It’s almost been 2 weeks this weekend, that Katherine Underwood left the NBC O&O cluster in Needham. I think it’s safe to assume she’s not related to another anchorlady at the competition at the Cox owned station a few miles south on Mass’ 128. But much of my surprise, she had been at the cluster dating as far back as 2014, when it was just NECN based in Newton. I have watched mostly 10 since the inception, and followed the infamous war between Sunbeam and the peacock company. Even then she didn’t catch my radar. Prior to her departure, she was the weekend anchor and reporter for NBC10 Boston, but also acted as the New Hampshire reporter for NECN and NBC10.
Editing this montage was unique because I wanted to be as much about Katherine as possible, that meant a read, a handoff, a tease, closing out, etc. I think I got it to 90%. Some elements of my typical montages were included like opens, stingers, the 9:00 close (I say it was a “close”, because the copyright banner appeared while the NBC O&O Package from Stephen Arnold Music was playing out at 9:57)
Most importantly, as I wrote in the description, which I think bears repeating:
“She was under my radar for almost her entire time, until recently. I feel the [So. NH] market has lost some talent that won’t be replaced, hence why I made this montage with her departure in mind.”
This being that WMUR-TV has had an inherited, unchallenged monopoly as the station’s news operation has been very complacent (and sometimes complicit, this fault extends to all Boston media, print, radio and TV) for years of their privilege to not be challenged. A lot of the stories Underwood aired was the NBCU standard (since afterall it’s an O&O), of covering neighborhood stories, that had high substance, and wasn’t the same-day story. I have not seen any of her reporting that would classify the present industry standard of chasing the flashing lights and listening to unencrypted radios; with the assignment manager acting as a dispatcher and a reporter acting like secondary responder. You see this sometimes even on NBCU stations but certainly not often as the competition.
She had retuned back to her duties after a maternity leave last summer where she had her second child. But since her return, I started to notice quickly how good her reporting was, meaning that “was” had to be accepted as a past tense, around the time she announced she would leave the station. Her last day was on Mother’s Day, which kinda puts a ring to this part of this narrative.
There are plenty of good people still there, but it helped for my state, there was a full time talent, half-time as a reporter and half-time anchor, and sometimes in the part time reporting, she covered the state she lived (if my research is correct), where the competition is very little.
So yeah, I felt it was important to capture some history at that station. I wish her all the best!