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Gary Cogill is Leaving WFAA-TV
by Jerome Weeks 3 Aug 2010

He was one of the rare arts reporter-critics at a commercial TV station, and his last day will be in October.


So says the Dallas Morning NewsScreening Room blog — which confirmed it with Channel 8. Cogill shifted into the arts-at-large beat almost exactly a year ago, just in time to cover the opening(s) of the AT&T PAC — after years as WFAA’s movie critic and Good Morning Texas host.  He was one of the rare arts reporter-critics at a commercial TV station. His departure — for “a great opportunity” — makes one wonder what will become of North Texas cultural coverage on TV now, given the economy and, especially, the economics of the media.

Cogill’s last day will be in October. The News’ Chris Vognar will be filling in the details with a more complete story later.

UPDATE: And he just has: Cogill is becoming a film producer with his own start-up company. Which cuts short my quip on the whole affair: “Yes, they all want to direct.”

As for my expressed concern about the future of local arts coverage, station news director Michael Valentine said in a prepared statement:

“WFAA remains completely committed to quality coverage of performing arts and entertainment in north Texas through a variety of coverage including WFAA news broadcasts and special programming; on Good Morning Texas, the station’s local talk and information program; and through community marketing and public service projects.”

In other words, not a word about starting a search for a new candidate, how tough it’d be to replace Cogill, etc. I’m betting that’s the end of a full-time, designated arts critic-reporter at WFAA.