When she first arrived on the scene a little over a year ago, WOWT's "Daybreak" anchor Malorie Maddox was a breath of fresh air. Paired with Trey Jones, Maddox helped make Channel 6's morning program much better than it had been during the tenure of the obnoxious and undeservedly arrogant Thom Knight. Not only did she look great, she also seemed not to take herself too seriously and avoided the inane comments typical of morning anchors.
Not that there weren't flaws. Her predilection for fake fingernails cheapened her otherwise pristine appearance, and she had a somewhat nasal voice and, um, "vowel issues." At first we chalked it up to her southern Kansas upbringing; it seemed like a bad habit she'd outgrow. But after nearly a year of hearing her talk to "Scawt" Akin about the weather "detells" and "timps" across the "Heartlund," it's clear that her pralking toblems aren't going anywhere.
But what has really hurt is her descent into the scrum of the Big Six's Mindless Prattling Club. In her early days at the station, her remarks were generally sensible, relevant, and avoided most of the stupid babbling common to the likes of John Knicely, Andrea McMaster, and the now-"retired" Pat Persaud. But as the months have passed, life at WOWT has apparently worn her down; nowadays, there's no telling what drivel is likely to come out of her gorgeous mouth.
Much of the problem stems from the station's decision to reunite her with her former Joplin, Missouri, co-anchor, Jim Siedlecki. Since Siedlecki's arrival in June, Maddox has become progressively deferential to the big dolt, playing the dizzy blonde to his "Big Smart Man" act. When Gomer is gone and Mal anchors solo, it's a whole different ballgame. She seems confident, knowledgeable, and able to converse with other humans. But as soon as he lumbers back into the picture, it's back to Dummyville. It's like watching the articulate cheerleader become a blithering idiot when the school's quarterback walks into the room. Blech.
We wish we had a solution to this problem. Short of reassigning Siedlecki and letting Maddox solo in the morning, or booting Sheila Brummer from the 4 p.m. chair and pairing Mal with Brian Mastre, we have few suggestions. It's just another case of Channel 6 management's remarkable ability to mediocritize even the most promising talent to match its tired, formulaic operation.