What does the future hold for CBS Evening News? For that matter, what’s the future have in store for any network newscast? As David A. Andelman of Forbes.com notes, the typical viewer of CBS Evening News is “somewhere north of 50 years old (probably considerably north) and has been watching it since Walter Cronkite (remember him, kids? Probably not) was in the anchor chair.”
That’s not the demographic most TV networks are looking for. As Andelman speculates in his recent column, “The CBS Daily Show With Jon Stewart”, things might look much different in the near future.
[T]oday’s pared-to-the-bones CBS could save quite a lot more money by going The Daily Show route. First, comedy writers earn a lot less than senior producers or correspondents on a network evening news show. You might want to hold on to a few such correspondents and producers just in case the pope dies or the president gets shot or there’s some other history-altering moment and you want do something more elaborate than simply poke fun at it, as Jon Stewart does so effectively on Comedy Central. Still, you don’t need to have a whole regiment of correspondents, producers and camera crews suited up and ready to go 24/7.
Moreover, The Daily Show even has the beauty of being owned by Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom, which owns CBS.
Finally, you don’t need to jump through hoops to find creative means to keep this whole infrastructure humming along profitably. That’s because there won’t be any such infrastructure.
Turn The Morning Show over to the entertainment division, which does cooking shows and movie promos better anyway. Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes and Face the Nation can continue to totter along on their own without a whole bureau system and news infrastructure. I mean, they’re not even located in the main Broadcast Center on West 57th Street, though without that huge news operation to house, they might be able to move back into the home of the mother ship and save CBS a bundle on off-site rental costs.