The media guru who brought us 60 Minutes has a new idea: Take a miniversion of the regular ratings leader to the Internet and target the most-sought-after spending group, affluent college kids.
"I look around and I see an awful lot of corporations that stay out of television news because they can't reach the demographic they want," CBS newsman Don Hewitt tells us. "So I'm trying to reach it for them."
He's got a platform: CBS's U-Wire, the college press Internet site. A name: "Anything Goes, as in Cole Porter's Anything Goes." And a blueprint: Have college editors and reporters at schools around the country submit short videos that will be presented in a magazine format.
"I want them to think big," says Hewitt. But not long. "First of all, we know their attention span--the 15 minutes that I did on 60 Minutes is about five times what theirs is. So I'm talking about little two- and three-minute pieces," he says. "It's like U.S. News. You can watch television like you read a magazine; you can skip around."
And because he's Don Hewitt, he's got the jam to do it. Consider: As the keynoter at next month's college press confab in Washington, he's wooing presidential hopefuls to come and take questions. "I'd be a liar," he said when asked if he had influence, "if I didn't think that was the case."
By Paul Bedard