Now Newspapers, Tomorrow the Evening News

This is a link off Drudge, so it’s not exactly a scoop, but both CBS and ABC evening news recorded all-time low viewerships last week. There are still quite a few people watching the TV network news, of course; CBS bottomed out at between four and five million viewers. That compares with, say, 40,000 to 70,000 people who visit this site 80,000 to 100,000 times on a typical weekday.

Still, considering that Katie Couric is paid many millions and we’re paid nothing, and CBS News has an enormous budget and we have no budget at all, that can’t be a very encouraging comparison for the network moguls. Plus, to put it politely, our demographics are a whole lot better than theirs.

I’m not surprised at the decline of nightly network news; personally, I haven’t watched one for at least a couple of decades. Newspapers, to be sure, have problems in today’s media world, but the network news shows have a whole lot more: you have to sit through ten minutes of commercials to get twenty minutes of “news.” Why would you do that? You’d have to have a low opinion of the value of your time.

It’s just one more reminder of what an interesting era we’re living through in the evolution of media. I seriously doubt that what we now know as nightly network news broadcasts will survive for more than a few more years. On the whole, that’s probably a good thing.


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