The successors to Tom Brokaw at NBC and Dan Rather at CBS never will have the clout of these and previous network news anchors, according to Robert Schmuhl, director of the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy at Notre Dame.
“The scattering of the news audience in recent years to cable outlets and the Internet means that the new generation of network anchors will never occupy the place a Tom Brokaw or a Dan Rather – not to mention a Walter Cronkite – did in the public mind,” Schmuhl said. "So many journalistic outlets now exist that the network evening news programs are no longer the nation’s summary of a day’s significant events.
“As audiences have declined at ABC, CBS and NBC, we’ve seen any number of attempts to re-define the nightly report – each less tied directly to what happened that day. That struggle no doubt will continue, but fewer Americans will be watching and the new anchors will play a much less prominent role in journalism than their predecessors.”
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_ * : Robert Schmuhl can be reached at 574-631-5128 or email@example.com