Not that long ago, the "big three" networks invested massive amounts of money in celebrity news anchors to be the face of their operations. Those days are gone. While NBC, CBS, and ABC still pay their anchors quite well, the name and face recognition is no longer there.

This was never more apparent to me than when CBS announced the offing of anchor Jeff Glor for Nora O'Donnell. I'd never heard of either. What happened to Bob Schieffer?

Back in my day, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather spun around in the big chairs guiding us through the day's events as we ate dinner, coming to us with coverage of some of the world's most important breaking news stories. With the advent of cable news, it is less and less likely you will even see the over-the-air nets break into regular programming.

All but the old have come to rely on new sources for information and are rarely found in front of the TV at dinner time. We are increasingly less aware of who the network anchors are these days. Cable news has become entertainment and high-profile anchors and talking heads still loom large there. Even in your local markets, the day of the well-known news anchor is over.

The passing of veteran Boston anchor Tom Ellis last week reminded us of when the giants roamed the earth. Natalie Jacobson, Chet Curtis, Liz Walker, Jack Williams and others owned the local airwaves. We knew them. We trusted them. They were like family. We stayed up late enough to see Bruce or Dickie deliver the weather forecast and waited for Lobel, Lynchie or Dowling to give us the skinny on the Red Sox.

Now the news, weather, and sports comes to me at the click of my mouse or the push of a button on my cell phone. It's a new era for news and information, and while information travels more quickly, I can say with some degree of certainty that I still miss the old ways.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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