What Women Want Ė
By Rebecca Coates Nee
October 22, 2001
Now Ahhh the good old days Ö when November meant in-depth
reports on cellulite creams, wrinkle treatments and the latest
herb to rev up your sex drive. Many of us despised doing those
stories ó some even left TV because of the trend toward choosing
sweeps pieces solely for the pride of the promotions department.
Before Sept. 11th, TV news consultants had decided that women
in the coveted demographic (under age 54, preferably moms)
were most concerned about their lined and dimpled skin. But
now, even consultants can see that we have more on our minds.
Who cares about cellulite when thereís a shortage of Cipro
and gas masks? And anthrax doesnít happen to other people
anymore ó itís in our newsrooms. So what sweeps topics will
November bring in this new era where reality TV is all we
need to scare us into viewing?
Itís a shame it took a crisis to make us realize that the
real "threat lurking in your home" isnít Mad Cow Disease but
a world gone mad. What do women really want to see on the
news in November?
I sampled the "target market" ó women, mostly moms, from California
to Florida. Here are some answers that are sure to make consultants
cringe: "Give us hope. I know we have to see the bad news
Ė but Iíd like to see it balanced with some positive stories
about people and kids doing good things for each other."
"More education stories Ö What are we going to do about school
"If Iím gonna watch local news, I want to see whatís going
on in my community. I donít care about that health ****.
"I can watch the Discovery Channel if I want to see that.
I donít care if it has meeting video in it ó I just want to
know whatís going on."
"Iíd like to see some comparison shopping, what are the best
buys at the grocery store? How can I save money?"
"More information on the mind/body connection, dealing with
stress, taking care of yourself."
Pretty boring stuff, huh? Maybe what women really want from
TV news is to help us learn how to survive the basics of living.