Stephen Colbert gained some attention a few months ago when CBS announced that he would take over hosting the Late Show when David Letterman retires some time next year. While that is flattering to Stephen Colbert, it will create a huge vacuum when he leaves. Stephen Colbert has contributed greatly to political satire. His sarcasm has become a major voice for the liberal cause. He, furthermore, has become good at exposing the truth and producing quality news. What can we do to replace him?
John Oliver’s new show, This Week Tonight, appears to be receiving some attention. His show, however, is only on once a week. It, therefore, cannot produce the amount of coverage that The Colbert Report and The Daily Show have produced, both of which are now major news programs.
My idea is to expand The Daily Show by making it an hour long. Jon Stewart should, furthermore, make sure that his show provides a synopsis of the day’s news events, similar to the way serious news programs do. With The Daily Show being an hour long he can still have his usual daily guest interview as well as put on a sketch. In fact he could do more interviews and sketches. Stewart should of course include more news headlines than the other stations, and mention more intellectual as well as international news stories than those other networks. The rest of the program can cover these stories in depth.
He should, furthermore, do it live at 6:30 eastern time (5:30 central), while NBC, ABC and CBS are hosting their evening news programs. Comedy Central should then rebroadcast The Daily Show when viewers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones could tune into the news programs of the three major networks. Then it will put pressure on these three channels to produce more in-depth and honest news, because of the potential for viewers to choose The Daily Show over their news programs.
With these changes to The Daily Show there is a potential for the other networks to produce higher quality news. It, however, might be a stretch to say that the other stations will improve their news programs. At any rate, Comedy Central could still produce some unique in depth news that educates a large audience despite Colbert’s departure.