Friday, April 29, 2005

Sam Donaldson was right

If you work in a network news division, how do feel when your bosses' bosses complain about the President's press conference? Do you feel, in any way, that it might demean your role? I ask because while everyone obsesses about new formats and new anchors, it may be all for naught if the networks themselves consider covering something as simple as a DC press conference to be nothing but a money-losing proposition.

They can complain about the high cost of news-gathering. They can speak hopefully of on-demand news and deploying content across all platforms. But when execs at NBC call the White House to grouse about bad sweeps timing, it reveals that these are really entertainment channels who grudgingly -- and at times, incompetently -- maintain news divisions. How can audiences and advertisers be interested in network news when network bosses aren't?

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