CBS Goes Back to the Drawing Board

At a meeting with investors yesterday, CBS president Les Moonves addressed a number of topics including the failed makeover of the "CBS Evening News." MediaWeek has the skinny:

When asked about the progress of the revamp of the low-rated "CBS Evening News" prompted by the departure of longtime anchor Dan Rather in March, Moonves conceded CBS News isn't close to the radical makeover he has envisioned to boost the fortunes of the show. Moonves said he was frustrated, saying that the average age of the news viewer -- on all three evening newscasts -- was about 60. He said CBS was trying to change it and make it more "user-friendly." "We haven't come up with a great solution, so we've sent them back to the drawing board," Moonves said. "But you will see changes in the next several months."

For those who haven't been watching (i.e. most of you), CBS has been trying to remake "Evening" in basically the same manner since about 2002. Each time, they've met with neglible ratings results because they've failed to realize that fancy graphics, anchor-reporter chatter, and new technological features aren't what makes viewers want to watch. CBS News has fundamental problems that show forth in its broadcasts. Until Moonves undertakes a total housecleaning of the liberal dead weight at the top of CBS News, NBC and ABC will continue to win. If he truly wants a "radical change," Moonves couldn't do any better than stealing Roger Ailes away from Fox News Channel. Somehow, I don't see CBS even trying for that.For more links on the subject, see National Review's media blog.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013