God is dead. Film at 11.
: Well, CBS Chair Les Moonves gets one message about the future of news and keeps repeating it like a media mantra:
Moonves, who will ultimately select Rather’s replacement, said he believes many young viewers are turned off by a single “voice of God” anchor in the Internet age….
“Those days are over when you have that guy sitting behind the desk who everyone believes to the `nth’ degree,” Moonves told reporters. “It’s sort of an antiquated way of news telling and maybe there’s a new way of doing it.” …
“We have to try and reinvent that,” he said. “One of the ways we’re looking at is making it younger and more relevant, something that younger people can relate to as opposed to that guy preaching from the mountaintop about what we should and should not watch.”
Got that? No god-from-the-mountaintop thing. Strike the Mt. Sinai set, boys. Throw out the tablets.
But I joke. It is the right message. Moonves is also talking about a multi-city, multi-anchor approach. Been there, seen that. Seen that fail. And there’s this:
Asked twice, Moonves wouldn’t rule out a role on the evening news for Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, whose “The Daily Show” skewers politicians and the news media each night. Moonves is co-chief executive of Viacom, which owns both CBS and Comedy Central.
Well, that’s fun, too. It won’t happen, but it’s fun to imagine.
The problem with all this is that Moonves talks about change and about what the news shouldn’t be. But he doesn’t yet talk about what the news should be. It’s not about pandering to a young demographic. It’s about respecting the public. It’s about having a conversation. It’s not about the style. It’s the substance, Les.