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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

CBS ratings continue slide, hit all-time low

It looks like the disgraced departure of Gunga Dan hasn't helped the ratings situation at the CBS Evening News. The Black Eye Network is getting massacred in the few households where people still watch network news:
CBS' 6.1 million average nightly viewers last week was its lowest total since record-keeping started in 1987. Low ratings for "Evening News" are a setback for CBS, which had received plenty of critical acclaim for the Schieffer-led broadcast. Schieffer scored a notable scoop on the Minnesota school shooting story in his first week on the air, and the newscast showcased his conversational style via live Q&As with correspondents. CBS has averaged a little more than 6.8 million viewers in Schieffer's first six weeks at the helm, down 7% from the same period last year.
And now the spin from CBS:
"Our focus right now is on the content of the broadcast. We realize it will take time for the audience to respond to the changes we're making," said CBS News spokeswoman Donna Dees. "The journalism is strong, the spirit is fresh, and the initial reaction has been very positive.
I've got two questions for this spokeschick: 1. Are you admitting that strong journalism is a change from CBS traditions? 2. In what parallel universe is a record-low ratings number seen as "very positive?"


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