CBSNews.com's blog, Public Eye, has a post today on their Early Show viewer demographics, broken down by half-hour block. They show that two-thirds of the audience are women throughout all four half-hour blocks of the show, but that the first half-hour is younger and has more male viewership.
As such, CBSNews officials admit, they tend to stick the hard news in the first half hour, with features dominating the later half hour blocks, but feel they still leave enough hard news scraps to go around in the news briefings in the other half hours:
The first hour is geared more towards the transitional audience, and the second hour includes programming designed for people who are sticking around.
That doesn't mean people who stay at home only want soft features, says Katie Boyle, a senior producer with the CBS "Early Show." She points out that the "Early Show" runs newsblocks on the hour and half-hour, and says that there is a mix of stories so the same topics aren't covered over and over. "In a two hour morning show you want some variety," she says. And the fact that the proportion of women is slightly higher in the second half of the program, she adds, doesn't mean they don't care about hard news. "Women are watching morning television, period, at the beginning and at the end, when there's hard news and soft features," she says. "They want it all."
That may be true, but it really varies from day to day. For example, these were the news briefing stories in the 8:30 half hour block, hardly hard news, with the exception of the Chinese space program:
- The new actor to portray James Bond, 007, is a blonde. Brief story by correspondent Sheila MacVicar.
- China launched its second manned space flight. Brief anchor read.
- A bridge in South Carolina was demolished (brief anchor read over video of explosives imploding bridge).
- Michelle Wie, recently turned-pro tennis player, celebrated her 18th birthday. Brief anchor read.