Wednesday, June 22, 2005


NPR Ratings: Holding Steady While TV News In General Tanks

In a MyDD post by Chuckles, we find this:

The audience trends for the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, which started in 1973 as The Robert MacNeil Report and later became the half-hour MacNeil/Lehrer Report, stand in striking contrast to those of commercial network television. Data published in the PBS National Audience Handbook show that NewsHour ratings were remarkably stable over the five years from 1998 to 2003, averaging a 1.2 household rating. According to PBS, that translates to roughly 2.7 million viewers each weeknight and more than 8 million different or "unduplicated" viewers who watch at least one night a week.15 That is still significantly smaller than even third-place CBS. But the NewsHour's ability to hold its audience distinguishes it in network nightly news. ... At a time when Nightline and other magazine programs are having difficulty, and commercial nightly newscasts are hemorrhaging audience, the NewsHour's numbers suggests a health that is unusual.
The links Chuckles provides don't give much details on cable viewership, alas. But here's a graph showing that with younger viewers, cable news is losing ground along with network news, as more young'uns turn to The Daily Show for their dose of reality.

Bill Moyers interview

He is pessimistic that public broadcasting will survive.
BushCo seems determined to kill it off, or to zombify it.

But a number of PBS and NPR stations, particularly on the coasts, are prepared to swear off CPB money -- and CPB itself.
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