NBC and CBS Fire News Producers
CBS News has fired Katie Couric’s producer, joining NBC who last week fired their evening news producer. Somehow, I don’t think the producers are the problem.
The bottom line is that the audiences for all three nightly newscasts are getting grayer, with few young people getting hooked on the habit of setting down with their favorite anchor for 30 minutes every evening. Most daily newspapers are also experience huge drops in circulation.
We’ve gotten used to 24/7 news coverage. CNN started the trend more than 20 years ago and has spawned several clones. In recent years, the proliferation of news and commentary on the Internet has added to this trend. Most of us who want news want it now, if not sooner.
Conversely, the explosion in the number of television options during the dinner hour means that what Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and Charlie Gibson have to say has a lot more competition than did their 1980 counterparts Walter Chronkite, John Chancellor, and Frank Reynolds.
So, the news junkies don’t need to watch the nightly news packages and the casual viewers can turn to SportsCenter, sitcom re-runs, game shows, or whatever else strikes their fancy. Shuffling the producers around isn’t going to change that, unless one of them figures out how to make the programs relevant again.