Who would have thought it? Network TV news, which was supposed to be on life support, grew their audiences last season, the first time since 2001-02.
In his article, “New Life in Television’s Evening News” (http://news.yahoo.com/life-televisions-evening-news-105534857.html), AP writer David Bauder says that ABC, CBS and NBC are continuing to add viewers this season. Collectively they are seen by more than 20 million people each weekday.
As Bauder notes: “Many pundits believed evening newscasts would become obsolete with the availability of news 24 hours a day on cable TV and the Internet. Instead, the curating function of the evening news has become more vital.”
It seems that many of us get Internet and news fatigue, and just want someone reputable to sort through things, explain them and give some perspective. I understand, really I do.
NBC is the most popular TV news, followed by ABC and CBS, a rating that hasn’t changed since the days of Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather. But the content of at least two of the newscasts has changed somewhat.
With Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes” as anchor, CBS “has aired a meat-and-potatoes newscast for a serious time.” The network has devoted more time to foreign policy and economic subjects than either of the other shows.
ABC emphasizes celebrity, health, medicine and family stories more than CBS and NBC. Although it’s called “World News,” the ABC newscast covers foreign affairs and foreign policy less than either CBS or NBC. Diane Sawyer is anchor.
NBC’s “Nightly News” with Brian Williams covers more late-breaking news than ABC or CBS, and spends the most time on natural disasters. It’s also the least-changed broadcast. But when you’re number one, you don’t need to change…much.