News anchors for the three major broadcast news networks, which have been losing viewers for years, may be missing an opportunity to engage their audience by failing to take advantage of using social media.
A quick look at the Twitter accounts of the anchors shows that while they all have Twitter accounts they don’t use them. NBC’s Brian Williams, who has the top rated broadcast evening news program, has 38,122 followers but has never tweeted. Scott Pelley, who just moved into the anchor chair at CBS last month, has 1,841 followers and has tweeted one time, stating that he was honored to become the anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. ABC’s Diane Sawyer entered last night with a little over 1,000 followers and no tweets, but now has 11,359 thanks to her interview with Jaycee Dugard during which she tweeted 44 times.
The slow adaptation to Twitter and the lack of tweets from the broadcast new anchors contrasts sharply with many of their counterparts on cable where uber lefty Rachel Maddow clocks in with over 1.8 million followers, Anderson Cooper 1.3 million, Keith Olbermann 303,000 and Bill O’Reilly 86,000 even though the account is handled by his staff.
Maybe this will spur Sawyer to tweet more often now that she has seen the response from last night’s effort. As for Williams and Pelley it looks like they were more interested in protecting their names than getting serious about social media. If that’s the case then they will only continue to see their audience shrink as it ages, and cede younger viewers to the Internet and cable news.