Cutting the Coaxial Cable


While the tsunami disaster has meant a temporary uptick in ratings for televised news of all sorts, it seems as if viewers everywhere are noticing what our own Jesse Walker has (celebratedly) noticed here (unless, alternately, they just didn't care about the news in an election year), that the Web is a far better, richer news source than TV. From a report in Variety's Dec. 29 issue, not freely available online, in the Nielsen year 2004 (which, unlike the rest of our years, ends on Dec. 26) CNN lost 22 percent of its primetime audience from 2003; MSNBC lost 16 percent; CNBC, 13 percent; CNN Headline, 11 percent, and even kingmakers Fox News were down 2 percent compared to 2003.