The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

August 20, 2013

ABC, CBS news gaining with different approaches

(Continued)

CBS didn't bother with a special report, a judgment that stood out more because NBC did the same as ABC. Pelley reported the story on the evening news.

CBS News President David Rhodes quipped that "it wasn't the Second Coming."

"We tried to not completely lose our minds covering it," Rhodes said. "I don't think we were making a statement. I think the others were making a statement about themselves by doing it."

Goldston is fine with that. ABC has stayed on the story, airing a "World News" report last Wednesday featuring Prince William talking about the experience of being a new dad.

"Millions and millions of people in America were interested in the birth of the royal baby," he said. "It's news. We just report the news."

Day-to-day, the differences are more muted. In 13 of 23 weekdays in July, the two evening newscasts led with the same story, according to news consultant Andrew Tyndall. On some of the days they diverged, ABC picked stories with more populist appeal. One day, ABC led with weather and forest fires, while CBS started with Egyptian politics. ABC led another day when the women kept imprisoned in a Cleveland home released a video message; CBS had a follow-up report on the San Francisco plane crash. On July 24, CBS began its broadcast with economic news, while ABC opened by reporting the name of William and Kate's baby.

Getting beyond the day's obvious headlines is where different priorities emerge.

ABC frequently airs detailed reports by Paula Faris that give concrete advice on how families can find savings; she recently talked about trimming fees included in home sales and costs related to sending someone off to college. The "Real Money" series is less "news" than practical advice.

Sawyer's daily "Instant Index" has voiceovers on stories like a study on successful marriages and soda companies defending the use of sugar substitutes. She's shown YouTube-worthy clips of a panda bear mom welcoming back her baby and a confused grandmother throwing her drink at a bride instead of confetti.

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