News of Sharyl Attkisson’s resignation this afternoon from CBS News suggested the veteran correspondent no longer felt her work was supported.
Supported or not, she definitely got less airtime over the last few years.
According to Andrew Tyndall’s Tyndall Report, which measures the amount of airtime correspondents receive, Attkisson’s airtime on “CBS Evening News” dramatically decreased in recent years.
From 2007-2009, Attkisson was among the top 20 network correspondents, drawing between 145 and 160 minutes each year. In 2010, she fell out of the top 20 with 149 minutes. By 2011 she fell to #60 with 71 minutes and in 2012 she was ranked #100, with 36 minutes. Last year she improved in minutes, with 54, still ranked #100.
Tyndall tells TVNewser Attkisson’s declining presence on “CBS Evening News” is due to the changing nature of news beats.
“There are a few key beats that receive frequent assignments: White House, Capitol Hill, Justice, Pentagon, and every four years, the assignment to the campaign of a major Presidential contender,” Tyndall told us. “The major factor accounting for the drop-off in Attkisson’s minutes was her replacement as Congressional correspondent.” Chip Reid and Nancy Cordes followed Attkisson as Congressional correspondents when she moved over to the investigative beat.
He also points out that many of her assignments looked critically at the Obama administration.
“There is no evidence that Attkisson’s under usage was because of ‘ideological dismay.’ Indeed, when she did receive assignments in recent years they were often on continuing stories that Attkisson’s ideological supporters have championed. In particular: Fast & Furious, Benghazi, and the failure of the healthcare reform Website rollout.”