Media World: How PBS beats cable news


Maybe the public wants serious journalism after all.

"The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" and its predecessor programs have been part of the PBS line-up since 1975. What many viewers may not realize is how well the decidedly unflashy digest and analysis of the day's news does in the ratings.

According to Nielsen data supplied by PBS, the program attracted more than one million viewers last year, 450,000 of whom were in the key demographic of viewers aged 35 to 64. In the age of eroding audiences, PBS is more than holding its own.