Trendspotter Marian Salzman Says That Americans Are Turning To Hard News

03/08/2010

New York-based president (since August 2009) of Euro/RSGC Worldwide PR/North America, who told min (December 14, 2009) that 2010 would be difficult for luxury, issued a report last month stating that Americans are less interested in news about celebrities and more interested in news about their well-being. Yet our best-and-worst-sellers, replete with Michael Jackson, Jon & Kate/Brad and Angelina (and Jen), and American Idols (see see more) tell otherwise. “My research says that people care about Kate Gosselin for 22 seconds,” says Salzman. “What matters now are the economy, health care and national security, which affect people in their everyday lives.”

Salzman sticks to her online Mood Monitor survey conducted last month with 388 Americans representing every region and major ethnic group. All of the hard-news subjects scored much higher among both genders than they did in surveys of 12 and 18 months ago, which Salzman says is indicative of “most Americans not liking what they’re seeing.” That was proved in Massachusetts voting booths on January 19 with the surprise election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate, and it may be further proved nationwide on November 2 with the midterm Congressional voting, but that would be at the expense of Democrats, not of celebrities.

Salzman’s finding that 48.2% of Americans care less about celebs is a tough sell when People –the best pop-culture barometer of all–continues to sell so well on newsstands (1.325 million in the recession-impacted second-half 2009). Plus, celebrity news and gossip was an escape during the 1930s, when Clark Gable, et al., took Americans’ minds off the Depression, so why would conditions be any different in these tough times?

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