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September 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite the widespread perception that TV news organizations send their top anchors to scenes of major events in order to boost their ratings, the opposite may be the result. Appearing on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night talk show on NBC, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow conceded that her on-the-scene reports about the pullout of the last combat troops from Iraq last month produced a small decline in her ratings. “It is sort of an acknowledged truth in the news business that whenever you leave the studio, your ratings go down — no matter where you’re going, even if you go somewhere to cover something very exciting, your ratings go down.” She thanked the network for making “this big sacrifice” in allowing her to travel to such places so that she could improve her understanding of the events she’s talking about. “I do feel I learn so much, so I think it’s cool that the company lets me go, because ratings go down every time you do it.” For CBS’s Katie Couric, her trip to Afghanistan last month became a ratings disaster. Each of her broadcasts from the country produced the lowest ratings in the history of the CBS Evening News. Likewise, Anderson Cooper’s reports from Haiti and the Gulf were down nearly 30 percent from his studio reports a year ago.