COMMENTS: Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas

Christmas Eve might just as well have been Christmas Day as far as the news agenda was concerned. All three anchors took the long weekend off. Their substitutes were David Muir on ABC, Anthony Mason on CBS and CNBC's Carl Quintanilla on NBC. The Christmas holiday was the Story of the Day with the usual mix of formulaic news stories on travel and last-minute shopping, plus seasonal features. Only NBC actually led with such holiday fare. The lead on CBS and ABC was related: the massive storm that hit the Pacific coast earlier in the week is heading east, promising a white Boxing Day, if not a White Christmas.

The one angle that all three newscasts agreed was worth covering was the prosperous prospects for retailers. NBC's John Yang and CBS' Elaine Quijano essentially reprised the holiday shopping coverage they filed Thursday from the Magnificent Mile and Times Square. ABC positioned Jeremy Hubbard at Macy's in Manhattan. He was even more aggressively promotional on behalf of the retail chains, donating free publicity to discounts offered by Walmart, JC Penney and Toys 'R' Us.


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