COMMENTS: Softie Gibson

Back in the days when he was anchor of Good Morning America, Charles Gibson would routinely turn sappy and sentimental when handling baby stories. So David Wright's baby feature for A Closer Look was a natural to include on ABC's newscast agenda. 2007 saw the birth of 4.3m Americans, father of a 15-month-old Wright told us, a higher annual total than even at the peak of the babyboom in 1957.

Less dreamy eyed, NBC's In Depth and CBS' Eye on Your Money features looked at straitened circumstances at the other end of the demographic spectrum. CBS' Kelly Wallace examined the financial shortfall in retirement planning by women and CNBC's Scott Cohn surveyed corporate cutbacks in healthcare coverage for retirees for NBC.

It was not that ABC ignored the elderly demographic in its swooning over Baby, Oh, Baby. Ryan Owens was assigned to cover experimental drug trials of Dimebon, a medicine for hayfever, that was accidentally discovered to double as a potential memory restorative for early-stage Alzheimer's patients.

Ann Curry's baby story for NBC's Making a Difference feature was sad. She told us the story of Icy Frantz, whose son died six years ago as a toddler. Curry publicized Sergeant's Heaven the self-published children's book imagining life after death that Frantz wrote to console herself.


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