At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by USC Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others.
The stock of Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, fell about 1.5 percent Wednesday after "fake news" icon Jon Stewart announced he will leave the network's marquee program, "The Daily Show." But some analysts, including professor Jonathan Taplin, say the situation could be worse. "Viacom is suffering the same way almost every major TV network is. In the 12-to-17 age range and the 18-to-49 age range, the year-over-year declines in people watching traditional TV are in the 12 percent range. Now if you project that out for a few years, that's pretty scary."
Ad Age quoted professor Jeffrey Cole on developments that are disrupting the TV industry at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. "The behavior of recent college graduates often indicates the direction of the market. When people reach this phase, they start to eliminate those things they grew up with and are no longer willing to pay for. This now includes giving up TV sets in favor of other devices." However, Cole says this generation's interest in television is greater than any previous generation, they just want to watch, "what they want, where they want, and, importantly, they don't want to spend $85 a month."
Professor Tom Hollihan spoke to USA Today about The Daily Show's future replacement. Without question, Comedy Central will take its time finding a worthy successor to formidable fake-news anchor Jon Stewart, who announced Tuesday that he's leaving The Daily Show when his contract is up. Hollihan says Stewart's successor will face a daunting task. "He's a supremely talented interviewer, very quick-witted and sharp and he's clearly well-read and well-informed. There is something about his kind of charm and his ability to connect with viewers non-verbally that I think will make it difficult for anyone to fill his shoes. There are other people who have established their own brand, but Stewart is a unique player." ABC News and Variety also quoted Hollihan on the Stewart departure.
Recode quoted professor Karen North on social media's power to hold public figures accountable. Critics have turned to Twitter to lampoon Brian Williams' explanation that he had 'misremembered' his account of the 2003 Iraq events. The hashtag #BrianWilliamsMisremembered is now attached to dozens of creative images online. Digital media experts say the incident demonstrates the power of social media to hold prominent figures to account for their words and actions. North says, "When you talk about the democratization of the digital age, if people can speak their minds, and if they find a way to make it resonate with enough people or the right people, then they can force the issue to come to light." The LA Times also quoted North on the murder trial of a teen accused of sending a selfie with the body on Snapchat. The Sacramento Bee also quoted North.
Professor Mary Murphy was quoted in Variety, discussing actors driving the anti-vaccine movement. On the radio broadcast, Murphy discussed the prominent role of entertainment industry figures like Jenny McCarthy in driving the anti-vaccine movement, as well as plans among some celebrities to start to a draft-Elizabeth Warren effort. Pop Politics, hosted by Variety's Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 P.M. ET on Sirius XM's Channel 124.
The announcement of Annenberg's "What's Working" partnership with the Huffington Post was quoted by NPR. Under the deal, USC journalism students who produce stories, videos or other content on positive developments or constructive solutions to enduring problems will work with Huffington Post editors to get them posted on the site. Leader of the initiative Arianna Huffington said she hopes the new project can help bring out the best in the site's users.
NBC News recently celebrated Brian Williams' 10 years as anchor of "NBC Nightly News" with a promotional campaign that stressed trust and experience. However, Williams' false statements regarding his accounts of his trip on a military helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq have triggered an internal investigation at NBC News into the anchor's version of his story. The LA Times article quoted Professor and former broadcast news reporter Judy Muller. "If you are a journalist, your basic job description is reporting the truth, so if you are caught telling a lie - intentional or not - your credibility is going to be seriously impaired. At the very least, in the age of instant judgement, you will be Twittered into a punch line." Up to Friday, Williams' apologies have failed to alleviate the criticism and comments from crew members on the flight that was attacked. The LA Times and KNX 1070 also quoted Muller on the Williams incident.