Buyouts at CBS Radio News in advance of Spin-Off - Page 2
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Thread: Buyouts at CBS Radio News in advance of Spin-Off

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NewsStud View Post
    There is value in in network news on radio because it's a definite time and place to hear a roundup (if you will) of the world's events. There are still people who like that on the radio.

    From a programmatic perspective, it's a way to kick off the hour. Not the only way. Some all-news stations don't, and they might have a focus on more local things. WINS in New York City is an example of that. KYW in Philly, too. WCBS or KNX, or WTOP, etc. have built brands on providing that service every hour at the same time. These stations do very well, despite being older-skewing and on the AM band. And many of them are proud to run CBS News on the hour. It's got little to do with pressure from corporate.

    CBS's bottom of the hour update is what's available because that's what enough of the affiliates want. If enough of the stations demanded (and committed to airing) a five or six minute bottom-of-hour cast, you can be sure the network would do it. It's in the business of serving clients.

    And to your point about the usefulness of network newscasts every hour 80 years ago being only because a local station couldn't get as good audio itself, I would say it's pretty hard for a single station to get a reporter on the air from the White House or a war zone. Not every station is going to afford to have their own person for that. A network would, and if your station runs the cast, you'll get such a feature on your station. Plus you can have the off-air feeds of the reporter on scene for local playback. Or even get a call-in by the reporter. And you don't have pay the guy a fee since he comes with your network affiliation.

    And if you don't like having a national newscast on your clock at :00, delay it. I worked at a station where we digitally delayed the network TOH, to allow us to do a local tease followed by a traffic report when the top of the hour hit. The network cast usually started playing about 90 seconds after top.
    You don't need a network newscast to have a definite schedule.

    You don't need a network newscast to have a report from the White House. Wraps are included in network audio feeds.

    CBS doesn't care if anybody runs a five or six minute newscast at the top or bottom of the hour. They only care if everybody runs the spots.

    The only excuse for TOH network newscasts is inertia - we do them because we've always done them.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post

    The only excuse for TOH network newscasts is inertia - we do them because we've always done them.
    The same could be said about a lot of things. So what? This has nothing to do with the issue of rising demographics or declining ratings at news stations.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    The same could be said about a lot of things. So what? This has nothing to do with the issue of rising demographics or declining ratings at news stations.
    "Rising demographics" sounds like demographics are improving. We all know they are not, at least as far as media buyers are concerned. And yes, I'll agree network TOH newscasts are a secondary, maybe tertiary question for all news stations. But at least it's an issue that can be solved. No way to make the audience younger. Something safe to say because any conceivable approach to get younger listeners has been tried.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    But at least it's an issue that can be solved.
    It's not really an issue to anyone but you. If stations didn't want TOH news, they wouldn't carry it, and as we've both pointed out, there are lots of stations, including several owned by CBS, that don't. Those that do have real reasons why they carry it.

  5. #15

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    Steven Portnoy posted this on his Facebook today. I'll just leave this here, for now, and not make any further comments:

    "You may have read the news that we’ve been wishing some of our very best friends and colleagues at CBS well as they enter retirement with a bit of corporate encouragement. A word on that —
    The people we’ve hailed are, frankly, irreplaceable. They represent a big chunk of the institutional memory of our newsroom and their departures leave us feeling quite sad.

    It’s important for radio fans to understand why this is happening. It is NOT because fewer people are listening. In fact, just the opposite is true! Nielsen and Edison Research tell us that radio now reaches more people than any other medium, including the social one you’re reading right now. Many of our stations are at the very top of the ratings in their markets. Tens of millions of Americans of all ages learn about our world from network radio news — don’t let anyone convince you otherwise, we’ve got the data that proves it’s just not true.

    The trouble is, marketers — the companies that buy advertising, in the hopes that you’ll buy the things they sell — are always looking for the newest, most cost-efficient way to reach people in a crowded media universe. They’re spending less money on advertising generally and are trying to figure out whether that will work for them. The jury is still out, but network radio in particular has taken a pretty tough hit from the shifting dollars. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the idea that fewer people are listening isn’t one of them.

    It's with this backdrop that CBS has, however, been forced to make tough, careful decisions about our staffing. My understanding is that no more cuts are planned.

    What’s important for you, a fan of radio news, to know is this — each hour, 24 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days each year, the <BONG> that proudly introduces our newscast will continue to signal the very best in broadcast journalism.

    The people of CBS News are as committed as ever to living up to a legacy that began with Robert Trout and Ed Murrow, evolved with Douglas Edwards, Dallas Townsend and Christopher Glenn, and continues today with Frank Settipani, Steve Kathan, Dave Barrett, Pam Coulter and countless others who have made it their life’s work to bring the most up-to-date news to you, a member of one of the largest audiences any media entity in America can claim.
    Just look at the time — another fresh report is coming up from CBS News in just a few minutes. Miss the last one? It’s right here — http://www.cbsradionewscast.com.
    Thanks for keeping our colleagues and what we do in your thoughts, and thanks for listening."

  6. #16

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    Nick Young, in response to Portnoy, from Facebook...

    "While I admire the work and dedication of my CBS colleagues, the ones who survived this round of bloodletting and those who didn't, where is the great hope for radio's robust future in your argument, Steven? Radio listenership is growing, you say, yet advertising dollars are fleeing ("network radio in particular has taken a pretty tough hit.") If radio with its increasing audience isn't convincing media buyers, what's going to change their minds? And in the absence of that change, what lies ahead but shrinking revenue and relentless pressure on stations, networks and their news operations? I've spent nearly fifty years in the business, and I'm still at it, so I don't mean to kill the buzz; but it's damned hard to paint a rosy future based on the evidence . . . and the departure of these friends and colleagues from West 57th is just the latest, sad sign."

  7. #17

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    Tim Scheld, with a different take...

    "Kodak died when the digital camera came but I take more photos than I ever have with my phone. Couldn't agree more that the traditional business is challenged and our pivot is way too slow. But the business is filled with people delivering great content and many of them are young people and I'm pretty excited about finding places to deliver this content including social platforms that haven't even been built yet. Difficult? You bet. Delusional? Nope. The future of news and storytelling and information collection and delivery is bright. The race is on to find out who can have the platforms to bring it home."

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    "Rising demographics" sounds like demographics are improving. We all know they are not, at least as far as media buyers are concerned.
    Don't pretend to be disingenuous. You know that by "rising" BigA meant "rising in age". Radio news listeners are getting older and most are out of agency buyers' targets for campaigns they handle.
    www.americanradiohistory.com
    Broadcasting Magazine and Yearbooks, RCA Broadcast News, Television Magazine, Radio Annual, Radio News, Sponsor, Television/Radio Age, R&R, Duncan's American Radio, M Street Directory, Broadcast Engineering, db, and more.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by KMan View Post
    They’re spending less money on advertising generally and are trying to figure out whether that will work for them. The jury is still out, but network radio in particular has taken a pretty tough hit from the shifting dollars. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the idea that fewer people are listening isn’t one of them.
    No, the issue is that network programs tend to appeal to older, more traditional audiences. The issue is obsolescence, not reach.

    It's with this backdrop that CBS has, however, been forced to make tough, careful decisions about our staffing. My understanding is that no more cuts are planned.
    This was not a CBS radio group issue to begin with. CBS Radio News is a product produced by "the other part of CBS" under contract for Westwood One. Westwood has lower affiliate clearances, so they renegotiated their deal with CBS. There are fewer affiliates because, again, network news is on the declining curve of its product life cycle.

    And this is not about radio in general. It's about advertisers taking money away from radio network news and putting it elsewhere... probably in other types of radio programming.
    www.americanradiohistory.com
    Broadcasting Magazine and Yearbooks, RCA Broadcast News, Television Magazine, Radio Annual, Radio News, Sponsor, Television/Radio Age, R&R, Duncan's American Radio, M Street Directory, Broadcast Engineering, db, and more.

  10. #20
    It isn't just network news that is suffering fewer ad dollars, it is all national platforms. According to RAB, national revenue fell by 5.5% from 2011 to 2014.

    I think Westwood One's platforms in particular have been hit harder than some other companies.
    "Its music what makes a radio station, and at Live FM, we play the last music around."
    After receiving that copy, I quit the VO industry.

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