Talk to most consultants, and they'll tell you individual anchors have little impact on ratings. Talk to NDs, and many will disagree. Probably because the NDs are interacting with the market every day and the consultants blow in for 72 hours at a time.
In San Antonio, there may be an example of talent affecting ratings. As FTVLive reported back in January, Sinclair's WOAI-TV decided to part ways with popular anchor Evy Ramos in a "reduction in force" move. The station had been showing ratings progress. February ratings are now in, and WOAI is back to dead last. Of course, as we also reported, the management at WOAI decided to have Randy Beamer anchor some of the newscasts solo, and newscasts have never finished in the lead with Beamer on the desk.
Sinclair's Fox duopoly, KABB, even beat WOAI, by more than a rating point. In fact, Spanish language news on Univision's KWEX-TV, is only .2 of a point behind WOAI.
In another head scratching move, Sinclair then promoted WOAI's ND to oversee all of their Texas stations. Now we're no experts, but it seems reasonable that if you're in last place, all attention should be focused on fixing that.
Here's the rest of the results in San Antonio from MySA.com.