The bell has tolled for Dateline NBC host Stone Phillips. The network announced yesterday that his last appearance on Dateline, and on NBC for that matter, will be in June. Probably not a bad thing – for NBC and even for Phillips. NBC needs to keep on trying just about anything to boost their sagging ratings, and Phillips has just been there much too long for someone who hasn’t made it to anchor status. And for him, it’s a chance to look at other options to pursue before he reaches the “too late” stage of his career. When he first appeared on NBC’s air 125 years ago, he was a fresh new face. Now, even Just for Men can’t help him. You can put a bowtie on a cadaver … but it’s still a cadaver.
I’m not part of that camp that favors dumping someone just because of their age. Television deserves a major Bronx cheer for doing that time and again. But neither do I feel that someone who is not contributing anything meaningful should be kept around just because he’s, well, there.
Unless he’s dumb as a stone, his many years of network TV should have set him up nicely, and he shouldn’t have a difficult time finding something else to do. He can always go on cable with Star Jones, or move over to satellite radio and howl at the moon. He’s going to come out of this just fine. And so will we.
What the heck kind of name is “Stone” anyway?
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