Monday, June 25, 2007

"NBC's Brian Williams Losing More Viewers Than Couric"

This past Memorial Day I was visiting my parents. For most of the day, I was just lounging around as is typical on my visits and catching up on the stack of New Yorker magazines that piled up since I had been there previously. I was also enjoying the "World's Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel which is a fascinating show about the Alaskan King Crab fishermen. During one of the commercials early in the evening, I went back into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and when I returned my father was sitting in front of the TV set tuned to another channel.

"Hey, don't you want to see 'World's Deadliest Catch?'" I asked.

"No. It's time for the NEWS," replied my father.

"The news? It's Memorial Day. There isn't much in the way of news today. You can always catch up on it later."

"I can't. I have to watch the NEWS now."

Suddenly I realized what was going on. I had completely forgotten that my father, for over 40 years, has had the daily habit of watching the NEWS at exactly 6:30 PM every weekday. And it was always on CBS.

"What do you think, of Katie Couric?" I asked curiously.

"I can't stand her. She's terrible!"

So why do you watch the CBS Evening News?"

My father looked at me almost pleadingly. "I have no choice. It's the NEWS!"

I started to explain the concept of getting the news 24/7 on the Web in greater detail than that offered on the network newscasts but since his technical expertise in such matters pretty much ceased following the introduction of color TV, I gave up trying to explain when I noticed him blinking his eyes uncomprehendingly.

And with that anecdote, we see in a nutshell what is wrong with network newscasts. They appeal to an older generation who only watch mainly out of habit. For younger people, network newscasts are a superfluous relic of a past when the family stopped what they were doing and gathered in front of the glowing tube to receive the NEWS. Except for the older generation, most people nowadays, simply log on to the web and get their news up to day instantly (your humble correspondent uses the Drudge Report as his home page). With the introduction of YouTube and similar sites, we can now even get video clips on a scale much vaster than that offered by the time limited newscasts. Therefore, the network newscasts have become a dinosaur which is reflected in their tumbling ratings. Katie Couric, who my father watches strictly out of habit, is suffering major ratings losses since she took over in the slot once filled by the disgraced Dan Rather. However, the only thing worse than plunging as badly as Katie in the ratings is plunging even more rapidly than Ms Couric as chronicled in this HUffington POST, "NBC's Brian Williams Losing More Viewers Than Couric." I guess it still hasn't occured to Brian that being a standard liberal like all the other network anchors is not something that will make you stand out from the crowd. In addition, Williams seems to have adopted Hurricane Katrina as his overused shtick to beat us over the head with as a metaphor for government (read EVIL Republican) neglect. Hey, Brian, we got your biased point and we're bored to death with your constant harping on this topic as is reflected in your plunging ratings. So let us now watch the HUffies analyze the pathetic plunge in Brian Williams' ratings in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, always able to set his watch by the time my father religiously tunes to CBS every day to receive the NEWS, is in the [brackets]:

NBC's Brian Williams Losing More Viewers Than Couric

[Even Katie can now boast about being less of a loser than Brian.]

All the attention paid to Couric's tough start at CBS has overshadowed what's been going on at NBC. In Couric's first 39 weeks at CBS, she's lost 287,000 viewers from the average of a year ago, a drop of 4 percent from predecessor Bob Schieffer's audience. At the same time, "Nightly News" lost 533,000 viewers, or 5 percent, Nielsen said.

[533,000 Nightly News viewers eventually groaned, "Enough with the BORING Katrina shtick already!"]

In Williams' first three months after taking over from Tom Brokaw in December 2004, "Nightly News" averaged 10.79 million viewers. In the past three months, it's been 7.66 million. To be fair, the nightly news audience traditionally drops when warm weather arrives, and it has been a slow news period.

[When cold weather returns there will still be a big chill in the Nightly News ratings. And now to hear from the HUffington POst HUffies...]

You mean a slow bullshit period.

[A barnyard way of describing summer.]

The last TV newsman I watched regularly was Walter Cronkite.

[Who served up the BS more skillfully than the others.]

There are so many real-time outlets for news (internet, 24-hour stations, etc.) that the target market for the scheduled broadcast news are those who aren't all that focused on the news. It's not necessarily that they want their news to be crap, but the main reason that they turned on the TV was not to get the news. If they main reason they turned on the TV was to get the news they likely would have turned on CNN or FOX or MSNBC or fired up the computer.

[Firing up the computer is becoming the favored option especially with the rapid growth of YouTube type video clips. Any video the TV news shows, I can see at my CONVENIENCE on the Web.]

The only real regular news program on television is the War and Peace Report, on Democracy Now. It is available on Free Speech TV, which is a public access channel. You can also watch it as a podcast. Google Democracy Now to download the necessary software.

[Have you upgraded your Democracy Now software to the Bolshevik 2.1 version yet?]

Right wing radio is imploding for the same reason.

[Trent Lott, Hillary, and Barbara Boxer would disagree with you.]

With CBS going down the toilet due to allowing a kindergarden teacher read the news, & NBC falling off the map due to a dumb frat boy being allowed to read the news, I guess that leaves ABC.

[At this point, even reading "My Pet Goat" won't help Katie Couric in the ratings department.]

Wouldn't watch network news, couldn't stand the Depends ads.

[I can't blame viewers for wanting to foul themselves whenever Katie delivers meaningless chit-chat.]

the era of the stiff news anchor is over.

[Should Brian Williams take Viagra?]

Brian Williams is a vacant bore, and Katie Couric redefines narcissism.

[So what are their bad points?]

Brian Williams was my favorite and I realize he doesn't decide what to say it is all preprogrammed and he is just a mouth piece.

[The mouth piece taking directions from his ear piece.]

On his news show, his handlers have been dumbing him down, big-time, info-tainment style, perhaps so he can better compete with uber-authority Katie Couric?

[The easiest task in the world is dumbing down Brian Williams.]

Brian Williams has been long lost within his own arrogance. I was once hopeful, but quickly saw that he couldn't hold Walter Cronkite's weenus . . . with both hands.

[Walter Cronkite as the John Holmes of news anchors.]

I never cottoned to Brian...seemed stiff and unnatural. But I happened to catch him on someone else's show recently supposedly commenting on "illegal immigration." He never used the word "illegal" and did not differentiate between illegal and legal immigration even once. I could respect it if his views are pro amnesty, etc., but he just spoke as though illegal IS the exact same as legal.

[God forbid if Brian Williams ever veers in the slightest from the strictest interpretation of PC speak.]

Do I care who is up and who is down. They are all the same, doing the same propaganda for the corporate and right wing elite in this country.

[In the Alternate Reality on the other side of the Dimensional Door, the looney left has convinced themselves that the likes of Katie Couric and Brian Williams are delivering propaganda for the EVIL Republicans.]

All US media is Zionist owned more or less and filtered for idiot consumption.

[Don't you mean "Neocon owned?"]

if the networks started reporting to america about what really happened on 9/11 and how the murder of 3000 people was used as an excuse to go into iraq and to destroy civil liberties at home, i'm sure you would see a big jump in their ratings

[Nothing is stopping you from starting a Truther News Network.]

All Williams has going for him is his insufferable arrogance. There are a lot of us out here that actually think for ourselves and we don't like fluffs like Couric and Arrogant A$$holes like Williams. We also don't much watch any of the nightly news programs because we actually would like to know what is really going on in the world and know we won't find out from Couric, Gibson, and Williams et al. Don't need news readers anymore; we can read our own on the internet.

[Could you send me the video link with Williams doing his Katrina shtick for the umpteenth time?]

Imus plugged Williams relentlessly and he returned the favor but stabbing him in the back proving his lack of charachter (Russert was no better) and who wants their news from someone like that? Apparently, many of us do not.

[Mr. Katrina has your back.]

I guess that some people are still watching TV news just as if it were a source for information about the world instead of the source for commercial porn messages that it is.

[My fave commercial porn message was the one delivered by Bob Dole on the subject of PED. I always wondered how parents replied to their kids when asked what that PED was that they heard Senator Dole talking about on the tube.]

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Anonymous Rodrigo said...

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8:49 AM  
Anonymous ray said...

Network new is loosing viewers for two main reasons (in my humble opinion):

First, very few people sit around at dinner time watching TV. The days of the whole family watching the news as they respectfully and quietly eat mom's home cooked meals are just about over. TV dinners don't have the same meaning in the era of 24 hour news outlets and 30 second sound bites, let alone high speed Internet access and cable/satellite tv.

Second, Since most, if not all, network news programs use the same format (one or two primary anchors supported by several "live" reporters all "on the scene" with "investigative reports" and "eyewitness accounts") and generally all report the same stories in the same way, most people can not tell the difference between one network and another. They networks use people like Perky Katie solely as a means to draw viewers (she is not a journalist, remember) and apparently people are not falling for it any longer.

PJ is right, I can get better coverage of any story a lot faster just by accessing one or two of hundreds of news outlets available on the Internet without having to listen to some anchor tell me their version of the facts and without having to sit through numerous commercials telling me to buy this or that new drug. The networks better awaken to the fact that it really is a Brave New World of Information or they will soon be delegated to public tv.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Basilisk said...

All US media is Zionist owned more or less and filtered for idiot consumption.

[Don't you mean "Neocon owned?"]

Well, it wasn't as if they could have a thread without blaming "TEH JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZ!!!!" at least once. It would be like having network news without commercials or something.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I recently added a news widget from to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Ya know, this made me think about when was the last time I deliberately watched the network Evening News (i.e. I didn't just catch some by accident), and it's been so long I can't remember.

I must have given up watching more than 7 years ago, because I've never watched it since I moved into our current house. I'm pretty sure it's been more than 10 years, but I'm not sure.

I do know I don't miss it. (Probably somehow I've managed to avoid the evil mind-bending control of the neo-con JOOOOOOOOOOOZ.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous john f not kerry said...


I'm with you on that. I can't remember the last time I watched it either. I even switch radio stations when their network radio news come on at the top of the hour.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Yasso Naser said...

thank you for allowing for me to comment

4:04 AM  

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