CBS News Vows to Rearrange Deck Chairs

Network news divisions are still huge, relatively well-financed producers of some of America's best news coverage. They're also very slowly becoming dinosaurs. But hey—at least they're trying!

David Rhodes, the new head of CBS News, sent out a very angry memo yesterday excoriating The Early Show for not following the scoops that the news division had over the weekend. He's absolutely right! The Early Show absolutely should follow the in-house scoops. All in together, etc.

And Rhodes is doing something about it! Page Six today says that "dramatic changes" are coming at CBS News—specifically, the executive producer of the aforementioned Early Show is on his way out, and smarm-faced 60 Minutes guy Scott Pelley "is already telling people that he has landed Couric's job."

You can't fault Rhodes. He's doing things, at least, and those things seem to make sense. (If you're a CBS employee who disagrees, email me.) CBS News does produce some good news. But when you take the macro look here, this is all deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic stuff. The CBS Early Show will never be viewed as an important paragon of journalism. And Scott Pelley, we're happy to say (because there's just something about that guy we really dislike), will not pull CBS Evening News out of the ratings gutter with the sheer force of his flinty visage. And besides that, evening network newscasts are obsolete, and becoming more so with each passing year, as their target audience dies off. And it's hard to see how they can be recast into something that can legitimately compete with cable news and the internet. 60 Minutes already does great enterprise journalism. They should be fine! The rest of the news division... well, the future is not yours.

But keep fighting, CBS. You never know!

[Photo via Getty]