Peter Jennings' Wisdom Will Be Missed

As the much-deserved memorials pour in for ABC anchor Peter Jennings, it is difficult to resist speculating about the future of the network nightly news. Television execs will cast about for how -- or even if -- they can revitalize the genre. It might involve fog machines or podcasts or Jon Stewart. Jennings was there when the first generation of old men gave way to the network suits' bright ideas about people wanting to see a hipster read the news:

"It was a little ridiculous when you think about it...A twenty-six-year-old trying to compete with Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley. I was simply unqualified."
Jennings may have realized it right away, though it took three years for the network to send him back into the field for seasoning. The good news is that things move faster today. The bad news is that networks don't seem to learn from their mistakes. After a couple months of podcasts, television journalism will be "Fear Factor" meets "Dateline."

Oh, wait, that's what it is already:

Rick Sanchez,... who joined CNN last year, strapped on a device known as a shock belt - worn around the waist, it can deliver 50,000 volts of electricity to a person's body - and then gave a simple command: "Do it."
Man, that hurts.

ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings Dies at 67 [AP]

Remembering Peter Jennings: 1938-2005 [TVNewser]

CNN Seeks New Ways to Battle Fox News [NYT]


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