Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Building on the theme of inane, out-dated reporting styles

Women just aren't into morning shows anymore. I know what you're thinking: how could this be? "It's difficult to trace the exact cause of the drop. It comes after two popular morning hosts, Katie Couric and Charles Gibson, left their shows.... At the same time, the advent of 'mommy blogs,' the growing popularity of online news sites and the ever-more-frantic press of daily life appear to have led many women to forgo the morning ritual of watching TV. News executives are sanguine about the ratings dip, calling it a short-term fluctuation. They attribute it in large part to the unseasonably mild winter in much of the country until recently."

Yes, blame everything but the shows themselves -- an excellent response to change! Of all the commentary, I think I like this best: "Those shows' producers may be the first ever to go broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

I mean, isn't that part of the problem? In the minds of producers -- and women's magazines editors who, oh look!, are facing declining revenue too -- women's content = dumb stories, delivered in dumb way. And I'm not even talking about Matt Lauer interviewing Miss USA. Here's the vice president of morning broadcasts for CBS News: "these morning shows on the networks have been so feminized. It's always, 'How to catch your cheating husband,' not 'How to catch your cheating wife.' " It makes me kinda queasy that he thinks this is feminization when in reality it's just stupidity. And why would anyone devote news resources to a subject handled so much more deftly on "Cheaters?"

At least TV executives aren't too down about this; they just have to wait it out, like Jim Bell, NBC Today executive producer: "I maintain the foundation of the morning is perfectly stable and fine. I suspect that when there are big, breaking news stories or significant weather events, we will grow." Take a moment and think about what he seems to be relying on there. You have a heckuva business plan, Jimmy!


Moda di Magno said...

Irene, it's the kind of hard news reporting that really gets my morning started. Take this interview for example. The transcript makes it sound bad - but you haven't seen suck until you've watched the clip. Matt Lauer should be ashamed of himself and NBC as well. For God's sake. (yes, it has stuck in my craw since last February...)

Make the logo bigger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Make the logo bigger said...

But the demo who watches the early morning talk show has a life and is getting ready for work. The ones who watch the garbage that follows, well now, that falls into a whole other demo.

7:00 am - Author on the secret funding for Iraq war.

10:00 am - “Oh yeah, if he love u how come he wit with me last night?"

Cue audience: "Oooooooooo Girrrrlll!"

Maybe we can meet in the middle?