...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Today's hype.

I'm rooting for the powerful Today show to regain its lead over its morning TV competition. Of the three shows, Today has always had the talent and intelligence, and has always overcome its occasional, understandable lapses. NBC is the smartest-managed network. But I'm enough of an idealist to feel a twinge in my gut over the reality of TV news today. In news publishing, what's most important to the audience is supposed to headline the paper or lead the broadcast. Today's opening seconds today trumpeted the show's two "exclusives": the show's much-hyped interview with "The Runaway Bride" and an interview with Michael Jackson's mom. Does Jeff Zucker really believe the core Today audience considers these tabloid followup features more important than John McCain on the Bolton nomination or the lost Boy Scout in Utah? Evidently, yes. I understand broadcasting's show-biz imperative. But I don't always have to like it. There must be somebody who can hit the sweet spot between Inside Edition and The News Hour. Hard news is exciting enough.

1 comment:

Couchy said...

I'm an avid fan of "Today," but not a regular viewer anymore. Why? The format of the show has become so predictable and the actual news content so diminished that very rarely are they talking about something noteworthy (ie. your tabloid sentences).

During the 7 AM hour here, I can always expect they'll do something DC-related. During the 8 AM hour, it's almost always entertainment fluff. During the 9 AM hour, something for Suzy homemaker. That means that if I miss the 7-7:25 portion, the chance that they'll consistently cover something I care about is quite slim. I could live with that if they at least did bottom of the hour headlines, but now those are relegated to the top of the hour only. They have often sent me elsewhere looking for my daily dose of morning news.

Too bad, because I would rather get it from them. If only they offered it...