New audience is `discerning’

Bruce NelsonExecutive vice-president CFCN-TV, CalgaryIguess the most interesting characteristic of the audience is that there is a great deal of viewership that is 'on purpose.'Television does not run people, as much as people run television.There was a time when everybody gathered...

Bruce Nelson

Executive vice-president

CFCN-TV, Calgary

Iguess the most interesting characteristic of the audience is that there is a great deal of viewership that is ‘on purpose.’

Television does not run people, as much as people run television.

There was a time when everybody gathered ’round the set at 8 o’clock on a Sunday night to watch The Ed Sullivan Show, or, later, Bonanza.

That is not the case anymore.

I would describe the mind-set of new tv viewers as discerning, frankly. They are looking for specific things. That is the genesis of the value of specialty channels.

For generations, we have been raised on the importance of being well-read. Today, there is a case to be said for being well-viewed.

People are increasingly looking to tv to lead and inform them about the world and social conditions.

The kind of authority that tv carries is significant. Relative to other media, I think it has the greatest degree of credibility today.

There is a considerable sense of tv literacy, compared with when I first began.

When we conduct focus groups, we have found people are extremely literate in terms of what our goals and objectives are.

People have a sense of what we are trying to accomplish, as opposed to being agog with the mystery of it all.