Network news divisions failed for years to attract additional younger viewers to their evening programs. Could this spell the end of the nightly news?
I am trying to understand both sides of the argument as to whether the lack of younger viewers will mean the end of the nightly news.
While the young demographics (14-18, 18-24, etc.) are a much sought-after market, advertisers also see the Baby Boomers and the aging population that relies on drugs, surgeries, etc. as a viable audience. The evening news will always appeal to them because of the passive way that the news can be absorbed along with the latest current events outside their main interests but important for their children and grandchildren. As newspapers diminish in importance as a source for news, television’s ability to immediately broadcast any “breaking” news story will play a large part in television’s ability to compete with print media. The Internet and other electronic media will appeal to a younger audience, and that is why we are now seeing partnerships between such companies as Yahoo and ABC Broadcasting, where the national news corporation provides news coverage for the online community. The end of evening news broadcasts will not occur as a result of any single shift in viewership, but it is threatened by such 24-hour news broadcasts as CNN and BBC. Also, there has been an explosion of “entertainment news” shows—visual gossip shows driven by paparazzi product—vying for the early evening time slots; they mainly compete with local news shows that serve specific local urban areas. Finally, an increasingly educated youth population is becoming more and more interested in news, especially international events (political and financial) and employment trends.