In the 80's news programming changed. It became a revenue generator. Meanwhile cable TV proliferated the number of channels. Writing, acting and directing talent for regular TV programming was scarce. There were more programs but the quality suffered. The same was true for news.
In about 2008, television writers had a strike for better wages. News programming costs became more competitive as compared to regular programs. Another genre of program, Reality TV, came into being. It got ratings without needing those pesky expensive (talented) writers.
To fight for ratings, news programs became more like National Enquirer than Atlantic Magazine. Networks wanted more hours of news programming to fill all those empty channels of cable TV. Gratuitous conflict became the key to ratings. News programming seems to be merging with reality TV. Real reality seems to be merging with reality TV.
What's next? Only God knows.