Less is more

The CBS studio crew during football games consists of five people. Three former players, a former coach and a sports broadcast veteran.

The FOX crew is even larger. If you count the robot, it’s close to breaking double digits.

Post-debate coverage on the major 24-hour news channels turned into a rotation of several experts, pundits and other personalities. In one surreal television moment, Anderson Cooper sat in between a dozen people, squashed together behind two too-small news desks, shooting off questions like a semi-automatic firearm, fighting for space and for clarity.

Walter Cronkite would report on his own. By himself. No experts, or former employees, or anyone that would distract from the one important thing: the news. You listened to him as an expert. As a trusted voice. As a thick syrup of news, coating and lasting, irreplaceable, a true benefit to the station.

The more people you fit on a stage, the more watered down their message will become. They will receive fewer opportunities to talk, which makes them less and less important as individuals in the larger picture. And if they’re less important, then what’s stopping us from simply tuning them out?

My suggestion to television news and sports programs. Experts are good. But keep them at a minimum, please. Because when everyone starts sounding the same, it doesn’t really matter if your announcer is a former football player, or if your pundit is the premier historian in regards to presidential politics. They’re just another head on a 10-headed media monster.

And cutting one off doesn’t seem to matter.

This was lovingly handwritten on October 27th, 2008