Your TV News Network Needs Casting And Drama: What's The Story Arc?

Should your favorite TV news network be "casting" for certain paid contributor roles? Well, if you need the drama, then yes.

That's what analysts are increasingly mulling over with NBC News' recent deal to add the controversial Ronna McDaniel, the outgoing chair of Republican National Committee, to its paid contributors roster.

The main point to consider here is that it's not enough to have key serious and friendly contributors on 24-hour TV news networks. It may be more important for some on-air friction -- which can yield more viewers and perhaps more advertising dollars.

For sure, TV news networks want all sides of the story. But a little rough-and-tumble content also goes a long way. Having on-air guests challenge each other via loud live on-air arguments can be good TV content. A good argument can reveal true feelings.



But is it good TV news content? In McDaniel's case, analysts -- and even some former MSNBC on-air anchors, like Chuck Todd -- question the news value. 

For example, she has continually questioned the 2020 Presidential election -- still claiming that perhaps there was widespread foul play at work. 

But this is something that has been confirmed too many times over to be false. Do we need to go over this ground one more time when there is still a lack of facts, truths, and specifics -- nearly four years after the fact? Just because you think it happened doesn't make it true.

Leaving the loud discourse aside, the better question is what point of view, specifically does she add to the bring? Some insider glimpses into the Republican party? Okay, maybe.

As with anything in the news, reporters and editors go to  “trusted” sources -- for facts, for opinion -- who have proven themselves. If on-air senior political operatives keep offering unprovable, unconfirmed theories and truths, why should they get time on the airwaves?

The same goes for all those who hold political office. If former President Donald Trump keeps telling falsehoods about the 2020 election being stolen, or about “election interference” -- as he said on Monday with regard to one of several of his criminal cases in process -- why should he get any airtime, in any context? 

At the same time, TV news networks still need to be accountable to reporting the “news”. They also need viewers coming back over and over again-- and then some. TV news executives want to expand their audience, always. And there's the rub.

Will NBC News pull in more Republican-leaning viewers with McDaniel? Kelly joined NBC News from Fox News Channel in 2017 to -- in theory -- reach right-leaning suburban women, many of whom voted for the former President. Did that work? 

If heightened "performance" is key for all TV/video news-related content, where do we go from here? And should advertisers care?

1 comment about "Your TV News Network Needs Casting And Drama: What's The Story Arc?".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, March 26, 2024 at 7:43 p.m.

    NBC News caved and have ax Ronnda McDaniel she will be paid in full of her contract I don't see her going to Fox News or other conservative media since Trump supporters don't like her for some reason.

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