Sunday talk shows falter in the ratings
Sunday morning political talk shows have some surprising heritage. It is interesting to note, for example, that NBC’s “Meet the Press” is the nation’s longest running television show, debuting as a half-hour program on Nov. 6, 1947, with serious topics and notable guests — back in the days when anchors spoke in the voice of doom, with an intense demeanor.
CBS’s “Face the Nation” went on the air seven years later in 1954, while ABC’s “This Week” debuted in 1981.
So between the three of them, the shows have been on the air for 175 years.
Sunday talk, however, appears to be losing its appeal. The Pew Research Center has tallied the public interest based on industry statistics.
“Average audience for the network TV Sunday morning political talk shows on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — ‘This Week,’ ‘Face the Nation,’ and ‘Meet the Press,’ respectively — declined 8% in 2018, to about 2.3 million average viewers,” the pollster said in a new report, which reviewed several years worth of complex Comscore audience data.
But wait, there’s more.
“The average audience for the four newsmagazine shows aired by the networks — ABC’s ’20/20,’ CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ and ’48 Hours,’ and NBC’s ‘Dateline’ — declined in 2018, down 8% from 2017,” the report also noted.
Relatively unembellished news — with less opinion or agenda — seems to be holding its own.
The average audience for the evening newscasts for ABC, CBS and NBC remained relatively stable in 2018, with 5.3 million viewers tuning in on average, compared with 5.2 million in 2017.
“Combined advertiser expenditures for the evening broadcast news programs, ABC’s ‘World News Tonight,’ CBS ‘Evening News’ and NBC ‘Nightly News,’ were $518 million in 2018, a decline of 6% compared with 2017, according to estimates from Kantar Media,” the study noted.
STILL YES ON THE CITIZENSHIP QUESTION
The citizenship question on the 2020 census has had its ups and downs in recent weeks. Some new numbers reveal that Americans favor the idea.
“Support for such a question remains strong among Americans,” notes a new Rasmussen Reports survey, which found that 64% of Americans think the U.S. Census inquire about citizenship. Only 28% disagree.
“These findings are little changed from January,” the pollster notes.
The survey of 1,500 American adults was conducted June 27-30.
A BILIOUS SHADE OF GREEN
Democratic candidates are often overflowing with “impeachment” chatter, though multiple polls suggest voters are weary of such talk. Now we find they’re getting sick of all the radical climate banter as well.
“Americans demand climate action (as long as it doesn’t cost much),” writes Reuters analyst Valerie Volcovici. “Nearly 70% of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, want the United States to take ‘aggressive’ action to combat climate change — but only a third would support an extra tax of $100 a year to help, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.”
“The results underscore a crucial challenge for Democrats seeking to unseat President Trump in next year’s election. Many will have to balance their calls for strict environmental regulation with a convincing argument for why the changes are good for taxpayers and the economy,” observes Ms. Volcovici.
“Support for climate action drops precipitously when people consider the costs,” notes Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
HERE COME THE HORNETS
“Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division will be the first infantry Army battalion to employ pocket-sized drones at the squad level on their upcoming Afghanistan deployment. Troops with the Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat team were issued the Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System this spring and provided training on how to use the drones, which resemble miniature helicopters,” reports Phillip Walter Wellman, an analyst for Stars and Stripes.
The 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment will wield the handheld devices — which provide near-real time video — in Afghanistan this month.
“This kind of technology will be a life-saver for us because it takes us out of harm’s way while enhancing our ability to execute whatever combat mission we’re on,” said Sgt. Ryan Subers, who received the training. “I’m very grateful for technology like this, and to be a part of the first unit to use it.”
THE ULTIMATE INTERNSHIP
Applications are now being accepted for the White House Internship Program, a three-month experience which begins in January 2020 — an interesting time to begin such an endeavor. Hopefuls must be at least 18 and currently enrolled at a college, recently completed their degree, U.S. military veterans with a high school diploma or equivalent are also welcome to apply as long as they have served on active duty in recent years.
“Applicants are selected based on their demonstrated commitment to public service, leadership in the community, and commitment to the Trump administration,” the organizers advise.
Don’t dilly-dally, though. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 23 at Apply.Whitehouse.gov/intern.
POLL DU JOUR
• 48% of Americans say President Trump is a conservative; 61% of Republicans, 35% of moderates and 54% of Democrats agree,
• 29% overall are unsure of the president’s ideology; 10% of Republicans, 42% of moderates and 28% of Democrats agree.
• 15% say Mr. Trump is a moderate; 20% of Republicans, 18% of moderates and 6% of Democrats agree.
• 8% say he is a liberal; 10% of Republicans, 6% of moderates and 11% of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted June 22-25.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin
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