A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 13, 2011
Anchorman or Anchor Man (America’s Anchorman)

A news anchorman (or anchorwoman) leads the program, introducing news reporters and commentators. The term “anchor man” has a long use in sports. In tug-of-war, the anchorman is the last person in line; in relay racing, the anchorman runs last and finishes the race.

In April 1949, John Cameron Swayze was said to be the “anchor man” of the television quiz show “Who Said That?” In April 1950, Griffin Bancroft was said to be the “anchor man” of the television news show Capitol Cloakroom.

Walter Cronkite (1916-2009) was anchorman for CBS News’ coverage of the 1952 presidential conventions. Cronkite anchored the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981; he was once polled as the most trusted news person and was called “America’s anchorman” by at least 1980.

President Ronald Reagan was called “America’s anchorman” by one news columnist in 1986. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh dubbed himself “America’s anchorman” in 2005. The term “America’s anchorman” can describe a trusted figure, similar to Walter Cronkite.


Wikipedia: News presenter
A news presenter (also known as newsreader, newscaster, anchorman or anchorwoman, news anchor or simply anchor) is a person who presents news during a news program in the format of a television show, on the radio or the Internet.

News presenters can work in a radio studio, television studio and from remote broadcasts in the field especially weather forecasters.
(...)
News anchors
In the United States and Canada, news anchors (also known as “anchorpersons”, “anchormen”, or “anchorwomen") present material prepared for a news program and, at times, must improvise commentary for live presentation. Many anchors are also involved in writing and/or editing the news for their programs.

The term “anchor man” was used to describe Walter Cronkite’s role at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. The widespread North American factoid that news anchors were called cronkiters in Swedish has been debunked by linguist Ben Zimmer. Zimmer (and others) also note that the term anchor was in common use in 1952 to describe the most prominent member of a panel of reporters or experts. For example, in the original format of Meet The Press, Lawrence E. Spivak, who served as the only permanent member of a panel of four reporters, anchored the panel. Later, the term was applied to hosts of special events coverage and, still later, news presenters.

Wikipedia: Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009) was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81). During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as “the most trusted man in America” after being so named in an opinion poll.

Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
an·chor·man noun \ˈaŋ-kər-ˌman\
Definition of ANCHORMAN
1: a person who is last: as a : the member of a team who competes last b : the student who has the lowest scholastic standing in a graduating class
2: a broadcaster (as on a news program) who introduces reports by other broadcasters and usually reads the news
3: moderator 2c
First Known Use of ANCHORMAN
1911

(Oxford English Dictionary)
anchor-man n.  (a) he who has charge of the anchor; (b) transf. and fig. the person at the end of a group tugging a rope, roped together, etc.; (c) a compère of a radio or television programme; cf. sense 4.a
1200 in Wright Voc. 88/2 Proreta, *ankermon.
1911 Encycl. Brit. XXVII. 365/1 Some rules allow the ‘anchor-men’, who hold the ends of the rope, to fasten it to their persons.
1955 E. Hillary High Adventure ix. 173 Ang Temba went first‥; then Tom Bourdillon; and finally Charles Evans as anchor-man.
1957 L. P. Hartley Hireling i. 9 The driver‥[had] been the anchorman in many a tug-of-war.
1958 Spectator 29 Aug. 278/2 Mr. Williams is almost always there on this kind of occasion as a tubby anchor-man.
1958 Observer 28 Dec. 3/1 Its [sc. a television programme’s] remarkable compère or anchor-man, Cliff Michelmore.

3 April 1949, Washington (DC) Post, pt. VI, pg. 4, col. 1:
“Who Said That?,” the quiz show on which celebrities identify the quotations of other celebrities, moves to a Saturday night spot on TV next Saturday at 9 p.m. on NBC-TV. Robert Trout stays on as emcee and John Cameron Swayze as anchor man in an otherwise changing team of experts.

22 October 1949, Chicago (IL) Tribune, pg. 6, col. 3:
WNBQ—Who Said That? Robert Trout conducts an informative and amusing quiz show with John Gunther (Inside America), Raymond Swing (Commentator), Faye Emerson (Actress), and John Cameron Swayze as anchor man.

2 April 1950, Washington (DC) Post, “Color’s Pretty, But Not Yet Ripe; ‘Capitol Cloakroom’ Has a Birthday” by Sonia Stein, pg. L2:
“We let them dodger them any way they can, and since a good part of a Congressman’s trade is knowing how to deflect questions they are pretty successful,” according to Griffin Bancroft, anchor man on the team of newsmen who handle the show.

10 December 1950, New York (NY) Times, “"TV Panel Anchor Man; Affable Herman Hickman Is Not Infallible” by Murray Schumach, pg. X15:
Herman Hickman, probably the first man to parlay pigskins and poetry into a television contract, was having trouble with a memory usually infallible. The man who had memorized countless yards of poetry, assorted classical rhetoric and mazes of razzle-dazzle football plays could not recall how he came to be a permanent panel member for “Celebrity Time,” televised each Sunday night, (WCBS-TV:  10-10:30).

13 March 1952, Chicago (IL) Tribune, pt. III, pg. 8, col. 3:
CBS-TV announced yesterday it will set up a complete duplicate of its New York City network headquarters at Chicago’s International Amphitheater to telecast the national political conventions next July. (...) Walter Cronkite, chief of the network’s Washington bureau, will be anchor man of the CBS crew.

6 July 1952, Hartford (CT) Courant, Sunday Magazine, pg. 15, col. 1 photo caption:
Walter Cronkite, CBS-TV Washington newsman, will be “anchor man” at the Presidential Conventions, coordinating switches from one news point or reporter to another.

28 November 1952, Mount Pleasant (IA) News, pg. 6, col. 4:
Walter Cronkite:  Our favorite (with Clifton Utley) of this trial by TV. Solid, sure reporting, amazingly neutral manner under every circumstance with no compulsion to inject excitement or color where none exists; an ideal anchor man, by far the best of CBS-TV’s team.

Google News Archive
26 February 1980, Toledo (OH) Blade, pg. 12, col. 1:
America’s Anchorman
WHEN Walter Cronkite made a cameo appearance on the Mary Tyler Moore show some years ago, the comedienne portrayed a flustered local television news producer who could say only, “That’s nice,” as America’s best-known television newsman smiled benignly at her.

Google Books
6 February 1986, The Vindicator (Youngstown, OH), “Reagan has become an icon, plays ‘America’s Anchorman’” by Sandy Grady (Knight-Ridder columnist), pg. 11, col. 2:
Listening to Reagan channel our grief in the days after the fiery blowup, I was hit by a theory on his true stature:

He has replaced Walter Cronkite as our national commentator.

Reagan is the American Anchorman of the ‘80s.

Once Cronkite had this role—combination Dutch uncle and Greek chorus. When things went badly wrong—a flight to the moon in peril, riots in the streets, the Vietnam War—Walter’s sure voice gave us a consoling stability.

New York (NY) Times
Origins of ‘Anchorman’
Published: June 20, 2003
To the Editor:
(...)
It originated within CBS News, and two important executives claimed credit. One was Sig Mickelson, then president of CBS News, who assigned Walter Cronkite to his first national role at the political conventions of 1952. The other was Paul Levitan, who was producer of special events for CBS News, which included the political conventions.

We will never have a definitive answer, but most concerned people of the day credited Mr. Levitan with the descriptive word.
SANFORD SOCOLOW
Livingston, N.Y., June 14, 2003
The writer, executive producer of ‘’The CBS Evening News’’ from 1977 to 1981, worked at CBS News from 1957 to 1988.

James Randi Educational Foundation Forum
Dorian Gray
3rd February 2005, 10:48 PM
(...)
Speaking of Limbaugh, I think it’s hilarious that he has taken to calling himself “America’s anchorman” - since he’s the anchor AND the reporter AND the vetter AND the commercial. AND full of sh*t.

FishbowlDC
Limbaugh on Journalism Poll
By Garrett on June 15, 2005 2:45 PM
Hotline has the transcript from Limbaugh’s radio show yesterday, where he addressed the poll of who’s a journalist:

“I’m not a journalist. I’ve never pretended to be a journalist. For one thing I laugh. For one thing I enjoy life. You know, I’m not dour, I’m not filled with doom and gloom, I’m not a pessimist, I don’t dislike the country, and I don’t suspect my country’s guilty every time there’s some sort of international conflict. I’m not a journalist. But I am America’s anchorman. I am America’s anchorman and for nearly 17 years I’ve been doing play-by-play of the news here.”

Google Groups: alt.religion.islam
Newsgroups: alt.religion.islam
From: “kuff (Isaac Adams)”
Date: 15 Jun 2005 12:23:44 -0700
Local: Wed, Jun 15 2005 1:23 pm
Subject: OT: Limbaugh “I am America’s anchorman”

http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2005/06/14/Arts/poll050614.html
A new U.S. poll reveals that 40 per cent of Americans think Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly is a journalist, compared to 30 per cent who think Bob Woodward is a journalist. ...

Woodward was on par with Rush Limbaugh ...

Limbaugh told the Associated Press he is “not really surprised” with the findings.

“I am America’s anchorman, doing news play-by-play 15 hours a week for nearly 17 years now, and this is just more evidence that the old media’s monopoly-like dominance is finished,” he said.

Slate Magazine
Was Cronkite Really the First “Anchorman”?
How we came to use the term.

By Ben Zimmer|Posted Saturday, July 18, 2009, at 9:46 AM ET
In the news reports on Walter Cronkite’s death, you often hear that he was the original “anchorman.” The Baltimore Sun‘s obituary states, “The Missouri native was so fundamental to the concept of TV news that the word ‘anchorman’ was coined to describe his role at the 1952 national political conventions.” Did the term anchorman really originate with Cronkite?
(...)
In the early days of broadcast television, the anchorman usage common in relay racing and other team sports came into circulation in discussions of various panel shows. John Cameron Swayze, a popular news commentator, was a regular on NBC’s Who Said That?, a show in which panelists had to identify the authors of famous quotations. An article in the Washington Post on April 3, 1949, explained that Swayze was “anchor man in an otherwise changing team of experts.” News panel shows had their own anchormen, and here the usage meant something more like “host.” Correspondent Griffin Bancroft was identified as the “anchor man” of the CBS news show Capitol Cloakroom by the April 2, 1950, Post, while Lawrence Spivak served that function on NBC’s Meet the Press, according to the New York Times of March 2, 1952.

But in the CBS telecast of the July 1952 presidential nominating conventions (both held at Chicago’s International Amphitheater), Cronkite’s pivotal role differed substantially from that of the more pedestrian panel-show anchormen. On March 13, the Chicago Tribune gave an early report of CBS’s state-of-the-art plans for the conventions, already identifying Cronkite, the network’s new Washington bureau chief, as “anchor man of the CBS crew.” A day before the Republican Convention kicked off, on July 6, the Hartford Courant further explained that as “anchor man” Cronkite would be “coordinating switches from one news point or reporter to another.”
(...)
Explainer thanks Barry Popik and Fred Shapiro.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRadio/Television • (0) Comments • Tuesday, December 13, 2011 • Permalink