Network News Takes Your Emails
NBC anchor Brian Williams has been reading viewer emails on the air, and Katie Couric will also allow viewer input when she becomes an anchor at CBS.
Reports the New York Post:
'THE NBC Nightly News" has a new feature - viewer e-mail.
At least three times in the past few weeks - most recently on Wednesday - anchorman Brian Williams has concluded the newscast by reading a handful of e-mails from readers.
He even read one e-mail from a viewer who complained about his choice of wardrobe, which the viewer compared unfavorably to the clothes worn by ABC News anchor Charles Gibson.
"Well, sir," Williams replied on-air, "you may force me to call that nice fellow over there at ABC to see where he buys his stuff."
The e-mail segment is not a regular feature and will only be seen occasionally when time permits, which isn't often, said John Reiss, executive producer of the Williams newscast.
But it does represent a stepped-up effort on the part of NBC News - along with its counterparts at competitors CBS and ABC - to humanize their news anchors and newscasts through increased interaction with viewers.
The effort is also taking the form of blogs posted on their Web sites. Williams writes one and incoming CBS anchor Katie Couric is planning to write one, too. At ABC News, Gibson does not yet write his own regular blog, although the news division does maintain a blog to which many of its correspondents contribute, including Gibson.
In addition, the newly reconstituted "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" - set to debut Sept. 5 - will give some viewers the opportunity to speak out on the broadcast in a new series of guest commentaries titled "Free Speech," CBS News announced last week.