And since we're visiting the real world occasionally on this thread, how about Jessica Savitch (auto crash, early 1984 IMSMR).
Savitch died in October,1983 just before her new contract was to be signed which would have had Jessica filling for Jane Pauley on The Today Show while she was on maternity leave (Connie Chung from NBC News At Sunrise and Weekend Nightly News Saturday got it),subbing for then Sunday Nightly News anchor Chris Wallace (now on Fox News Sunday) , political coverage of Decision '84,Also, I think the Digests, and another newsmagazine. I think it was to have been Summer Sunday USA, which was eventually anchored by Linda Ellerbee and Andrea Mitchell.
Had Savitch had lived, I would be surprised if she would had stayed with NBC and even if NBC and Jessica would had agreed to a new contract, I have a feeling many affiliates wouldn't be very happy with more of Jessica Savitch. The reason for all of this? Her infamous on-air meltdown which had taken place only weeks before her death. Also the "rumors" of her stange behavor such as weekend sex parties, doing lots of drugs as well being very difficult to work with, being abused by her men..etc...
Jessica Savitch no question about it, she had a dark side just like everyone else. Only in Jessica's case..it was quite public.
In the bio of Savitch Golden Girl by Alanna Nash, it said that her agent, Ed Hookstratten who represented her along with Tom Brokaw, Tom Snyder, Bryant Gumbel and Chris Wallace plus other people like Johnny Carson, O.J. Simpson, Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, wanted to take Jessica somewhere else, like CBS and 60 Minutes.
If that had happened, I think she may have had a chance to replace Dan Rather and to fill in for him on The Evening News or replace Diane Sawyer on the Morning News instead of Phyllis George. Hookstratten also represented the 1971 Miss America from Texas and NFL Today Sportscaster who was Allen Funt's 1975-76 Candid Camera sidekick who replaced John Bartholomew Tucker and preceded Jo Ann Pflug who was then married to Chuck Woolery who did Wheel before Sajak.
Savitch was charismatic as a local news "presenter." NBC tried to send her out as a beat reporter, something for which she was completely unqualified by (lack of) experience and temperament. She would have been OK filling in reading news off a TelePrompTer - unless you-know-what hit the fan while Dan was away and she would have had actually to "anchor" live coverage of something. She probably would have done well on a morning show. But what either network should have done was put her back doing major market local news (after a visit to Betty Ford).