Last week, what was presented in mid-day by all-news WCBS as an unusually lengthy “news” report, was nothing even close. It was a CBS TV News promo poorly posed as news. Replete with sound bites, it was an infomercial for the reprise of the late Edward R. Murrow’s “Person to Person.” this time hosted by Charlie Rose and Lara Logan.
It was as insulting as, I suppose, it was inevitable. And from what I’ve read about Murrow, he’d have been furious.
The ugly, transparent service to networks’ corporate fatherlands — the kind that now so often reduces “60 Minutes” to a CBS shopping catalog — has infected All-News 88. It’s as if the station is being forced to surrender by its own generals, as if it’s an admission that the station is no longer good enough to succeed by what made it successful.
WCBS-880 is growing top-heavy with desperate contests and self-laudatory copy, all of it making less room for news.
Reports from reporters in the field seem fewer and less newsy, unless asking motorists how they feel about being stuck in traffic and dispatching reporters to Home Depots to check on the sale of shovels before snowstorms passes for news.