Talk Show Host Suggests CBS Evening News Go Conservative
Many people might not be familiar with Denver, Colorado’s most popular radio talk show host Mike Rosen. Regardless, he wrote an op-ed in Friday’s Rocky Mountain News which was an open letter to CBS president Sean McManus (hat tip to TVNewser, emphasis mine throughout):
Unfortunately, CBS News has been mired in last place behind NBC and ABC in recent years. Your response has been to hire Katie Couric to "perk up" your evening newscast. That was a mistake. Although she scored some good ratings numbers during her first week, this was likely a flash-in-the-pan reaction to a big promotional campaign and viewer curiosity. In the November sweeps, she's settled into a "distant third," as Variety recently phrased it.
Fascinated? Well, here was the marvelous payoff pitch:
But all is not lost. When you finally give up on Couric, I have a rescue plan if you're willing to take a chance. Really, what have you got to lose?
Here it is: go conservative. Not right wing, mind you. Just mainstream conservative. Couric's nightly audience is about 7 million. There are at least 20 million (that's the size of Rush Limbaugh's radio audience) American grown-ups who are sick and tired of the pervasive liberal bias that dominates the so-called "old" mass media. They'd also like a little more substance.
Rather was liberal, Brokaw was liberal, Jennings was liberal. Brian Williams and Charles Gibson, your current competition on ABC and NBC, are liberal. And Katie's liberal. So break the mold. Let Williams and Gibson split the liberal audience and you'll have the conservative audience all to yourself, including millions of new viewers who long ago gave up on network news. It's called product differentiation. Yes, the Fox News Channel skews conservative, but they're on cable and Brit Hume's Special Report has only 2 million viewers, which is pretty good for a cable channel. Just ask CNN and MSNBC.
As a matter of fact, Fox would be a good model for you. I know this is hard for inbred liberals to understand, but Fox's news is more fair and balanced than yours. They skew right of center less than you, ABC and NBC skew left of center. You could probably have gotten Hume for a lot less than you paid Couric, and he'd have been much better. OK, he's not as perky, but he has gravitas.
This guy sounds like an NBer, doesn’t he? He continued:
Change your agenda. Don't obsess on bad news. When you criticize institutions and public figures, don't just attack from the left. Say some good things about business and capitalism, and some critical things about labor unions. Try being more skeptical of environmental activists and global warming hype. Make fun of Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore the way you do of conservatives.
This will mean, of course, that you'll have to turn your newsroom upside down. Change the culture. Inject some conservative blood. You could call it diversity. Reacting to Richard Nixon's re-election in 1972, The New Yorker's film critic Pauline Kael ironically declared that she couldn't believe he won, since no one she knew voted for him. There's a message there. Get some editors with a different viewpoint, who travel in broader intellectual circles. You know those young people behind the scenes who help produce shows and write copy? They don't all have to be rubber-stamped, idealistic, "progressive" journalism school graduates who want to change the world. Hire a few interns from The Weekly Standard. Get a White House reporter who doesn't hate George W. Bush.
Rosen fabulously concluded:
You get the idea. It could propel CBS to the top of the nightly news ratings. And it might just be good for America, too.
Spectucular job, Mike. I couldn’t agree with you more fervently!
*****Update: A NewsBusters reader wrote an article on this subject a couple of weeks before the elections --
NBC isn't really a good buy, but CBS IS worth going in debt for. CNN was once upon a time...the main source for news on Cable and Dish. Add Foxnews to the choices viewers could make, and look where they went. The majority doesn't have Cable or Dish though, and so we must buy CBS, because I can make it the most watched, and once I have done that...the other 2 won't be able to afford utter bias anymore.
So some Angels get together and talk Viacom out of CBS, and I'm given control of turning it around. The first order of business at the Conservatives Broadcasting Salvation network...Letterman gets tossed out the backdoor on His backside. And I'd bring in Ann Coulter, because Her polarizing personality draws viewers and we can poke fun at Liberals who won't come on her show.
Couric will be placed on the trading block, and NBC could get Her back for their show Friday Night Lights...which I would let Sherwood Baptist direct after the acquisition. Friday Night Lights, taking points from the group of writers and actors that created Facing the Giants would be wonderful for the youth of America.
I would also be willing to trade all of my CSI shows for Fox's 24. Cold case, two and a half men, Ghost Whisperer, and Rockstar supernova would also be on the trading block. The focus would be sports at first, I'd either be working on a deal for more Nascar, MLB, NFL, PGA, or NBA.
Sunday would have TD Jakes, and Will Graham. Along with a special program, in which we'd travel to a different church each week. None of this would appear in time slots that might keep people from going to their church, we'd put news shows in Church time slots. Face the Nation would be there, but Chris Mathews would not. Mychael Massie and Star Parker would co-host Face the Nation.
Michelle Malkin would host Nightly News, but Rush would have His own 20 minute segment...as we'd extend our evening news to an hour. Another 30 minute program called "Newsbusters" would follow the Nightly News...based entirely on the website Newsbusters.com and they'd focus on the Broadcast, Cable/Dish, and Print media lies and distortions of the day. This would get me to 8 p.m.
I'm not above ripping off shows from other networks either, I'd just add a twist to them. Like extreme home makeover...would now be handed to Church groups. Anyone wanting/needing a home makeover would watch the show and await a code word to be flashed at the bottom of the screen, then they'd write their info and the code word and mail it in. If a Church in their area, or a group of Churches were signed on to build, and the family was found to be in need...then we'd dispatch a camera crew to them. I'd run this show 3 nights a week at 8 p.m.
The best part would be my Friday Night Live, which would take NBC's "Crazy Christians" and turn it upside down. We'd mock pop culture, slam the latest Hollywood film failures, and blast elected liberals. We might even get really stupid and create 2 other shows based on the making and operation of Friday Night Live. NBC has really done that now...