Wednesday, April 27, 2011

’Til Death Do Us Part

News: Katie Couric Confirms
She’s Leaving CBS Evening News

“There are plenty of commentators who say this is another nail in the coffin for traditional newscasts.

“Uncool as it sounds, I’ll be the guy to say it out loud: the old school network evening newscast still has value. It should be saved.

“On this point, I have a mighty friend: David Letterman. At least, it seemed that way when Katie Couric was on his show, and he couldn’t believe she might bail on her job leading his network’s news division.

“‘It’s not like it’s a temp gig!’ he told her. ‘Look at Walter Cronkite. Look at Tom Brokaw. Look at Brian Williams. Look at Peter Jennings. Look at all these people! They get in it, they saddle up and they ride into the sunset!’

“Dave and I may sound like old fogies in an era of constant iPhone updates and 24-hour cable news, but we’re not the only ones. Last year, an average 21.6 million people watched the three big networks’ evening newscasts every night. That’s four times the number who watched the combined total of the highest rated cable news shows in primetime, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. So if the evening newscast is dying, it’s a pretty slow death.”

—Eric Deggans, TV/media critic, The St. Petersburg Times, “Couric’s Farewell Isn’t The End: How to Save News,” National Public Radio, April 27, 2011

Editorial Comment: Right. Octogenarian audiences demand more mouldering news anchors.

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