Is it the market? The audience? TVSpy has no idea.
We tried to contact representatives from 93.3 and XETV as well as the other contestants but haven’t heard back. News directors Steve Cohen of KUSI and Richard Goldner of KSWB declined to comment.