This is not my Earth Day blog. I’m cool with recycling and saving energy. I don’t actually do much recycling – it’s not available in my part of town, and I’m too lazy to cart my paper, plastic and glass to a separate facility – even if I knew where one was. Kudos to one of the guys at work. He hauls off bags full of soda cans and water bottles from the office every week.
No, I’ve got a bone to pick with CBS News Sunday Morning. I’ve been watching since the show went on the air in 1979. Big Kuralt fan. Osgood is fine too. I’m better with the bow ties than the poems, but to each their own. As far as the theme, “Abblasen,” by Gottfried Reiche, I think I’m a bigger fan of the original version they used, as played by Don Smithers, versus the later versions by Doc Severinsen and Wynton Marsalis.
There are a couple of touches in the regular format of the program that bother me a little. One is the habit of reusing pieces that ran on the previous week’s CBS Evening News. Sometimes, it seems like they’ve at least gone to the trouble of adding some additional material to the re-runs. However, there are pieces that are identical. It’s kind of a drag to watch the news during the week, then having to fast-forward through something I’ve already seen the following Sunday. Hey CBS, I can go to the website to watch a piece for a second time.
Of course, this points back to the issue of why they’re doing this in the first place. Sure, maybe it’s a great piece that they’d like to get to the very different demographic that watches on Sunday. It may also come down to how many people they have available to work on Sunday Morning-specific pieces. It often seems as if the Sunday show has become a sort of dumping ground for older CBS News Correspondents, like Martha Teichner, Rita Braver or Terence Smith. Seems like the executive producer of the Evening News (Rick Kaplan, who was running CNN when I started working there) has brought his own youth movement to that program, as if younger and less-experienced is what people want with their news. Rick – Katie’s still in third place – how’s that working out?
I’m also wondering who had the idea of profiling faded pop music stars. They did a Linda Ronstadt profile a couple of years ago, which made sense. After all, at one point she was the biggest name in popular music. Yesterday, I got to find out where Suzanne Vega’s been since “Luka” fell off the charts in 1987. The week before was Vic Damone. The show used to have both a classical music correspondent and a jazz and modern music correspondent. You don’t get very much of that anymore.
Anyway, CBS News announced dozens of layoffs earlier this year, just like ABC News. These types of moves often lead to executives announcing cost-saving moves, such as combining news gathering units, shuttering news bureaus and sending out one-man bands. It’s going to be tough for reporters to get that walking 2-shot with the person they’re interviewing if they have to shoot the story at the same time. Cutting costs can also mean more dependence on freelancers. A lot of times, news organizations end up using the same people over and over again, since those people are more familiar with the way those organizations work. Some are probably former full-time employees. Kinda seems like a way for these companies to get full-time work without bothering with paying benefits.
Either way Charles, I’ll see you next Sunday Morning.