Job Satisfaction of Newsmagazine Correspondents
Compared to Regular News Correspondents
Cindy J. Price
Communication and Journalism
University of Wyoming
432 Ross Hall
Laramie, WY 82071
(307) 766-3203 (office)
(307) 721-8901 (home)
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Ratings for television news shows have gone down in the last few years,
but ratings for the newsmagazine shows seem to be holding steady. The
question is, how does this affect the job satisfaction of regular news and
newsmagazine correspondents? This paper examines any differences in job
satisfaction levels between these groups. It found that newsmagazine
correspondents are satisfied with their jobs and are significantly more
satisfied than the regular news correspondents. Regular news correspondents
report significantly more instances of budgetary constraints affecting
their job satisfaction than do newsmagazine correspondents.
Job Satisfaction of Newsmagazine Correspondents
Compared to Regular News Correspondents
Ever since 60 Minutes went on the air more than 30 years ago, the viewing
public and the network brass have become more enamored with the
newsmagazine. Don Hewitt, creator and executive producer of 60 Minutes,
said a newsmagazine can be "a magnificent blend of great entertainment and
worthwhile journalism" (1998, p. 1). However, he said the proliferation of
newsmagazines on the airwaves is not because the networks want to better
inform the public, but because they want to make money. Newsmagazines are
cheaper to produce than the entertainment offerings that they replace.
Grossman (1999) said the way that news is perceived by management is
different than it was in the past: "Being entertaining and profitable
rather than being informative has become the new measure of their success"
Newsmagazine correspondents have more time to prepare and deliver their
stories than do correspondents for nightly news shows, plus they get their
stories hyped during other network entertainment programming (Turner &
Hosenball, 1998). The ratings for most newsmagazines are higher than for
the regular news shows ("Network Primetime Averages," 2003) and more people
are getting the information about what is happening in the world from other
sources than Tom Brokaw or Dan Rather (Gralnick, 2002). Fewer regular news
correspondents exist around the globe or around the country (Gralnick,
2002) and those who do, are existing on less money (Foote, 1998). On the
other hand, newsmagazines seem to have all of the money they need to create
their stories (Hewitt, 1998). How do these factors affect the job
satisfaction for all of these correspondents?
The purpose of this study was to determine the job satisfaction of network
television newsmagazine correspondents for programs such as 60 Minutes,
20/20 and Dateline. The results of this study will be compared to those
from a 1999 survey of the correspondents for the regular news offerings of
ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and PBS. This paper will give an overview of job
satisfaction, budgetary problems at the network news level, and a
background of newsmagazines. It will conclude with some differences between
regular news and newsmagazine correspondents and how these differences may
affect the news that is seen in the future.
Job Satisfaction Literature
Locke (1976) defined a job as "a complex interrelationship of tasks,
roles, responsibilities, interactions, incentives, and rewards" (p. 1301).
Job satisfaction was studied originally because of a presumed relationship
between cost reductions and employee productivity, reduced absences,
turnover, and other factors (Smith, 1992). Because there is a strong
correlation between job satisfaction and turnover, as well as between job
satisfaction and absenteeism, organizations that want to reduce those
problems would pay attention to how their workers perceived their jobs
(Lawler & Porter, 1976). From an employee's standpoint, job satisfaction is
"a pleasurable or positive emotional state from the appraisal of one's job
or experiences" (Locke, 1976, p. 1297). People want their jobs to help them
attain their desires, such as an exciting and comfortable life and a sense
of accomplishment (George & Jones, 1996).
Overall job satisfaction in the United States has been quite high. A 1997
Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that 84% of Americans surveyed
liked their jobs. Only 4% were completely dissatisfied (Graham, 1997). Of
the factors reported to make a person satisfied, 36% admitted they stayed
at their job because of money, but 55% said the most important thing was
"the chance to use their talents and make a difference" (Graham, 1997, p.
R4). Comparably, Weaver and Wilhoit (1986) found that in a nationwide
survey of more than 1,000 journalists, 40% of them rated themselves as very
satisfied with their jobs, 44% were fairly satisfied, 15% somewhat
dissatisfied, and 2% very dissatisfied. However, when Weaver and Wilhoit
(1996) replicated their study ten years later, they found the percentages
had declined to 27% who were very satisfied, 50% who were fairly satisfied,
20% who were somewhat dissatisfied, and 3% who were very dissatisfied.
These data suggest that journalists as a group were somewhat less satisfied
than the average American worker. Television journalists were the least
happy, with only 19% reporting that they were very satisfied.
Weaver and Wilhoit (1996) reported that the most important job aspects to
television journalists were (in rank order) the importance of helping
people, editorial policy, job security, a chance to get ahead (promotional
opportunities) and autonomy. More than one-fourth of television journalists
stated that intrinsic interest or challenge gave them positive feelings
about their jobs. The factors that contributed to dissatisfaction with
their jobs were management policies, low salaries and inadequate
opportunity for advancement.
Budgetary problems at the network news level
Weaver and Wilhoit (1996) found that more than 70% of the
journalists they surveyed worked in newsrooms that were group-owned, and
50% worked for companies that were publicly traded on the stock exchange.
These companies demand that news organizations be profitable. Because
television news stories can cost thousands of dollars to produce, most
regular news correspondents need to consider the budget before they even
think about suggesting a story (Roger O'Neil, NBC correspondent, personal
communication, March 1, 1999).
Such pre-examination of budgetary costs did not occur at the television
news networks thirty years ago. Foote (1998) divides the first half-century
of network television news into two eras: the loss-leader years 1950-1979
and the profit center years 1980-1999. He describes this first period as
the "glory days" because "budgets were flush, network news was growing in
stature and popularity, and there were only three competitors to serve a
huge domestic market" (p. 2). During this time network news lost money, but
was considered a necessary item in the network budget because the entire
organization's credibility was built on the reputation of its news
The Communications Act of 1934 governed television through the creation of
the Federal Communications Commission. The phrase "public interest,
convenience and necessity" appears throughout the act as the "ultimate
yardstick by which all of the FCC's different regulatory functions and
responsibilities are to be guided" (Paglin, 1989, p. 14). The heads of the
networks in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s took the public interest aspect
seriously. The networks' entertainment fare may have catered to the masses,
but the news divisions informed the public and gave the companies prestige
(Paley, 1977). The news divisions were the networks' crown jewels (Paley,
1977) and the evening news programs were the flagship broadcasts, the
identity of the network (Amos, 1997).
Jim Bittermann, a former ABC, NBC, and current CNN correspondent, has spent
nearly 20 years covering international stories from his base in Paris.
Bittermann wrote that when he worked for NBC in the 1970s, considerations
Until 1985, I can't ever remember having had a discussion with a producer
executive producer about the costs involved in covering a story. We just
think about it. When the money pressures came, things started changing. How
much is it going to cost? How many camera days are we going to spend? Can we
deliver a story in just two days rather than three days? (Foote, 1998, p. 108).
By then, the business of broadcast news had changed. By 1986, all three
networks had been purchased by even larger corporations. Capital Cities
purchased ABC in January, 1986, for $3.375 billion (Moody's Industrial
Manual, 1988). General Electric acquired NBC's parent company, RCA, in 1986
for $6.4 billion in cash (Moody's Industrial Manual, 1988). Laurence Tisch
of Loews swallowed CBS piece by piece. He began buying stock in July 1985;
by September 1986, he and his company owned 25% and he was made CBS
president (Auletta, 1991).
The idea that journalism was a public service went by the
wayside when news started to make money (Foote, 1998). Former Chicago
Tribune editor Jim Squires said the move from family ownership to corporate
ownership of media organizations changed the focus of the business:
"The old guys were paid like others in their community, but they measured their
self-worth by winning the respect of their peers," he says. "The new guys
same things but their peers are CEOs at companies like Continental Can. . .
old owners got their highs from Pulitzers and reporters flocking to work
The new guys get their highs from money and stock growth"(Shepard, 1996,
Background of newsmagazines
The first newsmagazine was 60 Minutes, which debuted in 1968 on CBS
(Hewitt, 1998). More recently, the focus on money has affected the way that
news is produced, making newsmagazines a more tempting fare than regular
news productions. Grossman (1999) said producing stories that "touch your
life" is cheaper than covering world news:
The latter requires an army of reporters, producers, editors, researchers,
crews; a multitude of domestic and foreign bureaus, and news desks staffed
the clock. Newsmagazines, on the other hand, are the least expensive of all
networks' prime-time programs to produce. The average newsmagazine costs about
$500,000 an hour, compared with $800,000 to $1,000,000 or more a half-hour for
sitcoms and dramas (p. 58).
Don Hewitt, 60 Minutes' creator and executive producer, said he feels that
he is partially at fault for this change in focus. "We were the ones who
turned TV news into a gold mine. And now, to many of the TV newsmagazines
that followed in our footsteps, being a gold mine is what they go to sleep
every night praying about" (p. 6).
Because entertainment programs are so expensive to produce and may not
even last long on the air if they are produced, network presidents have
found that newsmagazines are a more inexpensive and reliable alternative
(Turner & Hosenball, 1998). The general content can range from important
topics such as the Irish Republican Army and Middle East peace (Grossman,
1999) to more sensational fare, such as interviews with celebrities or
exploding trucks (Turner & Hosenball, 1998). According to the web sites of
ABC, CBS, and NBC, newsmagazines are on nearly every night of the week and
some days have more than one show (www.abcnews.go.com; www.cbs.com;
However, not everyone believes that newsmagazines are successful in every
area. Newsmagazine and other news programs have a tendency to attract older
viewers that are not as valuable to advertisers as are the younger viewers
(Potter, 2002). Nightline was nearly cut from the ABC lineup (Potter,
2002). CNN had tried to do a newsmagazine called NewsStand that combined
news and entertainment. However, it got pre-empted so many times for
breaking news that it did not develop a following (Katz, 1999). But even
with their problems, newsmagazines are not likely to go away anytime soon.
Based on the literature for the study, the following hypotheses are offered:
H1: Newsmagazine correspondents will be satisfied with their jobs.
H2A: Newsmagazine correspondents will be more satisfied with their jobs
than regular news correspondents as measured by responses to a job
H2B: Newsmagazine correspondents will be more satisfied with their jobs
than regular news correspondents as measured by the mean of the Minnesota
H3A: Regular news correspondents will report more instances of budgetary
constraints than will newsmagazine correspondents.
H3B: Regular news correspondents will report more instances of budgetary
constraints affecting their job satisfaction than will newsmagazine
To answer the hypotheses, two separate surveys were conducted. First, a
survey was mailed in May 1999 to all correspondents who work for the news
divisions at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and PBS. Second, the same survey was sent
in October 2002 to newsmagazine correspondents for ABC, CBS, and NBC.
The names, locations, sex, and race of each of the correspondents were
obtained from contacts at each of the networks. These contacts provided a
list of all correspondents at their networks to ensure that new
correspondents were included in the survey and that any correspondents who
no longer worked for that network would not be included.
Correspondents were defined as the people who create the news stories and
have their names and faces attached to them. The first study included
correspondents headquartered in both United States and international
bureaus. The second survey was sent to correspondents for newsmagazines and
other non-nightly news programs where stories were more long-form.
Full-time anchors were not included in either survey. The number of regular
news correspondents for ABC was 60; 49 for CBS; 106 for CNN; 43 for NBC;
and 15 for PBS, which made a universe of 273. The survey was sent to every
correspondent for these networks, and 132 replied for a response rate of
48%. The number of newsmagazine correspondents for ABC was 21; 20 for CBS;
and 12 for NBC, which made a universe of 53. The survey was sent to every
correspondent for these networks, and 22 replied for a response rate of 41.5%.
The mail survey sent to the correspondents was a combination of the
Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) (Weiss et al., 1967), the Weaver
and Wilhoit (1996) survey, some demographic information, and two open-ended
questions that asked correspondents' opinions about television news and job
satisfaction. The MSQ was developed to evaluate work adjustment outcomes.
The combined survey was pretested on former network television
correspondents whose changes were incorporated into the final version of
the survey. Job satisfaction for this study was operationally defined as
how much correspondents enjoy their work as determined by the mean of the
MSQ job satisfaction questions and the answer to a question that
specifically asked how satisfied they are with their jobs. The MSQ is one
of the three leading measures of job satisfaction (Griffin & Bateman, 1986)
and was chosen because it had a well-tested short version that was
appropriate to use for the time-constrained correspondents.
The 20 questions in the MSQ consist of three scales: intrinsic
satisfaction, extrinsic satisfaction, and overall satisfaction. In
addition, each of the questions measures a particular aspect of job
satisfaction: ability utilization, achievement, activity, moral values,
authority, advancement, company policies and practices, compensation (pay),
co-workers, creativity, independence, recognition, responsibility,
security, social service, social status, variety, supervision (human
relations), supervision (technical), and working conditions. Overall
satisfaction measures all 20 aspects. Intrinsic satisfaction relates to the
nature of the job itself and what the worker does. In journalism, intrinsic
aspects would include autonomy to do news stories and a sense of
accomplishment from producing meaningful news output. Extrinsic measures
are those that come from outside the worker: the environment in which
employees do their work. Examples of extrinsic aspects in journalism
include a person's boss and a person's salary. Respondents answered
questions on a five-point scale from very dissatisfied (1) to very
For the regular news study, the reliability coefficient for the MSQ
intrinsic scale was .81; for the MSQ extrinsic scale, .84; and for MSQ
general satisfaction, .91. For the magazine correspondents, the reliability
coefficient for the MSQ intrinsic scale was .89; for the MSQ extrinsic
scale, .78; and for MSQ general satisfaction, .92. Therefore, the MSQ was
reliable for these groups of respondents.
To begin the comparison of the magazine and regular news correspondents,
some demographic variables will be examined. For the number of years
employed at their current network, regular news correspondents ranged from
1 to 32 years with a mean of 11.2. For magazine correspondents, the range
was 3 to 30 years with a mean of 14.5. For total years employed in network
television, regular news correspondents ranged from 1 to 37 years with a
mean of 13.7. For magazine correspondents, the range was 6 to 30 years with
a mean of 17.6. Overall age of the correspondents ranged from 28 to 69 with
a mean of 46.6 for regular news correspondents and 32 to 60 with a mean of
49.5 for magazine correspondents. The average number of hours worked per
week was very similar, 55.8 for regular news correspondents and 55.0 for
magazine correspondents. Comparing salary ranges, 50% of regular news
correspondents made more than $200,000 a year, 12% made between $150,000
and $200,000, 25% made between $100,000 and $149,999, and 13% made less
than $100,000. All of the magazine correspondents made more than $200,000 a
year. Therefore, the typical newsmagazine correspondent is slightly older,
has more years of experience in network television, and makes more money
than most regular news correspondents.
To test Hypothesis 1, newsmagazine correspondents will be satisfied with
their jobs, two different results were examined. First, respondents were
asked, How satisfied are you with your job? The answers were very satisfied
(5), satisfied (4), neutral (3), dissatisfied (2) and very dissatisfied
(1). The mean for the newsmagazine correspondents was 4.19.
The second way of measuring job satisfaction was the mean of the Minnesota
Satisfaction Questionnaire, a 20-question scale. Again, the answers ranged
from very satisfied (5) to very dissatisfied (1). The mean for the MSQ
scale was 3.90. Because both measures are above neutral (3), Hypothesis 1
To test Hypothesis 2A and 2B, newsmagazine correspondents will be more
satisfied with their jobs than regular news correspondents, both the job
satisfaction and the MSQ scale answers were compared. Table 1 shows the
comparison. The hypotheses were tested with a one-tailed t-test.
Table 1 – Comparison of Newsmagazine and Regular News Correspondents for
the Job Satisfaction Question.
Newsmagazine Regular News
Scale N = 22 N = 127 p value
Jab Satisfaction 4.19 (0.85) 3.83 (1.08) 0.07
MSQ Scale 3.90 (0.13) 3.67 (0.05) 0.05
The results show that newsmagazine correspondents were more satisfied than
were regular news correspondents. For the question about job satisfaction,
the p value was .07, but for the MSQ scale, the p value was .05. Therefore,
Hypothesis 2A was not supported, but Hypothesis 2B was supported.
To test Hypothesis 3A, regular news correspondents will report more
instances of budgetary constraints than will newsmagazine correspondents,
the respondents were asked, "How often have you felt pressured NOT to
report a story because of budgetary constraints?" To test Hypothesis 3B,
regular news correspondents will report more instances of budgetary
constraints affecting their job satisfaction than will newsmagazine
correspondents, the respondents were asked, "How often have budgetary
constraints affected your job satisfaction?" These two questions were
compared using a chi-square analysis. Tables 2 and 3 show these comparisons.
Table 2. Comparison of Newsmagazine and Regular News Correspondents
Regarding Not Reporting a Story Due to Budgetary Constraints.
Not Report a Story Because of Newsmagazine Regular News
Budgetary Constraints N = 21 N =
Never 2 9% 12 9%
Rarely 5 25% 24 19%
Occasionally 12 57% 61 47%
Frequently 2 9% 33 25%
Chi-square value = 1.36 p = 0.24
Table 3. Comparison of Newsmagazine and Regular News Correspondents
Regarding Budgetary Constraints Affecting Job Satisfaction.
Budgetary Constraints Newsmagazine Regular News
Affect Job Satisfaction N = 21 N =
Never 1 5% 9 7%
Rarely 8 38% 27 21%
Occasionally 11 52% 59 45%
Frequently 1 5% 36 27%
Chi-square value = 3.84 p = 0.05
Regular news correspondents reported a higher percentage of frequent and
occasional instances of budgetary constraints (72%) compared to
newsmagazine correspondents (66%), but this difference was not
statistically significant. However, when asked how these constraints
affected their job satisfaction, 72% of regular news correspondents replied
"frequently" or "occasionally" while only 57% of newsmagazine
correspondents reported feeling this way. The difference was statistically
p = .05. Therefore, Hypothesis 3A was not supported, but Hypothesis 3B was
Even though no hypothesis was given regarding the rank order of the MSQ
questions, these questions were examined to see if there were any
differences in the way regular news and magazine felt about these 20
aspects of their jobs. Table 4 shows these rankings in the order in which
the regular news correspondents felt most positive toward them as measured
on the MSQ scale, ranging from very satisfied (5) to very dissatisfied (1).
Table 4. Rank order of the MSQ questions for regular news and magazine
Regular News Magazine Magazine
How satisfied are you about: Mean SD Mean SD Rank
1. Not going against my conscience 4.36 0.85 4.27 1.03 3
2. Chance to do different things 4.17 0.98 4.27 0.93 3
3. Being able to keep busy 4.09 0.99 4.45 0.80 1
4. Steady employment 4.01 0.96 4.13 1.17 7
5. Making use of my abilities 3.92 1.11 4.13 0.89 7
5. Freedom to use my own judgment 3.92 1.11 4.41 0.92 2
7. Feeling of accomplishment 3.87 1.01 4.09 1.01 10
8. Way my co-workers get along 3.86 0.91 4.18 0.79 5
9. Prestigious position 3.80 0.91 4.09 1.02 10
10. Pay 3.79 0.99 4.04 0.90 13
11. Working alone on the job 3.70 0.96 4.10 0.91 9
12. Doing things for other people 3.69 0.88 3.76 1.09 15
13. Amount of work I do 3.66 1.00 4.09 0.92 10
14. Working conditions 3.61 1.08 4.18 0.80 5
15. Praise I get 3.48 1.15 4.00 0.87 14
16. Chance for advancement 3.28 1.01 3.14 1.21 20
17. Company policies 3.09 0.89 3.36 0.95 18
17. Competence of my supervisor 3.09 1.17 3.36 1.40 18
19. Telling subordinates what to do 3.08 0.71 3.63 0.76 16
20. Way boss handles employees 3.07 1.25 3.41 1.37 17
The table shows that the rank order of the MSQ questions were similar in
many areas, but were different in a few interesting ways. Freedom to use my
own judgment was ranked fifth by the regular news correspondents, but
second by the magazine correspondents. Regular news correspondents ranked
the working conditions fourteenth, while magazine correspondents rank that
fifth. Even though magazine correspondents are more highly paid than the
regular news correspondents, they ranked pay lower than the regular news
correspondents, although they are still satisfied with their pay (mean
above 4). Both groups did not think highly of their supervisors or their
company policies, ranking those near the bottom in both cases. The only
question that was much lower for the magazine correspondents was the chance
for advancement on the job which the magazine correspondents ranked last
and the regular news correspondents ranked sixteenth. DISCUSS THIS IN THE
In both instances, newsmagazine and regular news correspondents were
satisfied with their jobs. However, newsmagazine correspondents were more
satisfied than regular news correspondents. When examining the percentages
of responses to each part of the question, How satisfied are you with your
job?, newsmagazine correspondents had higher percentages of being satisfied
or very satisfied. Of the 22 responses, 8 (36%) were very satisfied, 12
(55%) were satisfied, 0 (0%) were neutral, 2 (9%) were dissatisfied, and 0
(0%) were very dissatisfied. Comparitively, of the 127 regular news
responses, 34 (27%) were very satisfied, 63 (50%) were satisfied, 8 (6%)
were neutral, 18 (14%) were dissatisfied, and 4 (3%) were very
dissatisfied. That means that 91% of newsmagazine correspondents were
satisfied with their jobs compared to 77% of regular news correspondents.
Newsmagazine correspondents were more satisfied than the journalists in
Weaver and Wilhoit's (1996) study where 27% were very satisfied, 50% were
fairly satisfied, 20% were somewhat dissatisfied, and 3% were very
A statistically significant difference in satisfaction was found in the
MSQ satisfaction measure. Newsmagazine correspondents had a mean of 3.90
while regular news correspondents had a mean of 3.67. This could be
explained because when people are given a choice on a five-point scale
about their job satisfaction level, they could say that they are satisfied
overall with their jobs. However, when given a list of 20 different
measures of their jobs, people tend to be more dissatisfied with specific
aspects, such as bosses or working conditions. Therefore, the mean on a
20-point scale is apt to be lower than the mean of the single question.
Newsmagazine correspondents apparently felt fewer problems in these 20
aspects than did the regular news correspondents. Even though the job
satisfaction question itself did not show a statistically significant
difference, that may be because the surveys were not conducted at the same
time. In the intervening three years from the first survey, ratings and
budgets have continued to decrease for regular news programming which may
have made the overall job satisfaction ratings lower for that group.
When examining the budgetary constraints questions, the literature showed
that news was coming under pressure to make money and that budgets were
being cut to ensure continued profits. The literature also seemed to
indicate that the pressure was felt more in the regular news sector than
the newsmagazine sector. When examining the specific question on the
survey, however, it was found that 66% of newsmagazine correspondents and
72% of regular news correspondents reported frequent or occasional
instances of budgetary constraints. This shows that both groups do have to
consider money when they do their stories. Nonetheless, regular news
correspondents report that these constraints affect their job satisfaction
more than newsmagazine correspondents (72% versus 57%). It is possible that
although newsmagazine correspondents may have to consider the budget when
creating a story, they may be more likely to be able to do the story they
want, just with a smaller budget. Regular news correspondents may not be
able to do the story they want at all because it costs too much.
The ranking of the MSQ questions also point out some interesting
differences between the two groups. The newsmagazine correspondents seemed
to be more satisfied about their level of autonomy than the regular news
correspondents. Most magazine correspondents have some say in what stories
they will work on and they generally know that the stories they produce
will get on the air at some point. Because of the changing nature of the
daily news cycle, regular news correspondents do not know for sure that
they will be on the air unless they are covering the big story of the
moment. This fact may also have influenced the ranking of working
conditions because regular news correspondents ranked that fourteenth,
while magazine correspondents rank it fifth. However, magazine
correspondents seem to feel there is less chance for advancement on the job
than do regular news correspondents. It could be that regular news
correspondents consider becoming newsmagazine correspondents as an
advancement while those already in the position would probably have little
chance of advancing to become full-time anchors.
Gralnick (2002) said that nightly network newscasts will probably not be
able to justify their existence in their present form in the future. The
news divisions themselves will continue, mainly to provide content for
newsmagazines or early morning news programs. Part of the reason for the
lower job satisfaction of regular news correspondents is that, as Gralnick
implies, they may see the writing on the wall. On the first survey, one
regular news correspondent wrote, "Generally, network news – on commercial
networks – has not yet faced its own increasing irrelevance." Another
stated, "If I had to add something, it's that so many in network news have
no real idea what's next. Network newsmagazine shows are doing well, but
hard-news broadcasts – i.e., the Evening News – continue to lose viewers to
either entertainment (and all the choices on at that hour), or to the cable
news operations. Still, we struggle to do well at what we do best . . .not
just cover the story, but enhance it."
Even prestigious shows like ABC's Nightline may not be standing on solid
ground. When ABC tried to court David Letterman for its late evening
lineup, ABC News President David Westin had to hear from the New York Times
that Nightline may be cancelled (Potter, 2002). Newsmagazines in general
fare well in the ratings comparitively speaking. The venerable 60 Minutes
is in the Top 20 and can regularly expect to have 16 million viewers or so
("Network Primetime Averages," 2003). Other magazine shows can pull those
kinds of numbers or higher with special interviews with Michael Jackson
(relating to alleged child abuse) or Robert Blake (relating to his alleged
murder of his wife). The problem may be that even though these programs
draw viewers, they are not the young viewers so highly prized by
advertisers, so even newsmagazines as we know them may have to change in
the future (Potter, 2002).
Hewitt (1998) said, "But, with a lonely exception here and there in that
plethora of so-called newsmagazines and syndicated talk shows that have all
but taken over network TV, the kind of tasteful and important journalism
that made CBS News, ABC News and NBC News giants in the news business is,
for the most part, gone" (p. 5). One of the ABC regular news correspondents
agreed: "Network news is on too early for most people to see it. It is too
short to go very in-depth. Magazine shows, Dateline, 20/20 have the time,
but seem to shy away from important stories to report 'promotable' stories
which are trash. The best news show on TV is Nightline. They give time to
important stories." But now that Nightline has been shown to be vulnerable,
it will be interesting to see what we classify as news in the upcoming
years and how that will affect the job satisfaction and morale of the
correspondents who report for those news outlets.
Future research in this area should examine more thoroughly how secure the
correspondents feel in their jobs. The first survey was conducted in 1999
and ratings for the regular news programs have declined since then, except
when big news events occur. The regular news correspondents may be more
disheartened now about the state of the news business. Also, both
newsmagazine and regular news correspondents should be asked what they
think of the other genre of news. The open-ended responses to survey
questions seem to point to a difference between the perception of the
relevance of the opposite group, but no questions were directly asked in
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Auletta, K. (1991). Three blind mice: How the TV networks lost their way.
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Foote, J. (1998). Live from the trenches: The changing role of the
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positive mood. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 3, 318-325.
Graham, E. (1997, September 19). Work may be a rat race, but it's not a
daily grind. The Wall Street Journal., pp. R1, R4.
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 The first survey was sent to every correspondent for the regular news
programs for those networks. The second survey was sent to every
correspondent for any non-nightly news program that had long-form reports
by its correspondents. These focused only on ABC, CBS, and NBC because at
the time of the survey, the FOX newsmagazine, The Pulse, was on hiatus. CNN
had abandoned its attempt at a newsmagazine, NewsStand, in 1999 (Katz,
1999). PBS does have long-form reports by correspondents, but NewsHour was
included in the first survey and was therefore not included in the second.
 The second survey included correspondents from 60 Minutes, 20/20,
Primetime Live, Dateline, Nightline, and CBS Sunday Morning. Although some
of these programs have more of a tabloid style than others, they all give
the correspondents the opportunity to have more long-form reports than
those correspondents who report for regular news programs.
 All of the results apply only to those correspondents who answered the
survey. For example, some of the older correspondents from some of the
magazine shows did not respond, which skews the mean age lower than it
would be in the universe. However, because the response rates for both
surveys were similar (41.5% to 48%), comparisons are legitimate even though
the Ns of the groups are different.