Emotion now blankets the media landscape like an infant’s crib at bedtime. Google “Shepard Smith emotional,” and up come nearly 3 million results, many of them focused on the Fox anchor’s recent visceral response to immigrant suffering. A search of “Rachel Maddow crying” delivers more than 1 million offerings. Contemporary culture trusts feelings over facts, rewards heated emotion — tears or anger — and rejects medium cool. The effect on journalism is unmistakable. And a lot of the blame can be placed on those all-too-common twin devils: television and the internet.
With Norah O’Donnell taking over the anchor chair on Monday, new female leadership at CBS News aims to revive the kind of trust once enjoyed by stalwarts such as Walter Cronkite.
With the financial pressure on system operators, pitted against need for broadcasters to eventually achieve parity with the most-watched cable networks, retrans fights and blackouts are bound to sometimes happen. The sad reality is that in the short term everyone loses. Viewers lose their favorite programs, stations lose news viewers, DirecTV loses subscribers and station general managers lose their minds.
Hearst Television’s Emerson Coleman: “We have all benefited from Lew’s pioneering work. We are thankful for what he has given us today and for all the ways that he has already contributed to the next generation.”
President Trump on Thursday afternoon announced that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would be departing her job at “the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas.” But Sanders had unofficially left her job as White House press secretary earlier this year, when she allowed the tradition of frequent official White House briefings to lapse — and then, to die.
Is the loss of newspapers also the loss of basic information, deep reporting, investigations, even democracy its self? I don’t think so. Leading television stations are the natural candidates to become the trusted source, and many will.
Making room for more ambitious shows from voices that have rarely gotten the chance has only made TV better.
Hank Price: The relationship between Viacom and CBS is a long and complicated one.