Suggested reading: In the political talk show race, outrage is winning

by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Trevor Noah recently surprised fans (and, according to some accounts, also Comedy Central management) when he announced plans to leave “The Daily Show.” His departure is one of many notable personnel changes in late-night television: James Corden will leave “The Late Late Show” next year, TBS canceled “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” and Desus and Mero broke up with each other and their hugely successful Showtime late-night show beloved by a diverse viewership of millennials.

Prominent entertainers leave jobs all the time, but media watchers see something more systemic in the recent spate of departures. Dylan Byers describes the “contracting genre” as an economic problem: “The eight-figure late-night host increasingly doesn’t match the new economics of the late-night business.” The economics used to look like big advertisers paying for a captive audience that tuned in for pulpy takes on mainstream American culture.

But audiences have not been flocking to late-night television for some time. Advertisers have continued to support the time slot not necessarily because it works but because there was little else competing for the late-night audience. Throwing good money after bad, as it were. That cannot last forever. … (continue at The New York Times)