"The current commercials 'bespeak an older audience,' says Gibson, in town last week to anchor 'World News' from the National Constitution Center. 'I'd rather have car ads.Shister noted that such a move by the networks was "not likely," noting that, according to Nielsen Media research the median age of "World News" viewers this season is 59.9, 60.3 for NBC "Nightly News", and 59.5 for the CBS "Evening News."
'When you put on ads mostly for medicines, you're saying 'We want an older audience.' I would like ads that say 'We have a younger audience here.'"
Gibson's idea is a bit like putting the cart before the horse, it seems. Advertisements for a television broadcast are sold based on that program's existing demographics, said Ken Lagana, vice president of sales at CBS Digital Media. Since the evening newscasts currently skew older, they simply aren't a financially practical outlet for an advertiser who is looking to entice a much younger audience. "That demo just isn't going there," said Lagana.
"You'd have more luck going to those advertisers and have them buy into the ['Evening News'] simulcast because that's more targeted to their demographic," since younger viewers are more likely to get their news online, said Lagana.
All three network newscasts are obviously interested in generating interest among younger viewers—that was noted among the potential benefits sought by CBS News in hiring Katie Couric. But for advertisers targeting younger viewers, they'll have to see that marked change in viewership before they buy air time.