Posted by: The moderator | March 1, 2010

Join or Die

ABC News is cutting costs by chopping 400 staffers and closing all their bureaus outside of New York and Washington. CBS News has already cut 70 jobs and is looking to replace anchor Katie Couric with someone who can actually attract viewers (they’ve been inquiring about Anderson Cooper for a while). In contrast, NBC’s news division has actually been making money while the rest of the network’s nightly programing flails around. What makes NBC so successful? They have a cable channel to share the coverage and the costs (MSNBC).

The New York Times explores this mess, opining that the news departments at ABC and CBS need a cable news partner to survive. ABC seems to be friendly with Bloomberg while CBS has been playing nice with the anchors at CNN. The only stumbling block is that cable channels like CNN might not have a lot to gain from such a collaboration/merger.

It would be a pity to see the nightly news programs die, but will ABC and CBS really be able to keep their high standards if they share their resources and editors with CNN or Bloomberg? After all, I wouldn’t exactly consider MSNBC to be the ideal, since they’ve consistently been in third place among the cable news networks and their bias is almost as notorious as Fox’s. On the other hand, a partner might improve each network’s resources and help them compete with NBC.

With ABC and CBS cutting staff, they’re currently in full retreat. That’s not a good way to grow your viewership and advertising revenue. It’s all downhill from here unless they do something dramatic anyway.


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