Dan Rather, Katie Couric, And The Death Spiral Of CBS News

by John Hawkins | June 13, 2007 5:30 am

From Newsbusters[1],

As already noted on NewsBusters, former CBS anchor Dan Rather appeared on Monday’s edition of “Morning Joe” and lobbied for a “a strategic withdrawal from Iraq.” He also found time to twice bash his “Evening News” successor Katie Couric for dumbing down and tarting up the news. After giving the standard caveat that Couric is a “nice person,” he went in for kill. Speculating on the program’s declining ratings, Rather complained to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that “the mistake was to try to bring the ‘Today’ show ethos to the evening news and to dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience.”

Given the CBS News is a plodding dinosaur of a news show with an aging, declining audience, what other choice do they have than to try to attract a younger audience?

A lot of these old school media guys, like Dan Rather, seem to think news shows should be above financial concerns, but the way things are going, in a few years, ABC, NBC, and CBS will be pulling a bigger audience share showing Knight Rider and Andy Griffith reruns than they will by showing the evening news.

That’s because the Big 3 networks have already dumbed down the news, because there are more choices for news consumers than ever before, and because there are plenty of people willing to “tart it up” to please the viewers and as an added bonus, they put out better, more timely, and more relevant news than CBS ever has or ever could.

So, why would anyone with access to talk radio, cable news networks, blogs and the Drudge Report[2] ever want to watch CBS, NBC, or ABC? All of them might as well go ahead and put female anchors on there so that they can blame sexism[3] when their shows eventually go out of business.

  1. Newsbusters: http://newsbusters.org/node/13368
  2. Drudge Report: http://drudgereport.com/
  3. sexism: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0f66ef42-1925-11dc-a961-000b5df10621.html

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