Diann Burns out at 5 p.m.

In a move that is certain to generate a lot of heated discussion, Diann Burns is out as anchor at 5 p.m. at CBS-owned WBBM-TV and is being replaced by newbie Anne State, who is coming from San Diego beginning in April. Ms. Burns will continue to co-anchor the 6 and 10 p.m. news at the station.

But this is likely the beginning of the end of Burns’ often-controversial tenure at the station, given her contract expires in October. In 2003, she was signed to one of the richest anchor deals in history, luring her away from top-rated WLS-TV in the process. But the move failed to lift WBBM-TV’s ratings, which as of November 2007, is far behind WLS in household ratings and in the main 25-54 news demo.

Thought: I posted this in the comments section of the Tribune story, responding to a reader on why he/she doesn’t watch local news anymore:

I’ve said this before in another blog, but it is worth repeating: Young people my age- 35 – and under – gave up on local TV news long ago. No wonder more of us watch “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. His fake newscasts are better than any “real” local newscast. Local stations across the country have lost the next generation of viewers and they have no one to blame but themselves. They can hide behind the local mantra all they want – it won’t do them any good.