TaRhonda Thomas’ announcement that she is leaving 9News to move to Philadelphia is a significant blow to Denver on several levels. In addition to being one of the most talented and respected journalists in town, she also is the highest-profile African-American in local TV news. Michael Roberts at Westword reports:
Her departure will leave the Mile High City with no African-American anchors at present and just three black reporters at four stations, all of whom currently have significantly smaller on-air roles than she did. … (T)he remaining three are 9News’s Eddie Randle, a reporter hired in January 2017; CBS4’s Toni Mason, a reporter who came aboard last August; and Fox31/KWGN’s Shaul Turner, a onetime anchor now working in the outlet’s Problem Solvers unit. And in Thomas’s view, that’s a shame.
“We’re a large city,” she points out, “and Denver is one of the top twenty markets in the country. The African-American population isn’t that big here, but no matter how small a population it might be, seeing someone who looks like you on TV makes you feel like you can be the way they are. I remember meeting a little girl at a gala, and her mom said, ‘She’s so excited to meet you. Every time she sees you on TV, she stops and looks. Now she wants to be on TV, and she didn’t start talking about it until she saw you do it.’ “