With the impending retirement of ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton, we decided to see just how much content this veteran radio reporter actually generates.
A search of Critical Mention from August 1 to today shows 1,400+ radio hits. And that’s only on the 160+ U.S. news/talk stations we monitor in the top 50 markets. In July, we tracked 2,200 hits.
Granted, some of the coverage may be about Compton, rather than reported by Compton. But eliminating words like retire, retiring and retirement still leaves thousands of airings by Compton herself. (No, we did not search “hanging up her microphone” or “taking off her headphones for the last time.”)
Compton’s decision to retire after 40 years behind the microphone also generated some TV love, but only seven airings thus far.
Her real contributions have been on ABC News Radio affiliates, which have benefited from her coverage of every president since Gerald Ford.
Below is the note that Steve Jones, vice president and general manager for ABC News Radio, sent to staff about Compton’s retirement.
“Last winter, Ann Compton raised a subject she’s hinted at before and that I’d previously managed to avoid: her retirement. She told me how amazing it was being a new grandmother and suggested that, after 40-years at ABC News, perhaps it was time to transition to the next phase of her life. I listened, smiled and told her we’d chat again, hoping she’d change her mind. But, by the spring, it was clear to me that Ann was ready to leave the job she has loved so that she can spend more time with the people she loves: her wonderful family.
“We have a date set in late September for us to celebrate Ann’s career in a setting that will let her friends and co-workers offer tributes and recollections about one of the most amazing women in journalism and one of the greatest friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure to work with. For now, though, Ann has asked that she be allowed to continue reporting from the White House without distraction. We’ll have plenty of time next month to celebrate her career express our admiration, appreciation and love.”