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September 2, 2014

Should network news be an hour long?

by Anna Johns, posted Aug 15th 2006 12:32PM
katie couricYes!

Whoa. I'm getting ahead of myself here. And, really, I was asking your opinion.

After visiting with CBS viewers in different cities, anchor Katie Couric says viewers are hungry for more, in-depth news and information. The big three networks all have 30-minute newscasts and, unfortunately, an hour-long newscast is unlikely because that extra half-hour of network space makes some decent cash with syndicated programming. You have to go to cable news or public television to get that.

Although, cable television is evidence that an hour-long newscast doesn't necessarily mean you'll get any in-depth news and information. Thirty minutes is such a short amount of time for so much news that it's super dumbed down and, in many cases, stories are generalized in order to get everything in.

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Brent McKee

In Canada we've had an hour long national newscast on the CBC for about 25 years. Admittedly this is seen at 10 p.m. local time rather than the early evening (that goes to local stations) and on the whole it has worked quite well. The first half hour or so is what you'd probably describe as standard news coverage, but the second half hour has been in depth coverage of particular news events, sometimes with one story taking over the first half hour. It's not a bad idea although recently ratings have declined for the broadcast (in part because of a ruinous strike at the CBC last year).

August 16 2006 at 1:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doc

Thanks Chris, that clears up the confusion. Here in Seattle we have local news from 5-6, national from 6-6:30, local news frmo 6:30-7, and syndicated junk from 7-8. So, reading Anna's post I assumed that the extra national news would take up the 6:30-7 local news spot.

August 15 2006 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

To "Doc" (#8):
Depends on the city/time zone, but here in NYC, local news goes til 630p, the national news is 630-7p. And the syndicated crap is from 7-8p. Prime starts at 8p.

August 15 2006 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Jones

How many people have access to regular TV stations, no internet and no cable/sattelite?

I can't imagine the people who can not access the web or 24 hour cable news is large, so 30 is enough for the big networks.

August 15 2006 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doc

"an hour-long newscast is unlikely because that extra half-hour of network space makes some decent cash with syndicated programming."

Shouldn't that be that the half hour after the network news is usually used for local news, where the affiliates make some decent cash? That's how it works in my neck of the woods anyway.

August 15 2006 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin

FOX local news is an hour.

August 15 2006 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

An hour of network news would not mean more in-depth coverage; it would just mean more time for sensational stories and celebri-tainment. The networks already have hours of what used to be newsmagazines, and look what a swamp those have degenerated into. Voodoo, star interviews, ambushing child predators, digging up lurid old murder cases, etc. Why would they treat this hour any differently?

60 Minutes excepted, of course. Although with Hewitt gone, it seems like they were doing more celebrity interviews than they used to.

August 15 2006 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vince

They don't have a clue on network TV.

What they should do is showcase the indepth stories they have available on the web. "ABC This Week" is doing some of this by offerring "expanded" versions of the TV show on the web.

On the web they can narrow cast the news to select audiances with tailored ads (less mass market pill ads!)

August 15 2006 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason P.

The best way to do a full hour is PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." Ten minutes of news summary, then 40 minutes of in-depth analysis on the day's top stories. It gets you quickly up to date, but it also informs you far better than any other news program in the country.

August 15 2006 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Myron

Are there enough pills to ask your doctor about to support a full hour?

August 15 2006 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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