The “Corrosive, Top-Heavy System” Of Network TV News

Michael Massing has written an article for the Columbia Journalism Review about the star status of anchors and the twisted financial priorities of network television news. Just the opening paragraph is enough to make your head spin:

While doing some recent research on the news business, I came upon this remarkable fact: Katie Couric’s annual salary is more than the entire annual budgets of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered combined. Couric’s salary comes to an estimated $15 million a year; NPR spends $6 million a year on its morning show and $5 million on its afternoon one. NPR has seventeen foreign bureaus (which costs it another $9.4 million a year); CBS has twelve. Few figures, I think, better capture the absurd financial structure of the network news.

Clearly we’ve been going about this journalism thing all wrong.

Found via Boing Boing