Hey gang, just a short one here.
After writing my last post, something dawned on me. Network news coverage, at the time I'm writing this, has made a critical error. FULL DISCLOSURE: I work for a branch of NBC Universal, however we do not cover hard news.
Last night, NBC, CBS, and ABC will only covered one hour of the RNC Convention. Currently, that is the plan for the entire convention, and for the DNC Convention next week as well. Enough people are upset that even The Hollywood Reporter covered the dismay, and their main focus is the business of entertainment. Now, not everybody is a political junkie like yours truly, but it is a big event and most people do want to see the conventions and the big speeches. The people who MOST want to see the conventions are the undecideds and independents, the core block that will choose the winner this November.
This is a good time for the networks and everyone else to be realistic. Nobody wants to watch the whole thing, unless they are being paid to do it. What people do like to do is record it, and then scan through for who they want to see (and yes they scan through the commercials, but at least there is a chance they will see YOUR commercials). Additionally, they are telling everyone, all voters, "We are not covering it, go out there and find your own sources to watch these events." That is a bad, bad, bad business model.
All three of these networks have big news departments, they all have accomplished journalists, and they have compelling talent. They spend piles of money on advertising their morning news, nightly news and special report shows, and they spend even more dough producing these shows. Why on earth they would shy away from something with so much gravity in the world of news is beyond me. I came to terms with the fact that most news is reported in a myopic manner a long time ago, but the decision to do this on the business end baffles me. After the viewers find a different source they like, how many will return?
What could be so important that they are not covering these once every four years events? We can all speculate and come up with quite a few ideas. The obvious one would be possibly ratings; do they think too many outlets are covering it, and they want to stick to their own original programming? Do they not take the Presidential conventions seriously? Could it be that the events are straight forward, and project the respective party lines, which in turn minimizes their opportunity to spin it? What ever the reason, they should be covering at least a respectable two hours.
In the event that some of the viewers do return, how much seriousness and respect will they give to the networks? This decision really hurts all of them at the same time. Viewers have consistently been gravitating towards cable news. This decision will change the intensity of the departure from a migration to an exodus.