CBS raises questions of newspaper ratings

Thursday, September 25, 2008

By: Allison McNeal

Print newspapers are starting to face opposition by large media corporations.

Leslie Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corp., recently stated how the corporation wants to move away from print media and more towards the Internet.

With the purchase of CNET, the company got an instant boost and may become a major player in the media world. The main aim of the corporation is to shift the corporation away from an older media company to a technologically advanced one.

According to, the CEO "plans to position his company as a one stop shop for news and information, potentially eliminating the need for dead tree media." He exclusively stated that 'one of the advantages of the Internet is [that] we’re taking money away from the newspapers.'

This statement was opposed strongly by many blogtalkers, including Phil Bronstein. Bronstein acknowledges that the newspaper industry is declining, but is hopeful that they can come out of their slump.

He did not agree with Moonves about how the Internet should take money away from newspapers.

"Newspapers are still making some money, most of them. And Les, [...] I'm guessing your CBS nightly news still gets a fair amount of content from the journalists who work in these teetering places and the stories they produce. And you get to borrow it for free. What a deal for you."

The way Moonves expressed his opinion on print media did raise some eyebrows, but print newspapers are declining and online publications are steadily increasing.

A recent report from Scarborough Research shows the differences between print newspaper viewings and the viewing of both newspapers and online publications. The study shows that individuals tend to view a combination of print media and online publications more than just the print media.

For example, the Des Moines Register is shown as having 68% of viewers that either read or looked at the just the paper. The percentage rose to 70% for those that looked at print and the online site.

This percentage might not seem like it has a very strong effect, but it does show how online newspapers are increasing.

As we discussed in class, do we try to fight the online trend or embrace the "go-green" approach that society is undertaking? There is no clear answer yet, but society will eventually express what they want and give meaning to the people's voice.


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