Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bubbly woman can't save network news

So what? Katie Couric kicked off her $15 million per year job on the CBS Evening News last night with a revamped set and a revamped show. Overall, people are saying that she did a fine job but it's the show's content that lacks substance and seems watered down in the tradition of her stint at NBC's 'Today Show'. If pictures of Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes' daughter constitute news then America has problems.

If the networks and their half-hour evening newscasts wish to remain viable, they may need to scrap it all and start from scratch. Locally, stations are adding newscasts. St. Paul's KSTP, the ABC affilliate, has half-hour newscasts at 4, 5, 6, 6:30 and 10 PM as well as a 5-7 AM sunrise newscast and news at 11 AM. Eden Prairie's FOX 9 has local news from 5-9 AM, 5-6 PM and 9-10:30 PM.

The networks have remained steady or actually trimmed their news operations. They have essentially handed over the remaining viewers who deem themselves newshounds to the cable networks (CNN, FOX News, MSNBC) and those who still wish to remain informed have turned to the internet and even Comedy Central's 'Daily Show'/'Colbert Report' to a lesser extent.

It's 2006 networks, both spouses work and deal with hellish commutes. Nobody is home to sit in front of the TV at 5:30. From my own experiences, the earliest I sometimes have some TV time is 6 PM and I tune into 'The Simpsons' and will be making the move to 'Scrubs' repeats in a couple of weeks. I catch snippets of the news during the day via the break room TV (tuned to news networks as I work in the media) and listen to a smattering of events-based talk shows. At 6 PM, I have chores to tend to. There's laundry, feeding the buffalo, cooking supper, recharging my cell phone & iPod, watching paint dry, plucking a few geese and darning some socks. The 5:30 national news falls somewhere between a prison relationship with Bubba where I draw the short straw as his wife and pounding rusty nails under my fingernails while forced to watch a Meredith Baxter movie on 'Lifetime'. Not too high on the old list...

Networks wishing to regain some buzz with their evening news programs might want to think about moving them to a later hour. Follow up the local news with the network news at 6:30 (C/T) immediately before primetime programming. Most people are home by that time of the day and it could be used to regain that desperately-needed conservative family-bonding time that we are told we are lacking where mom, dad and the 2.2 kids gather round the dinner table and discuss their days before settling in to watch Wally and The Beav on the 13" black and white RCA while Sparky chews on a rawhide bone that mom brought home courtesy of Sam the butcher.

Hey, what do I know? I am just some random dude from Minnesota whose ideas always fall on deaf ears but when someone else brings up the same idea, people think it is fabulous!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Is there a reason you leave out WCCO all the time?