There was a time that Chicago was a television market budding young journalists aspired to get to. They had to work in smaller markets, honing their craft, learning the trade, then, only then, if they were lucky, they could come up to the bright lights of the big city and give it a shot.
Cable TV changed all of that. 24 hour news and sports channels demand content and along with that content, it needed talent. The seasoned journalist gave way to the “fresh young face.” Which isn’t necessarily bad. Many on air personalities learned their trades here in Chicago, working as interns, assistant producers, writers, traffic reporters, radio DJ’s and eventually on air personalities.
Then there’s Susannah Collins. She is now known for the infamous report that aired on Comcast on Tuesday night (April 30). Collins made a very brief slip saying the Blackhawks had a "tremendous amount of sex" during the regular season. She immediately corrected herself, but it went viral, making Collins an internet sensation and eventually leading to her termination.
The on air slip up was minor and hard to believe that it would lead to he termination. It seems like it was the preverbal “straw” that broke the on air talents' back.
This is what happens when you hire looks over talent. Collins is very attractive and has a great on air presence, but she is not a sports reporter or a reporter of any kind. She is a pretty girl who got a break and is now paying the price.
The blame isn’t on Collins, when you get an opportunity in the TV business you jump at it, she did nothing wrong. The blame is on Comcast for hiring someone with no experience, or hardly any.
Before Collins worked at Comcast, she was the co-host of a web series called Sports Nutz, a scripted sports type show, where she and her host threw out quirky sports barbs and told jokes. It was foul mouthed, dirty and didn’t require much more than looking good and memorizing lines.
It was an acting job, not a journalism gig.
While Sports Nutz and their segment Douche Bag Nation became very popular, it did not prepare Collins for the bright lights, big crowds, intense deadlines of live Chicago sports television.
The only thing that prepares you for live sports TV, is doing live sports TV, over and over and over again. Not a few months as a freelancer and a scripted web series.
If you read her BIO. Collins had a handful of TV gigs, MMA and Boxing matches as well as her current role as a reporter/correspondent for Inside the NFL(scripted) and Inside NASCAR(scripted). Susannah has also appeared on WCBS New York as the weekend sports anchor(scripted), and performed sideline reporting duties for the Madden ’12 Pig Skin Pro-Am which aired on NBC. However, MMA and covering a "video game," don't really sharpen the skills for live TV in a major broadcast network.
What Comcast did was the sports equivalent of bringing a high school pitcher to pitch in the majors based on the fact that he is the nephew of a former major leaguer. Not smart.
Will this happen again? Yes, as long as the smaller networks like Comcast want to play in the big pond, but pay small dollars, they will have to hire “C” level talent, who look good, but don’t know what they are doing.
Collins should be sent back to the minors to work on her craft. Sioux Falls, Odessa, Wichita. Learn live sports, writing, how to read from a teleprompter and chase a story. Unfortunately, in the world of TV scandal is what sells, the odds of seeing her in Maxim or a reality show are more likely.
The Slip Up
Sports Nutz. Collins job before working in Chicago.