The riddle of "Sunday Morning"

Sunday Morning

This is a compelling example of positioning from the television industry:  “CBS News Sunday Morning.”

As the writer suggests, we live in a time when attention spans seem to be getting shorter and information is conveyed in smaller and smaller bites, like six-second Vine videos and 140-character tweets.

“Sunday Morning,” however, is old-school.  Its stories run as long as 12 minutes.  They cover hard news but also art, music, literature, and sometimes completely random topics (the example in the article is a five-minute feature on a magazine dedicated to bowling).  The show concludes with a one-minute-long nature scene, with no dialogue or music.  The show basically hasn’t changed in 35 years.

And yet, it remains extremely successful.  It’s ratings always have been solid; recently they have gotten even better.  Although the stereotype of the average “Sunday Morning” viewer is an “old person,” it actually beats all the other Sunday news programs among viewers age 25-54.

Obviously, the program has succeeded by going against the media grain and carving out a unique positioning for itself.  What is it about “Sunday Morning” (or, perhaps, Sunday mornings) that would explain this program’s enduring success?