WCPO in Cincinnati is getting some attention for an announced decision to eliminate two anchor positions in order to create five reporting positions.

The station says trends in television news viewership means viewers are less interested in being guided through half hour news shows and more interested in getting news from a variety of short form platforms. WCPO says this decision will enable the station to have the largest reporting staff in the market.

There may be cost cutting advantages as well. A few months ago CNN announced it plans to gradually reduce the salaries of its highest profile anchors during future contract negotiations. The national and local reasoning is similar. Dwindling financial resources in a fragmented TV marketplace need to go where they will create competitive advantage.

There have been experiments with anchorless newscasts in the past, but they were mainly exercises in style. This trend has more to do with delivering the news wherever the audience wants it and that does not always require an anchor.

Coming to a station near you?

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