Two Cents


"But for all the event's humanity, Reagan's death has put news executives in a couple of uncomfortable double binds: covering a huge story without wringing every bit of public interest out of it, and serving the human function of honoring Reagan while satisfying the journalistic demand to analyze his presidency."

Chicago Tribune
TV critic Steve Johnson

"When the ritual and spectacle is this rich, television often does best by simply pointing the cameras and microphones in the right direction and keeping its high-priced talent mostly out of the way. The major networks—CBS, NBC, and ABC—seemed to have the most trouble remembering that at the start of the day."

Baltimore Sun
TV critic David Zurawik

"CNN's once dominant credibility ratings have slumped in recent years, mostly among Republicans and independents. By comparison, the Fox News Channel's believability ratings have remained steady both overall and within partisan groups. Nonetheless, among those able to rate the networks, more continue to say they can believe all or most of what they hear on CNN than say that about Fox News Channel (32% vs. 25%)."

—From a Pew Research Center study released last week

" 'Freaking' is our word of choice."

—TBS Executive Vice President Steven Koonin on the edited-for-content version of HBO's Sex and the City
that debuts this week on TBS

"Let the customer decide what they want to pay, what their menu should be, what they want, and what they don't want, and all of that aggravation will disappear."

—Cablevision Chairman Charles F. Dolan, in Fortune, on marketing satellite-TV service VOOM to viewers weary of rate increases for pay TV

"It's the same today as it was [in 1979]. They still have the same attitude we had then. This is their life, not their job. They live, breathe, and eat it."

—ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen speaking to The Arizona Republic
about how ESPN's free-wheeling, wise-cracking culture hasn't changed in the quarter century since it began

"We are delighted with the ratings in the first game. And maybe with some luck, we'll go into double figures."

—NBA Commissioner David Stern on the overnight 9.8 rating of ABC coverage of Game One of the Lakers-Pistons final. That's up from 2003 but only half that of finals aired in the late '90s.