Network news still has an audience

Stacey Vanek Smith Dec 21, 2009
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Network news still has an audience

Stacey Vanek Smith Dec 21, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Speaking of TV ratings, Diane Sawyer takes over anchoring ABC’s World News today, replacing Charlie Gibson. It’s definitely the big time for Sawyer, but is network news still the giant it used to be? Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith takes a look.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: Walter Kronike, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw — all household names. But will the next generation of news anchors enjoy the same kind of fame?

Tom Rosensteil: Network news has been losing an average of a million viewers a year for the last 25 years.

Tom Rosensteil is with the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism:

Rosensteil: News consumption is now something that people do when it’s convenient for them. And this has made the appointment viewing of the network evening news something that, you know, has been squeezed.

Still, don’t count network news out just yet, says Marty Kaplan with the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. He says the audience is still substantial.

Marty Kaplan: It’s way smaller than it used to be; nevertheless, the network news still has the largest public square in America.

About 23 million people tune into network news shows every night. And that’s getting advertisers. Last year, ABC, NBC and CBS sold an average of $157 million in ad revenue.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

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