Saturday, April 30, 2005

CBS, Quo Vadis?

Hugh Hewitt asks the question, what should CBS do with its news format? CBS should be asking itself the same question if it wants to regain its long-lost position of trust and of number one in network news.

First, revamp the format. Spend the first 5-10 minutes giving headlines and short summaries, with appropriate background video.

Use the last 5-8 minutes for commentary and panel discussion on timely topics. At least once a week, have regular panelists discuss a topic (civilly) face to face. Occasionally, have prominent newsmakers give their opinions on the day's issue. For example, Harry Reid and Bill Frist could each give his side of the argument over the filibuster of judicial nominees.

Devote the middle 12-20 minutes to more in-depth reporting (not a one-sided exposition of the reporter's opinions) of the day's top news stories. Be sure in this segment to present all the relevant facts and events, not just the ones that one political party wants to put forward. A good objective is to become viewed as the fair and balanced reporter of news, but CBS will need to develop a different slogan since "fair and balanced" is already taken.

Second, select someone to give the news who is or can be seen as knowledgeable, articulate, and authoritative. I strongly recommend a female anchor. A female will be different, and viewers will notice at once that CBS is not the same old and tired network news broadcast. The anchor must be attractive without being distractingly so and must have a clear and authoritative voice (probably a little deeper than the typical female voice). The anchor should be young enough to give CBS a long run if she works out well.

Good luck, CBS, at trying to become the news network of choice for middle America.


Post a Comment

<< Home