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Jeff Fager Taking ‘Hands on Approach’ to Fixing CBS Newscasts, But What is the Strategy?

Broadcasting & Cable’s Michael Malone reports that new CBS News chairman Jeff Fager met with the network’s affiliates during their annual meeting at the NAB show in Las Vegas.

Malone reports that Fager had “tactical discussions” about how to rework the network’s news programming strategy, but the affiliates he spoke to would not go into detail as to what his plans were. As for “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric:

“Fager did not dwell on evening anchor Katie Couric’s unclear future, and what it means for CBS,” Malone reports.

Fager addressed the affiliate heads with some strategy for lifting ratings at both The Early Show and CBS Evening News; Black says Fager reminded him of a station news director, with his hands on approach to invigorating the network’s newscasts. Fager did not dwell on evening anchor Katie Couric’s unclear future, and what it means for CBS. ”We’re all excited about his track record with 60 Minutes,” says Black, who did not offer specifics of Fager’s strategy. “He seemed very engaged and passionate. There was a lot of tactical discussions-you don’t always get that in that job.”

Another topic that came up was retransmission consent fees and reverse  compensation, both of which could play a major part in boosting revenue at the broadcast networks, which have been hit harder than their cable counterparts during the recession.

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