Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 30, 1976 · Page 86
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 86

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 30, 1976
Page 86
Start Free Trial

Page 86 article text (OCR)

Station prof its choke JVets' news-time budget By Lee WUurfdtei AtfOfimttit Prtu Writer LOS ANGELES - Arthur Taylor, CBS corporate president, says television critics are right when they say the networks'half-hour evening newscasts provide little more than a headline service. The shows ought:to be longer, he declares. So why doesn't he just order Walter Cronkite to stay on the air an extra 15 or 30 minutes each night? ABG News chief Bill Sheehan also advocates longer network news shows. "It's clearly the wave of the future," he says, "But when it will happen'is still the big ques-' tion;" Why is that a question for the man in charge? The answer in both cases is the same: they don't have the final word on what gets on the air. And the people who do are not very keen oh seeing the network news expand. Those people are the network affiliates, the local television stations around the country, which have contractual agreements with CBS, ABCi or NBC to carry network programs. CBS has 218 affiliates, ABC 185 and NBC 219. Question Box Q.--Three cheers for Shirley MacLaiae's TV special! It was great She looked terrific and boy, can she duce! Wta will she be doing another TV special?--K. C., Rocky Hill, Conn. Q.-I saw the Shirley MacLaine TV special and I want to know if the show's audience was really made up entirely of dancers as she said.-L. C., Paterson, N. J. -.., . A.--Many viewers have written letters about Shirley MacLaine's TV special and the consensus is that Shirley scored a hit with the show. The audience on the show was made up of real life dancers, or "gypsies" as they call themselves. Shirley will more than likely do another TV special in the not too distant future, but she is currently in London to play the Palladium, something she has wanted to do for some time. Affiliates usually are only too happy to run the network product because it generally is of much higher quality .than what they can bny in syndication or produce themselves. But they don't have to buy if they don't want to, and so far they don't want to buy more evening news. · . The debate over making the network evening news longer cropped up again this month at CBS's annual affiliates meeting in Los Angeles, a two-day rite each network indulges in to wine and dine its stations and assure them about the great season that lies ahead. Taylor chose the occasion to put his network on record for the first time as considering expanded news service "a worthy goal." He acknowledged the financial difficulties, scheduling frustrations and other problems involved, but said: "Television has. brought the world to the living room, but that. is only part of the story. The world that it presents must be more than a superficial one. It mjist try to · make clear the complexities of our time." Taylor didn't get into specifics about when the change should be made or whether it should entail an additional IS or 30 minutes. He left such questions to discussions with the affiliates. But Richard Salant, president of CBS News, who was at the meeting, said it was significant that Taylor also did not say the new goal * would be achieved only if the affiliates consented. That has been the network's policy in the past, Salant said, and the . affiliates nave turned thumbs down : whenever the issue has come up informally in previous years. He said he personally has been advocating a longer evening newscast ever since CBS first broke the ice and expanded from 15 to 30 minutes on Sept. 3, 1963. The affiliates' objections are partly financial. Most stations run 30 minutes of local news on either side of the network's half hour of national and international report ing. These local newscasts usually are big money makers. Because of other scheduling commitments, local stations probably would have to cut back on this profitable operation to give networks extra time. But their concern runs much deeper. CBS-TV President Bob Wussler touched on it in an interview. "In most markets," he said, "a television station is perceived by its viewers through the local news operation. That's the way it really communicates with them." Wayne Kearl, president of Harte- Hanks Television, which owns CBS affiliate KENS-TV in San Antonio, Tex., elaborated on that sentiment during a break in the meeting. "We run stations," he said of his fellow affiliates. ".We're business managers. When it comes to entertainment and sports, the network has its producers, its writers, its stars, so we lean on them, we depend on them. "But when it comes to news, that's the thing we do most and best. And there's something more than money machines in our news operations. It's something we take pride in. Just like a newspaper publisher, it's what gives us prestige and stature in the community." How do you fight a resistance based on such strong financial and personal conviction? With sheer muscle, said a top CBS executive who requested anonymity. He said it is likely the network will give the affiliates a good deal of preparation time -- perhaps as much as a year or more -- and then ' will announce that the "CBS Evening News" is expanding to 45 to 60 minutes -- take it or leave it. That's what CBS finally had to do 1 to expand the program to 30 minutes and then again a few years later to extend the "CBS Morning News" from 30 to 60 minutes. One station owner, however, said he thinks many stations would call CBS's bluff this time and, if necessary, drop the evening news program. They could cover national and international news with the same wire service reports that newspapers use, he suggested. But another station owner said he believes CBS will employ the stron- garm tactic and will succeed with it. Asking that his name not be used, he predicted it will come to pass within two years. "In today's market, the responsible operator would have to think twice about not carrying the network news," he said. "After all, in the long run he's got to serve the public' KANAWHA CITY CLUBHOUSE / With A European Atmosphere UlNfcH SPECIALS EVENING SPECIALS , 1llhc«isUtrllieMtpedritin NV CTO9CTTIK *4.001 lli» t»«l .iXu. It Hit Trfliy. H.I. dlnlT »ltnn...... ^.w | 21SHRMP M.50 'M...: $ 4.00| I SEAFOOD BASKET M.50 PORTERHOUSE '4.00 FUTOFSOLE M.50 T-BOME ( 4.00 Live Entertainment Fri. Sat. Nites Featuring JAY PAUL-- Vocalist Enjoy a delicious meal while listening to your favorite "Oldie-Goldies" from the 40's, 50's 60's. OPEN 7 Days A Week 4102 MacCflttte Aye. SI.. Kan City Ph. 925-M60 DINNER THEATRE | Not Alii Another Evtiiing Oul, bul... A MemornbU E»ptfi«im OPENMGWED.JUNE2, A COMEDY BY OUUtSUMtflKf SKCIAL MSCOWT: SAVI 1.N to 2.N KTVM COWM WITH KMTTAKE IT JMf, AOVANCI TKJttT OMR* ntMOMffAMMMNMitMMtl SAVE 1.00 TO 2.60 ll...l.i(ll.l 7M-OTO* SMS:l«iiht»Mnl»MlM»tif*rJ«tt .............................. l»7t UmK -- 1 MM* «f «tkktti Mr «r*ir. for ·ddr«M«l, itcMvwl ·nv«to|». TkfcMt htW «1 TtHMrtr*. a CHECK ENCLOSED Q KEASE CHAHOE MTIAMUMCBCA*0 ACCt. NO. EXNUTON DATE IWBHTOIEMAINCN TO H PLACED ON YOWMAKINCUST. ADVANCE mayoe AFTEHJUNEJ.W6 HSHVATMNS MKY CUMUSTM 755-311 1 Peon Qptn 6:00 P.M. Doily -- 4:00 PJM. Stm. I Flit f 1 KANAWHA COUNTY PAIR JUNE 1ST THRU JUNE 5TH CAMP VIRCIL TATE ^·i WEB.JMEM TMR$.JHEm FILMED MT.MEfith THECMRLEIcCITSNII TIE CHILE WMRB SHOW TKCIYSTALUYUSKOW TIE MVtNNSTM SHOW World famous Harmonicist Grand Ole Opry Show Vocalist of the Year Grand Ole Opry Show ALSO Johnny Rocker, Mike Connors, The Night People, The Kings Messengers Kay Lowther,! Jim Beane and the Brass Roots, The Earl of Eikview. JUST fS MINUTES FROM INTERSTATES KtKTM* AU THIS FOt OHY | 2SNOWSMC«TIT| 769PJU 12 IDEGGELLER'S SPECTACULAR 1 I MACK MIDWAY CARNIVAL | fM MOK MFOtMATHMCALLil4.3311 SHOWTIME. MavSO. 1976 fH.4Rf,ESrn.V. IV.VA./9m

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page