Election ’08: Cable vs. Networks

By SteveK 

Who are the big winners during the 2008 election season — the cablers or the networks?

Matea Gold writes about the debate for the Los Angeles Times. The arguments are shaped by two quoted throughout the piece, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein and CBS Evening News EP (and former CNN president) Rick Kaplan. “[Cable] channels…are increasingly becoming purveyors of political developments because of their nonstop nature,” writes Gold. But also: “Even with less air time, broadcasters argue that they deliver weightier and more substantial coverage.”

Earlier this week, FNC VP of news editorial Jay Wallace discussed the issue relating to the Conventions. “I think the networks do a great job in terms of the 6:30 newscast and in prime time, but they’re always under pressure to get off at 11:00,” he said. “That, over time has left people really thirsty. They don’t want a quick wrap any more.”

Glenn Garvin in the Miami Herald writes that Charlie Gibson’s “first” with Gov. Sarah Palin was, “the first time this entire election year that the broadcast news divisions are leading the pack in political coverage.”

He also discusses the “Fox-News-is-dead school of thought,” citing a January column by Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert, picked up at Salon and Huffington Post, signaling the demise of Fox News’ ratings dominance.

As has been seen just in the past couple weeks, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

“Isn’t it time to start acknowledging the obvious — that Fox News is here to stay?” Garvin asks in conclusion.