Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss the challenges facing TV's nightly newscasts.
Viewership is still strong for the three major networks, though audience numbers have decreased over the years as the potential sources of news have increased. The around-the-clock news cycle means Americans no longer need to tune in to the nightly news for a digest of what happened in the world.
Additional challenges are mounting for the PBS News Hour. Its main corporate underwriter will leave at the end of the year, which will cost the program $2 million out of its $27 million annual budget.
Like all of public broadcasting, the News Hour also faces the threat of losing federal money if deficit hawks push through their proposals to eliminate funding for "non-essential" programs.
Meanwhile, commercial broadcasters stand to gain a huge cash infusion during next year's election cycle. The "Citizens United" decision by the US Supreme Court could lead to record spending on campaign ads.