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Paul Friedman’s Blueprint For CBS News

Following up on this week’s announcement of Paul Friedman‘s appointment to vice president at CBS News: Almost one year ago to the day, on April 26, 2005, Friedman offered some “free advice” to Les Moonves in the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps it offers a few clues about the direction of the Evening News.

CBS “cannot win by doing the same old thing as the other networks, it has less to lose than the other networks, and it still has very talented people who can accomplish change,” Friedman wrote. “More important, it is in the position to do the strategically right thing by doing the right thing. This is not a matter of wallowing in the ‘tradition of Edward R. Murrow’ and the ‘Tiffany network.’ This is about earning ratings and money by attracting an audience that wants more than endless repetition of ‘breaking news,’ even as most media outlets go down-market.”

Friedman said CBS should “believe in and commit to a newscast that gives people something to chew on, in a different style.” He said the broadcast should “summarize the news of the day in five minutes or so;” then spend 10 minutes “covering one really good story;” and end with opinion…

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