Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


So, Dan Rather has announced that he is leaving his job as anchor of the CBS evening news program. But, like Tom Brokaw at NBC, he plans to hang on for a long time between his announcement and his departure. The reluctant departure, both!

The decision was inevitable. After the debacle of "Sixty Minutes" and the forged documents accusing President Bush, Rather was finished. He just did not have the grace to resign immediately.

But it was only a matter of time before CBS pushed him out. It is just too bad that CBS waited so long to make a decision it should have made years ago.

"Too bad" because CBS has lost viewers in a steady decline. It will be difficult to regain viewers after this amount of damage has been done. CBS should not follow the NBC model of simply appointing another anchor (Brian Williams for NBC, ugh!).

If CBS wants to have a serious news division and regain the trust of viewers, it needs to devise an entirely different model for delivering the evening news. Otherwise, it should simply stop trying to deliver the news and become solely an entertainment and sports channel.

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