The Chicago experiment: journalist attitudes and The ten o'clock news, reported by Carol Marin Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Casella, Peter A.
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • WBBM-TV, the CBS owned-and-operated television station in Chicago, embarked on what was called a "noble experiment" in television journalism in February 2000. The Ten O'Clock News: Reported by Carol Marin was a return to traditional, normative television journalism. The program, with respected journalist Carol Marin as the only anchor, was an attempt by station management to revive the moribund ratings of the late news broadcast with traditional hard news. Station management promised to stick with the new format for at least one year. Nine month later, amid even lower ratings, a new management team canceled the experiment. This is the first academic investigation of that initiative. This qualitative study utilized data generated from long interviews with five principals of the news program. The findings provided great insight into the philosophies and attitudes that shaped the broadcast, and revealed some of the things that caused the program's demise. They also revealed a clear and definite attitude of antagonism that varied according to job responsibilities and position in the editorial hierarchy. These negative attitudes are reflections of the dialectic between the trusteeship model and the market-driven model of broadcasting. This study is a grounded theory investigation from which emerged the Mutual Support-Audience Reward model of electronic journalism. The model illustrates how overt awareness by journalists of a media company's legitimate pursuit of profits could enhance the editorial quality and audience appeal of its news product.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Tuggle, C. A.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

This work has no parents.