The Newscasters

THE NEWSCASTERS by Ron Powers.St. Martin’s, $8.95. Mr. Powers maintains that in their desire to attract the largest possible number of viewers, the various television networks have resorted to professional surveyors of audience response, and that the totally commercial advice of such people has converted news broadcasting into a form of show business, to the great detriment of useful journalism. Any viewer who has sourly clocked the time devoted to advertising breaks, glowered at anchormen got up like second-rate matinee idols, or snarled “Shut up” as the news team goes into its merry ingroup chat game, will agree with his charges, without necessarily admiring his rambling, windy presentation of evidence.