Susan Barnett: bringing local news to CBS 3

As filed – without edits – last week for today’s edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal.

YOUR LOCAL TV NEWS usually isn’t all that local.

Anchors travel from market to market, like Susan Barnett did, geography be damned.

She had worked in Miami, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Champaign, Ill. But the new co-anchor of CBS 3’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts has finally landed the big spot in her native region.

“You have to travel all over the country and earn your stripes, especially when you come from a huge city like Philadelphia, it is hard to get here at all,” the Bucks County native said. “Making it to this level is really the ultimate for me.”

Barnett grew up in Levittown, graduated the University of Delaware and now lives with her husband in Delaware County, but does her job better here because she’s done it elsewhere, she said.

“The Philadelphia news style was ingrained in me,” she said. “But, in my travel, I got to see how news is reported around the country.”

She started here as a morning news anchor in January 2006 and began filling in as Larry Mendte’s nightly co-anchor in February, Barnett said.

The move was made official April 17, but she is excited to use what she has learned climbing the ranks of TV news.“In order to be a good anchor, you need to be a good reporter,” she said.

She’s had plenty of experience during her time in Philadelphia.

In November Barnett followed police to Miami in their pursuit of John Lewis, wanted in the shooting death of Officer Chuck Cassidy. She was the only reported to accompany Lewis on his flight back to Philadelphia.

“I sat across the aisle from him,” she said.

She was on the ground when Pope Benedict visited New York City last month and was on-air with Mendte during the 3-hour standoff between police and Johnny L. Reed, who stopped his SUV on the Walt Whitman Bridge in March with his child.

Barnett is ready to tell these stories.

“Growing up here, I feel like I know the area, and I connect with the people, she said. “The ultimate goal is to get the people of Philadelphia to connect with me.”

See other examples of my reporting here. See similar pieces for the Philadelphia Business Journal here.

Barnett fills the role of the departed Alycia Lane. While that was certainly a high profile departure, I couldn’t find an appropriate way to make mention of it. Still, I asked Barnett of the situation and she was gracious in her response.

I bring my completely unique and individual set of values, and I just hope to move forward and don’t look back.”

I am currently traveling. This was forward-posted on May 6.