Slate’s Daniel Gross anologizes the death of Peter Jennings in terms of the much talked about death of broadcast newtwork news…(via FTVLive)
In the last decade, the half-hour network newscasts have been written off more frequently than Tom, Peter, and Dan jetted off to cover summit meetings. Nobody watches them. We are too busy working, ferrying kids to soccer practice, and commuting to the exurbs to be home in time. With news available all day on cable and the Internet, the notion that a half-hour amalgam of over-produced, sound-bite-ridden reports, hosted by an old guy in an expensive suit, could make for an attractive program—let alone an attractive advertising vehicle—seems fanciful.
But in fact network newscasts are going to be dying for a long time, and dying quite profitably. Old-legacy media—newspapers and magazines and network TV newscasts backed by advertising—are going to be with us a lot longer than we think. And they’re going to be more profitable than hipper new media upstarts for some time to come. In a commercial culture that prizes youth and growth, the audiences of legacy media may be aging and shrinking. But they’re more than retaining their value.
ICN agrees. It’s one of the reasons MSNBC is in the position it’s in right now as NBC/Universal struggles to reconcile MSNBC’s purpose versus it’s far more profitable parent NBC Network News and particularly the Today Show. CNN and FOX don’t have such entanglements to tie them up like MSNBC has. Indeed FOX News’ historical problem hasn’t been competition between itself and FOX Broadcast but the inability to establish a sustained FOX News presence on the FOX Broadcast Network. Several news magazine shows have been attempted over the years, the last being “The Pulse”. All have failed. This may change if the recent stories of tighter integration between FOX Broadcast and FOX News does happen as a result of the departure of Lachlan Murdoch from News Corp.
UPDATE: As has been pointed out to ICN, FOX News Sunday has been on successfully for 9 years. ICN had been talking about M-Fr evening and prime time programming and had overlooked weekend programming. ICN regrets the error…