Somebody should get canned. This is another Mark Cuban inspired post, he just blasted the lack of journalism and how TV is losing ground fast to the internet. He says its lack of investigation and inability to find a persona that resonates with viewers. I think that's part of it, but I think the real problem is the decision makers look at the ratings the wrong way. Look at the graph above. It's pretty obvious whats going on. Now imagine that in each year, the highpoint in ratings comes from some catastrophe like Katrina or the Tsunami that they ride on for a week or two. So they spend all year looking for these catastrophes, and publicizing miniature ones in the hope of getting people interested. But people don't care, so they watch less and less, because it is less and less relevant.
Everytime I watch the evening news, I see lowest common denominator scare tactics. YOUR ORANGE JUICE IS EATING YOUR SOUL! TRIPLE HOMICIDE! etc. etc. These features have little informative content beyond the headline, and don't help me to learn more about the things I actually care about. If I ask you in the morning if you cared about a fight between four drug dealers in a seedy part of town, you'd say no. Why should the answer be much different that night? The headline tells it all, and I don't need to see their neighbors going on about it. Give me something I care about.
Ok, enough bitching. Jon Stewart has found something I care about. Howard Stern, to a lesser extent, did too. Politics seems to be the way to go. And there is no other real avenue to get local politics. Talk about the governor race in a way that makes sense, and covers the issues. I don't want to see a debate between the candidates, they won't say anything. Give me two supporters. Give me a pundit. Say something with content.
And yeah, you can't do that every night. But have a special on nearby universities, and which ones to consider, pros and cons. Talk about things that I crave information about. And don't make it sensational. I can tell.
Give me something that I want to watch, and I will watch. But I want info, I want in depth, I want more than I can see on the AP feed. And I want it to really affect me, personally. I want to leave your show and say, I'm glad I watched that. Please.