Koppel: CBS Trying to Do Harder News

Former 'Nightline' anchor moderates panel on FCC future of media study
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Former Nightline
anchor Ted Koppel said Wednesday that CBS was "clearly" making an
effort to do harder news on its nightly newscast and he hoped it succeeded.

Koppel was referring to CBS' naming of Scott Pelley to
the anchor chair.

Moderating a New American Foundation event Wednesday on
the FCC's just-released future of media study, Koppel said it will be
"very interesting" to follow the ratings of the newscast with Pelley
at the helm. "I think there is actually a significant number of people out
there who are just ravenous for a TV network that will really give them good
hard news," he said.

Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps, who was a
participant in the discussion, echoed his criticism of the report for
"tinkering around the edges" of solutions rather than taking bold
action in response to what the report itself identified as a lack of local news
coverage.

Koppel agreed, and was particularly nonplussed that,
after identifying examples of TV station pay-for-play practices, the report
says "absolutely nothing" about punishing or reducing or discouraging
that activity.  Koppel said the FCC seemed to him something of a
"toothless old dog."

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