I have three ideas that will save ABC News:
1) Hire someone who is either independent, or less liberal, in their political beliefs. I have come to accept the fact that no news division will ever hire a conservative for their news broadcast, for they would consider that partisan, but how about hiring someone that doesn’t tick off conservatives? How about hiring someone that conservatives and traditionalists consider fair? It would be a bold business move that would leave them on the outs in the cocktail circuit, but it would increase ratings, ad revenue, and overall exposure.
2) Hire a news staff that covers the news thoroughly. Both sides that is. Don’t spike news stories that are damaging to a cause. Cover all news stories from all angles. Devote about 33% to liberal issues, 33% to conservative issues, and 33% to top news stories of the day that don’t favor either party. Also, do not label the conservative stories in any way.
3) Copy the Fox News format in one regard. If you’re not going to have an anchor spout political opinion invite round table discussions. Have one discussion a night from prominent bodies from all perspectives. Get Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity and pit them against the prominent voices from the other side. The straight news reporting days are over. The internet and radio have killed straight news. We know the stories long before the 5pm newscasts air. Nobody takes clips from straight news. Nobody clicks on straight news reports. They would click on round table discussions if someone said something provocative, however, and that would eventually increase exposure. People would tune in to see the provocative statement before anyone else did.
No one at ABC or anywhere else will take such suggestions, but I have to believe that it’s come up in their closed-door, round table discussions. It’s improbable that these people, with their market studies and research, haven’t considered such a move. The question is if it’s not politics, what would prevent them from going to such a format? Isn’t it commonplace for broadcaster to emulate popular ideas, and who is more popular right now, in the cable news world than Fox News? I’m sure that those in the closed-door, round table discussions have called it something along the lines of ‘going political’. I’m sure that in their insular world they deem having a conservative on their broadcast ‘going political’. I’m sure that they consider their current broadcasts apolitical. Of course they’re not, but that’s the nature of their insular world, as I’ve heard it described.