Why Are Textbooks So Expensive at UTC?

By: Cody Dowler

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – At the beginning of each semester, most UTC students are all asking the same question but don’t receive an answer. Why do textbooks cost so much?

There are a massive number of reasons why textbook prices are high and keep rising. Here are just a few of those reasons.


  • Highly specialized material - Many college textbooks are highly specialized and the material is unavailable in any other book. The low volume of published books and the lack of market competition drive publishers to jack up prices.
  • Copyright payments - The publishing companies have to pay copyright fees to every author in the book. A poetry book for a literature class, for example, may involve clearing hundreds of copyrights.
  • Online companions - Many textbooks are complemented by online resources. The subscription fee is built in to the cost of the book. (i.e. Wiley Plus, My Math Lab).
  • Used Textbooks - Publishers make no money when too many used books are in circulation. As a consequence, they will often release new editions every few years in order to make the used books obsolete.

These main reasons have been key to the incredible inflation of textbook prices. USA Today reports that the price of textbooks rises about 6% each year now and has risen an astounding 82% in the last decade.

How did you pay for books this past semester?

Students are beginning to find savvy ways to get around buying textbooks at full price or at all. USA Today also reports that 34% of students downloaded course content from an unauthorized website, up from 20% in 2010. 31% of students say they’ve photocopied or scanned chapters from other students’ books, up from 21% in 2010.

These methods may be saving students quite a bit of cash, but it is only hurting these publishing companies. These companies only make money for textbooks at their outrageous prices. They make no money from that same textbook if it is sold again, scanned, or photocopied any amount of times.

A great way to find free, online content is through Project Blue Sky. Launched in November 2012, this is a search engine developed by a company called Gooru specifically for online education, allowing people to “search, select and seamlessly integrate Open Education Resources.”

Academic publishers will tell you that creating modern textbooks is an expensive, labor-intensive process that demands charging high prices. But the industry also shares some of the dysfunctions that help drive up the cost of healthcare spending. Just as doctors prescribe prescription drugs they’ll never have to pay for, college professors often assign titles with little consideration of cost.

Students, like patients worried about their health, don’t have much choice to pay up, lest they risk their grades.

The graph shown below from The Atlantic greatly shows the inflation of textbook prices this generation. Since 1978, the cost of school textbooks and other supplies has risen an astounding 812%. That’s more than triple the Consumer Price Index rise of 250%.


The simplest form of a diagnosis to this issue is for these publishing companies to face the facts and lower their prices. Students are no longer willing to put with spending an extra $1000 each semester just for books that may not even be useful in their studies.

Buying all the books a student needs at his or her school’s bookstore is by far the easiest way and quickest way to get started on the semester. If bookstores just lowered their prices, they would see a huge influx of money from students who would take this easier route.

Instead, these publishing companies will continue to be stubborn about their prices. So it’s not surprising that textbook publishers have filed a lawsuit against the spreading of free, online educational content. That’s what you do when your revenue is threatened: use it to hire good lawyers.

Have faith young and future students of America’s Universities, The amount of free, high-quality online educational content is sure to grow. At the same time, the rise of the global middle class is creating a surge in demand for low-cost education. This will eventually force publishing companies to have a choice for survival: Either fold or lower prices.

And I have a strong feeling that they’ll go with the latter.

For more information about the effects of textbook pricing at UTC, check out these stories on The Loop.

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UTC Students: Don’t Fall Victim to the Textbook Buyback Scam

By: Robresha Jackson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – It’s that time of year again where college bookstores rip off its students with buyback rates students sell their old textbooks back to their school’s bookstore for instant cash!

There is a large outcry among college students about high textbook prices and low buyback rates

The only problem is students are barely receiving half of the money they paid for their textbooks in the beginning of the semester, causing more students to speak out.  Many feel as though they are being ripped off by the very bookstore that they paid hundreds of dollars to in exchange for required textbooks they only need for a few months.

“It’s extremely unfair, because they profit an insane amount compared to what they give you. Especially since they sell them for only about twenty or so dollars cheaper than a new book,” said Middle Tennessee State University Senior Jasmon Atkins.

 Do you think your college bookstore offers reasonable buyback rates?

Although we must keep in mind that our college bookstores are essentially businesses that need to make money, there are ways that both parties can benefit.

According to this article, textbook buyback has the potential to be a triple-win situation where students get cash for selling their books, college bookstores get in-demand used titles to put on their shelves, and future students are offered money-saving used editions during the next term. In the midst of that, it also decreases the environmental strain that additional textbook printing would cause.

There are five things that bookstores take into consideration before buying back textbooks:

  • Whether the book will be used in the following term or not
  • The condition of the book
  • Whether or not a new edition of the book will be released
  • Whether or not the book has all of its pieces (CDs, kits, etc.)
  • Enrollment numbers for a particular course in the following term

The standards of buyback rates are also noteworthy. If there is a high demand for a particular book and a student bought that book new, the bookstore guarantees them 50% of their original cost. If a book is bought used and there is a demand, the bookstore pays up to 67%. If a book is not in-demand on your campus, but is in-demand on another campus, that bookstore will pay the student up to 35% and ship that book to another university for profit.

Ultimately, it is up to the student to decide how and where they will purchase their books, but here are some tips for buying books and selling them back in hopes of at least getting half of what was paid for them:

Do your research. Before going into your school’s bookstore look online at other sites such as Amazon and Chegg to see if they are buying the books you need for a more reasonable exchange. Also keep in mind that just because a book was new when it was purchased (in your school’s bookstore) doesn’t mean that you will get more money from buyback.


Average buyback rates from online businesses

Communicate with other students. Some students sell books to friends or other peers who will be taking that class in the future. At least with that you can regulate your own prices to make some profit.

The early bird catches the worm. If you are selling your books back to your school’s bookstore, do it as early as possible! When bookstores know that a particular book will be used again, they set a quota for the amount of books they will take back so the earlier you get there, the more money you get back.

Another pearl of wisdom: Students can sell textbooks back for as much as 28% more by selling during the right months. July, August and January are the best times to sell back while April and December are the worst times.

Good luck!

For more advice on textbooks, check out the links below:

How Do Teachers Choose Textbooks: A Guide for UTC Students – Rose Street

The Budget Savvy UTC Student – Charnele Box

UTC student are going broke due to textbook prices - Taylor Ellis

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UTC Students Speak Out About Online Access Codes

By: Megan Montgomery

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — The times of technology are advancing and so are the prices of online websites used in the classroom. In addition to the price of textbooks, students are now asked to buy online access codes for some classes in order to do homework and other activities.

PasswordThe biggest problem facing students is the hefty price of an access code in addition to a textbook. Forty-two percent of students in a class requiring online access are asked to purchase a textbook as well, according to a survey recently conducted.

One professor at UTC says that she was unaware of the initial price of the online access code when it was first required for her students. She has seen more effective learning with the additional practice outside of the classroom and considers the online work a necessity.

Sophomore Alexis Scott says she likes online work because it shows you the correct answer right away, unlike having to wait on a test to see what you need to work on.

Freshman, Jenna Stewart uses a website to complete work for her Spanish class. She says, “The answers are really obscure and way too specific so I end up missing the questions.”

Stewart doesn’t believe the material is worth her money because she learns more from the lecture and the book.

This isn’t a problem faced only by students at UTC. University of Maine student Luke Thomas took to the internet when he and his fiance at the time were both forced to buy a $150 bundle for an English class. They attempted to share a book and access code, but the code, which could only be purchased in addition to the textbook, was essential to participation in the class discussion.

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.41

UTC offers direct access to buying textbooks online through the Barnes and Noble campus bookstore

The situation presented by textbook providers is that access codes are very rarely offered separately from a textbook, forcing students to spend the extra buck. This process makes the value of textbooks near to nothing because bookstores are unwilling to buy back a book that can only be sold with an access code.

This extra investment in online access only lasts a limited amount of time. In the survey conducted, only six percent of students have been able to use an access code for longer than two semesters.

College is stressful time without extensive financial burdens. One student suggests that online access only be mandatory if it is used extensively in the classroom not just for additional exercises. Another student suggests that the purchase of students’ online access be included in the technology fee of tuition.

Online codes and website access are a fairly new concept in the classroom. One way to help prepare for the price is to make sure you are getting a good deal on the other textbooks you purchase.

One blogger took the time to analyze the prices of the average price of textbooks at leading bookstores and compare their prices as well as include tips on how to buy smart on ExtraBux.com.

Textbook average prices from store to store according to ExtraBux.com


For more information about buying textbooks cheaper and more efficiently, check out some other students’ research:

1. “UTC student are going broke due to textbook prices” by Taylor Ellis

2. “How Do Teachers Choose Textbooks: A Guide for UTC Students” by Rose Street

3. “Bookstore Buybacks: Things You Need To Know About The UTC Bookstore” by Arielle Henson

4. “Students pay for textbooks they don’t use” by Kami Rowe

Click Here to Take the Survey!

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UTC student are going broke due to textbook prices

By Taylor Ellis

CHATTANOOGA, TN (The Loop / UTC) – Over the past 30 years, college textbook prices have increased over 800 percent.

During this time, according to the Huffington Post, the growth of textbook prices outpaced the growth of home prices and doubled the rate of inflation. For the typical college student at a four year university, the cost of simply learning the material will reach somewhere in the tens-of-thousands by graduation. With education prices ever increasing, more and more college students are running out of money and time.

On average, a typical college textbook will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $200. Multiply that number by four, the average number of classes a student takes per semester, and you’re already up to $800. This cost alone can break the bank of the typical student, but the spending is far from over. When you take into account the supplemental materials, books that may not be required but are suggested as companions, a student may be looking at $1000 in books per semester.

But where does a student’s textbook dollar go after it is spent? Many students simply do not think about this while they’re walking out of the University bookstore with empty pockets. On average, the actual book store receives a very small percentage of every dollar that is spent


According to the National Association of College Stores, around 21 cents of every dollar goes back to the campus book store. That 21 cents helps to supply the store, pay for labor, and go towards general upkeep of the facilities. Around another penny per every dollar goes towards the shipping cost associated with the book. The remaining 77 cents goes back to the publisher.

Here’s another way at looking at where you’re textbook dollar goes:

  • 21 cents / dollar is returned to better the University
  • 1 cent / dollar is used to ship the book to the student
  • 77 cents / dollar goes back to the publisher

    A typical college student will spend close to $1000 a year on textbooks.

    A typical college student will spend close to $1000 a year on textbooks.

With what the publisher receives from each dollar, they are able to pay the book’s authors, purchase the raw materials needed for book production, and also afford the general administrative costs that are encounter each year.

As a result of the increasing price of textbooks, many students are looking for alternate ways of getting the books that they need. One such method that has grown in popularity recently is the e-textbook. Available as a digital download, the e-textbook is a much cheaper option for many college students that have tablet devices and smart phones.

In addition to the rise of e-textbooks, many other companies are looking to gain the attention of frugal college students. Companies such as Cheeg  and Skyo offer textbook rentals that are available for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new textbook. Also, online stores like Amazon are offering students the option to purchase either an e-textbook or a print copy for much cheaper than the University bookstore.

Dhruv Rathod, a sophomore from Chattanooga, has been attending UTC for two years now. This past semester, Dhruv purchased all of his textbooks from the University bookstore and spent a little over $900. Only two of the books that Dhruv purchased were required texts for his classes.

“I feel like it’s a lot cheaper,” Dhruv said when talking about buying his books online. “In the past, I’ve always done that. I would say it’s a lot better [buying online] because you’re saving a whole lot of money.”

Where do you get your textbooks?

As textbook prices are rising, more and more students are looking at alternate ways of getting what they need. Many are deciding to stray away from the University store, opting for cheaper options online, while others are simply going without. If the trends continues, students in the near future will not know what it means to have a printed textbook.

One thing is for certain, however. If the price of books continues to increase, the backlash from the students will monumental. Money conscience students will find a way to get by, with or without the required materials.

Looking for cheaper books? Check out the links below:

Affordable College Textbook Act

Why pay for textbooks you don’t need?

Bookstore Buyback




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How Do Teachers Choose Textbooks: A Guide for UTC Students

By Rose Street

Chattanooga, TENN. (UTC/The Loop) – The issue of textbooks is a controversial one, and money is always at the forefront of the conversation. But, a question that is rarely asked is, “How do teachers choose their class’s textbooks anyway?” This will hopefully be a little insight into how.

Chemistry Teacher with Students in Class

So, the first question we need to ask is, “How do teachers get access to multiple books at a time?” According to one Brigham Young University professor, there exist textbook publishers who send several texts to teachers, and they read through all of them to determine which would be best for you, the student.

UTC professor, Michael Andrews of the Communication Department, says that he relies on “intellect and gut” when choosing textbooks for his classes. He continues on to say that there are many questions that he considers when choosing a textbook, like “Does the book communicate out the material well?” and “Does it offer enough material, like exercises and suggested tests, that I can draw off of that there is a variety?”

Based on the questions above, I have provided a bulleted list from the Brigham Young University question and answer blog “Dear Professor, Dear Student.” Below are eight questions from that blog that a professor might ask when choosing a textbook:

  1. Does the book’s content match well with the learning objectives for the course?
  2. Is the book’s presentation style consistent with how I think students would most consistently learn?
  3. Do the problems in each chapter provide good learning experiences for the students?
  4. Do students like the presentation in the textbook (layout, figures, etc.)? Is the book engaging?
  5. Is the textbook reasonably free from typographical and other errors?
  6. Is the cost reasonable?
  7. Do other professors like the textbook as well?
  8. Does the publisher use a reasonable time frame between new editions?

If this list doesn’t help, there are many checklists online that could, like the one here.

Now, teachers do rely on different criteria based on the specificity of their classes, like a foreign language class or a math class. But, there are certain criteria that many professors agree upon.stack460The article “Planning a Course: Choosing and Using Instructional Materials” discusses several advantages and disadvantages to using a textbook. The most obvious advantage is that textbooks, when used properly, can aid in learning, and just like Professor Andrews said before, they can provide materials to help the teacher teach the students.

The video below shows a professor validating the use of textbooks.

But, there are some disadvantages. The first is that books are not interactive, and the second is that textbooks are usually thick, which can overwhelm students. Another disadvantage is that textbooks rely on dated information, and do not adapt as rapidly as modern technology, like computers.

After teachers choose the textbooks and put in their orders, that is where their involvement ends. Now, it is up to each student to choose whether or not they want to buy the textbook. I know from personal experience that sometimes I cannot afford to buy textbooks from the UTC bookstore, and I am sure that many other students have this problem.

There are a few articles that may help students in deciding whether or not to use textbooks or to be financially able to buy the textbooks that you need. Check out “Students Pay for Textbooks They Don’t Use,”The Budget Savvy UTC Student,” and “Affordable College Textbook Act Seeks to Ease Students’ Financial Burden.”

What do you think? Should professors require textbooks for their classes? Give your thoughts here.

I hope this was helpful in giving some insight into what teachers go through when choosing textbooks for their students. If you want to check out more articles concerning the issue of textbooks, check out the Communication Department blog, The Loop.





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Bookstore Buyback: Things You Need To Know About The UTC Bookstore

By Arielle Henson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.(UTC/The Loop) — UTC Bookstore return policy is less than beneficial for many students on campus.

It’s no secret that bookstores are the busiest places on campuses during buyback times. Whether it is the first week of school or the last week of school, it is a place many students try to avoid during buyback times.

“ The line is always so long. Even on the last day,” said Bre Smith, Junior, Murfreesboro.“We are all still recovering from the semester and finals and still finding all our books. Another week could shorten the lines and allow students the opportunity to return more items.”

Not only are the lines long, but the frustration grows as each day passes that a student cannot return a book for full refund. Many students are not able to predict what books will be used or not when purchasing their required books for class.

“Some teachers such as humanities teachers only use the book for a week or so then move on. It would be beneficial for students that don’t have the money for a full payment of a book to return the book for the whole semester,” said Piper Phillips, Junior, Knoxville.

The following graph is a little insight on the amount of books bought by surveyed UTC students and the actual amount used by those same surveyed students. This graphic proves that of the 15 people who took the survey 100% only use a small percentage of the actual amount of books they purchase.

Screen shot 2014-04-16 at 12.55.33 PMScreen shot 2014-04-16 at 12.55.21 PM

Some students have reasonable assumptions as to why students are only allowed to return books during a week’s time. When asked why the survey respondents think there is only a one week window for full return price, one student, Shelby Glisson a sophomore from Lebanon, said, “The bookstore knows many professors do not use the books, but if they allowed more time they would lose an extensive amount of money.”

Many bookstores have begun to urge students not to purchase a book for full price, but to instead rent the book for half the original price. While the book cannot be returned for profit, in the end, the amount of money spent is substantially less.

Barnes & Noble has a list of case studies on their website to provide students with many answers to their questions as far as rentals are concerned. Some results they have produced are that a college campus, Adelphi, saved over $250,000 in an academic year due to switching to a rental process.

According to NACS OnCampus Research, the UTC bookstore is among one of 3,000 bookstores that offer a rental program for students. The rental program cuts up to 50% off of book prices for students who are not able to afford the full price of a book.

The following video describes some of the concerns students have surrounding return policies. It also answers many questions students may have about their school bookstore policies.

If you have other questions regarding the bookstore return policy visit the UTC bookstore website or visit the following links:

Also, if you would like to take the student survey to provide more information and feedback on your buyback experience, Click here.


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Students pay for textbooks they don’t use

By: Kami Rowe

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – (UTC The Loop) For students who want to further their education, it’s going to cost an arm and a leg. The price of a college education is rising and students are starting to feel their pockets growing thinner.

On top of paying for classes, a decent meal plan, and those “additional fees”, students are faced with the extreme cost of textbooks. The price of textbooks has increased over the years, and students are finding ways to avoid them.

UTC students are spending between $200 and $400 for textbooks each semester. The average cost of textbooks in the U.S. per semester can be about $600, a pretty penny for something you’ll only use once. 


Where does the textbook dollar go?

  1. 77.9 cents – textbook wholesale cost
  2. 11 cents – bookstore personnel
  3. 2.7 cents – bookstore income
  4. 7.4 cents – bookstore operations
  5. 1 cent – freight expense

A survey taken by college students showed that most students are opting out of purchasing textbooks from the campus bookstore and purchasing them on Amazon, Chegg, and other book retailers.

These sources have books for much cheaper and can help cut costs by 40 percent or more. Although you can get the books for a discounted price, many students find that they hardly use the textbook during the semester.

Preston Coyle, a junior from Franklin, Tenn. said, “I have bought way too many books that I’ve never even picked up.”

A survey has shown that 40 percent of students use their book only a couple times throughout the semester and that 20 percent have never used the book they purchased.

Graph 1

To avoid buying “required textbooks” that go unused, students are using websites like Facebook and Rate My Professor to compare with other students. Coyle says that he likes to ask people who have already taken the course before he buys a book.

A downside to purchasing textbooks that go unused is the loss of money. Although you can sell the textbook back, you will not get a full refund for it.

help me I'm poor

Courtney Windrow, a junior at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, says that the cost of textbooks isn’t any better there. “I always buy the required textbooks, but it’s the worst when they’re written by that professor. I feel like they require it just to make money, even if we never use it.”

Professors make royalties from the sale of the textbooks they wrote or helped write. It’s becoming an easy way for teachers to make a quick buck at the student’s expense.

The textbook prices are something that all students will have to deal with throughout their college career, but there are ways to save money and make sure that you will actually use the book. Students can communicate on social media to compare prices to make sure they are getting the most bang for their buck.

How often do you use the textbooks for a class? Let us know and Click here to take survey

For more information about college textbook costs click here:

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The Budget Savvy UTC Student

By: Charnele L. Box

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – Higher education can be quite expensive these days, but could books equate to the same cost? With the rising cost of tuition each school term you would think textbooks are included; but they’re not. For students at UTC tuition and fees for the 2013-2014 academic year were $7,654 for both terms and books were estimated at a whopping $1400.

Attractive Woman with Her BooksTo downsize the cost of textbooks, the UTC bookstore, which is a Barnes and Noble affiliate, have textbook rentals available for students depending on the book choice. From personal experience, I have rented about 5 to 7 books throughout my entire collegiate experience.

Most textbook companies, publishers, and authors put out new editions every year or two. This can become a burden on students because the differences from the first and second edition of the textbook are fewer words or updated laws.

On occasion, authors may take away from the previous edition. Sometimes they will remove questions if it’s a math or science course, or even add to it. Since most of my course textbooks were not available for rental, I found another way to save money.

During the search for textbooks, I found free files of textbooks or file sharing to be a money saver. Depending on the class or subject, some textbooks may be available online in PDF form for FREE! Although you have various money saving textbooks sites like amazon, ebay, and half.com; I still came out cheaper by file sharing. art23883widea

According to USNEWS.COM, there are several ways to save money on textbooks.

1. Buy used textbooks

2. Buy E-books

3. Rent

4. Apply for textbook specific scholarships

5. Research

6. Book Swap

Using the above tools will help any budget savvy student save money on extremely expensive textbooks throughout their college years.  Although there are other sources such as amazon, ebay, half.com, and chegg; you still may have a better buy by utilizing free textbooks online or file sharing.

Christina Maximos, a UTC junior, stated she saved about $80 on textbooks in a literature course she took in the fall semester. “If I did not weigh other options, I would’ve spent $300 on textbooks instead of $150″ said Maximos.

Some UTC professors can relate to the high cost of textbooks and usually make it easier on the student by not requiring a book or putting books on reserve in the library. By opting to use the textbook(s) on reserve in the library, you can save big bucks.

3028855-poster-p-1-3028855why-cant-e-books-disrupt-the-lucrative-college-textbook-businessAt the Lupton Library, you can utilize the materials in three hour intervals before you have to re-check them out again. The Lupton Library also offers interlibrary loans. Using the Interlibrary Loan program can help budget savvy students. Did I mention it’s a FREE service!

The Interlibrary Loans allow UTC students, staff, and faculty to obtain books or copies of certain items that the UTC library does not have. There are many different types of materials that can be requested via the Lupton Library site, including books, articles, and even certain chapters of a book. Although it is difficult to get a course textbook from the Interlibrary Loan program because of the short-term loans, this resource would be great for English, Education, or Literature majors or minors.

Even though it may seem that students do not get a break when it comes to purchasing textbooks, not to mention the rising cost of tuition; using the above resources and more could save you large amounts of money.

Would you consider free textbook filing?  Click here to answer.

More stories talking about this:

* Affordable College Textbook Act Seeks to Ease Students’ Financial Burdens

* Students pay for textbooks they don’t use

* Heavy Problems for Chattanooga’s Young and Old

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Letterman announces retirement

By: Kami Rowe

After 21 seasons on The Late Show, David Letterman announces his retirement.

After 21 seasons on The Late Show, David Letterman announces his retirement.

NEW YORK (AP/UTC The Loop) — Jimmy Fallon’s fast start replacing Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show the past two months had a secondary effect: David Letterman suddenly seemed old.

The Top 10 list, the ironic detachment, even the set at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Time doesn’t stop for comedy legends, or superstars of any sort. Letterman, who announced Thursday that he will retire from late-night television sometime in 2015, had to feel it.

CBS now faces the challenge of moving on in a reordered late-night world at a time the two Jimmys — NBC’s Fallon and ABC’s Kimmel — have a significant head start.

When Jay Leno left in February, Letterman lost his foil — the man whose victory in the competition to replace Johnny Carson two decades ago he never let go. Leno was someone who spoke his language, though, a generational compadre, and when he left, Letterman was alone.

Fallon and Kimmel have a different style, more good-natured and less mocking of the entire concept of a talk show.

It’s hard to know what role the new competition played in Letterman’s decision. His last contract extension, signed before Fallon took over, was for one year. In the past, he’s done multi-year extensions.

The first time Leno left late-night, Letterman ascended to the throne. Not this time. Since Fallon began at “Tonight,” his show has averaged 5.2 million viewers, while Letterman has averaged 2.7 million and Kimmel 2.65 million, the Nielsen company said. Last year Letterman averaged 2.9 million and Kimmel 2.5 million, so the direction was clear.

Much of late-night now is about making an impression in social media, or in highlight clips that people can watch on their devices and spread around the next day. Fallon and Kimmel have excelled in spreading their comedy beyond their time slots; Letterman has barely bothered.

Late-night television is a far different world than when Letterman and Leno began their competition. There are more entertainment shows to choose from, with personalities like O’Brien, Arsenio Hall, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Chelsea Handler working every night.

CBS will first have to decide whether or not to continue with an entertainment program in that time slot. It’s not the money-maker it once was, but chances are the network will continue in that direction.

The first in-house candidate would be Craig Ferguson of “The Late Late Show,” which currently airs at 12:35 a.m. on CBS and is produced by Letterman. But Ferguson’s star has dimmed, his show quickly passed by in the ratings by Seth Meyers on NBC, and he is considered an unlikely choice.

A month ago, Kimmel was asked by TV Guide magazine whether he would be interested in succeeding Letterman, and he didn’t shoot down the idea.

“I’d definitely consider it,” Kimmel said. “I am loyal to ABC and grateful to them for giving me a shot. I was a guy from ‘The Man Show’ when they put me on. I’m not looking to flee. But just getting a call from Dave would be big for me. So it’s definitely something I would listen to.’”

Could Leno come back? He’s not the retiring type, but he would hardly be considered a play for the next generation.

Handler has let it be known that she’s ready to end her show on the E! network. A broadcast network gig again would be a step up for O’Brien. Colbert and Stewart both are considered major talents and CBS would be much more high-profile than Comedy Central. John Oliver is about to start a new late-night show on HBO.

The question is whether those personalities would have too narrow an appeal for CBS, which is the broadest of the broadcast networks and would likely be looking for someone with wide appeal. Remember, many in TV considered O’Brien’s “Tonight” show tenure a failure because his appeal was too limited.

Another possibility could be Drew Carey, a hit on CBS daytime with “The Price is Right” who recently traded jobs for a day with Ferguson.

Another possible decision for CBS is whether to move the New York-based “Late Show” to Los Angeles, now that “Tonight” has moved back to New York after decades on the West Coast. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wasted no time on Thursday in firing off an open letter to CBS boss Leslie Moonves, encouraging him to relocate “Late Show” to LA.

Who should replace David Letterman?

Wherever they’re located, Letterman’s replacement will face a real challenge with Fallon and Kimmel, who seem to have set up a bicoastal rivalry for years to come. Fallon is now king of the East Coast, and Kimmel currently rules out West.

“David Letterman announces that he will retire next year,” comic Albert Brooks tweeted on Thursday. “CBS frantically looking for someone named Jimmy.”

Besides the Top Ten lists, the monologue and occasional wild visit from Bill Murray, one facet of Letterman’s show that will be most sorely missed is his ability to do sharp, even hard-hitting interviews with people in the news. His first show after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was memorable for his reaction. It’s hard to think of anyone who has the gravitas or ability to fill the role that Letterman fills.

CBS Corp. and Moonves will have time to think of that over the next year, much of which will be spent celebrating Letterman’s legacy.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Break System Failure in Chicago Causes Train Derailment

By Arielle Henson


CHICAGO (AP/UTC The Loop) — A sensor for an automatic braking system was too close to the end of the track to prevent a crash at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, according to a preliminary federal report released Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s one-page analysis of the dramatic March 24 crash at the airport’s underground station said the Chicago Transit Authority train was traveling at 26 mph when it passed a “trip stop” that activated the emergency braking system.

“Due to the train speed, the distance from the fixed trip stop to the track bumper post was too short to stop the train,” according to the report.

More than 30 people were injured when the train slammed into the bumper at the end of the line, hopped onto the platform and scaled an escalator, causing $9.1 million in damage. Authorities have said the timing of the crash, which happened just before 3 a.m., limited the number of injuries because so few people were on the typically busy platform and escalator.

In a statement Monday, the CTA said has taken steps to improve safety, lowering the speed limit for trains entering the O’Hare station to 15 mph. The transit agency also moved the trip stop further back to increase stopping distance.

The driver told NTSB investigators she dozed off in the minutes before the before the crash and had done so on another occasion in February when she overshot another station platform. She had been operating trains for only two months and was an extra-board employee, which means she filled in for other drivers who called in sick or were on vacation.

Her union has said she worked a lot of overtime and was exhausted, a sentiment echoed Monday by the NTSB. The federal agency said the operator had worked nearly 60 hours in the previous week and was working her third-consecutive night shift.

“She told investigators that she had inadequate sleep,” the night before the crash, according to the report.

The CTA fired the operator on Friday.

Transit officials said they don’t believe her work schedule played a role in the crash, but announced a series of changes that the agency said will make its scheduling guidelines some of the most stringent among the nation’s large transit operations.

The investigation into the crash is continuing.

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