June 13, 2008 — EVEN the nicest, most well-intended talk can sound awfully cheap.

The passing of Jim McKay on Saturday inspired tributes from network bosses here, there and everywhere. All were basically the same: McKay was one of the finest people in broadcasting, a beloved and trusted man who earned the nation’s respect with superior writing, story-telling and reporting. He wasn’t a class act; there was no act.
The descriptions seemed accurate. McKay’s substance was his style. No screaming (What need is there to scream into a microphone?), no shtick, just a steady blend of dignity and credibility.
Yet all those tributes from all those TV executives got me thinking: Could that Jim McKay even find work in the business today?
After all, if current network bosses thought so much of him, why haven’t they looked for or cultivated more like him? Are such broadcasters considered passé? Are they trending extinct?