Who is the target audience of the evening news?

At the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference Les Moonves, president-CEO of CBS Corp., voiced quite the concern when he remarked, "I am concerned that average watcher of the evening news is 61."

If I were Les, I would be concerned, too. Why are younger people not watching the evening news? An assumption can be made that the younger generations are not as engaged in society as older generations. Think Leno’s “man on the street” segments where people can’t come up with the name of the Vice President.

But I don’t think this is the whole story. I think we have always had disengaged people. The reason that younger generations are not tuning in to news broadcasts is because they are getting their information from other sources that package it to match their lifestyles. Online websites that offer RSS feeds, and are instantly updated with the current news stories serve these generations that have come to value immediacy.

And, the evening news isn’t exactly set up to attract younger viewers. If your local news is anything like mine, 50% is weather, not exactly the right content to get Gen X and Y to close the lids on their laptops. If newscasts are interested in appealing to younger viewers they need to do some research, offer content relevant to that demographic and try to integrate content to the Web where this generation spends their time.

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