AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   March 2003

Return of the Shamer   

Crusading consumer reporter Arnold Diaz leaves ABC's "20/20" to revive his "Shame on You" feature at WCBS-TV.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     

Frustrated by the difficulty of getting airtime in the big time, Arnold Diaz returns to WCBS-TV to host his signature consumer feature, "Shame on You." Diaz, 53, had won more than two dozen Emmys for his work on the program when he left the New York City station in 1995 for ABC's "20/20." There, his exposÚs continued to win awards, but the topics, he says, "had to be so broad-based, it eliminated a lot of good stories that impact people's lives. The everyday problems people have with government, companies, merchants...I did do some of that, but it had to rise to this level of national problem." And getting on the air was tough, he says, especially with "20/20" doing more single-subject programs. The audience reaction to his return has been "fantastic," Diaz says. "Because this segment was so popular at one point, and because of the music and the little jingle and the visible element of the wagging finger, it just got into people's subconscious. It was like we never left."