Media Bureau Staff Research Paper 2002-5 (Sept 2002) examines the extent to which program diversity has changed over several decades during the prime time hours for broadcast network television. Einstein (Queens College, City Univ. of New York) assesses this change using several different measurement techniques. She concludes that, while program diversity on prime time broadcast network television has fluctuated over time, it was not significantly different in 2002 than it was in 1966.
Einstein also explores the factors used by broadcast networks in recent years in program selection. She finds that networks’ program selection incentives have changed in recent years as networks were permitted to take ownership interests in programming.