It’s been a dizzying time for PR professionals–or for anyone, for that matter–to keep up with world events. Just this week, between Washington’s so-called scandals to Supreme Court decisions to bad weather to celebrities behaving badly, the networks, cable and local news stations seem to fill airtime by constantly pushing out “breaking news,” some of which is important but most of which seems merely alarmist.
Endless news/talk shows, controversial commentary, and infotainment are featured 24/7 so that more people will watch–and ads can be sold for higher prices if ratings increase. Venerable network and cable morning news shows seem to be competing for the lowest common denominator at times, adding heavier doses of pop culture, gossip and youTube-style videos to their newscasts. On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the likeable George Stephanopoulos and co-hosts do far too many light, fluffy stories and Hollywood gossip. NBC’s “Today Show” continues to stress fun, seemingly devoting far more airtime to entertaining rather than informing. And I defy anyone to watch “Fox & Friends” and then tell me they’ve seen a program packed with journalistic quality.
One morning news program stands apart from the others: “CBS This Morning“. The re-cast show debuted in fall 2012 and is anchored by journalism veteran Charlie Rose, reporter/editor and “Oprah” alumna Gayle King, and former CBS White House Chief Correspondent Norah O’Donnell. I’ve become a fan of its straightforward approach to news, and how entertainment-based stories and cutesy feature segments are scarce. The Los Angeles Times reported, “‘CBS This Morning’ has no weather person, no cooking segments, and no outdoor plaza where fans from Topeka eagerly wave homemade signs. The show’s major innovation is the ‘Eye Opener,’ a 90-second highlight reel of the day’s major stories that opens the top of each hour.”
“CBS This Morning” isn’t heavy-handed; it’s smart, explanatory, easily absorbed, and serious about TV journalism. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but unlike my coffee, I want my morning news served without all that cream and sugar. Your thoughts?