Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The future of network news ... On Larry King's tribute to Peter Jennings last night, towards the end there was an interesting exchange with Tom Brokaw:
CALLER: Hi, Larry. I just want to say first of all, that I loved Peter. I grew up getting all sorts of events from him and my question for the panel is: What do you think the future holds for the three networks in terms of their nightly newscasts?

KING: ... Tom Brokaw, future of network news?

BROKAW: Well, I -- Dan and I talked about this a lot. I have strong feelings. I have not been able to persuade my network masters that this is the way to go, but with all this emphasis on reality shows, there is no greater reality than the daily news and the stories that we can develop. I'd expand it, move it later into prime-time, and I would marry it to the Internet. I think that we are treating these two medium -- two media as separate entities, and what we really ought to do is connect them, so that we can see more of the Internet and have more connectivity, if you will, between over-the-air television and the fascinating new, almost infinite universe of the Internet. But I'm not holding my breath.
I find this really surprising. My impression had always been that the corporate heads were the ones pushing for greater on-line integration, while the "old school" reporters were the ones holding things up. And I thought this must have been especially true at NBC, which -- unlike ABC or CBS -- already has a natural portal to use. The fact that the resistance is coming, apparently, from the execs who oversee both entities makes little sense to me.

All I can think of is that the execs don't want to risk alienating an older, televised audience by introducing more web stuff -- or turning off a younger, on-line audience with news designed for a more senescent crowd. But for any number of reasons that doesn't hold water either. I'm baffled.


Post a Comment

<< Home