by Carlo Longino

Filed Under:
local news

Will Local TV News Be The Next To Have Its Reckoning Day?

from the news-at-eleven dept

The change in the newspaper business is undeniable, with many newspapers' fortunes looking bleaker and bleaker as they continue to misunderstand, underestimate and ignore the internet. But with a downturn in ad spending hitting TV stations hard, will local TV news be the next to go through industry-wide upheaval. While newspapers have struggled, TV news has puttered along, but the cost pressures of the current market could change that as stations pursue resource-sharing agreements or other measures to cut their newsgathering costs. The fundamental question, as PaidContent asks, is is there too much local TV news? And as they conclude, it's hard not to answer no. With three or four (or more) affiliates in many markets -- and even smaller markets getting their own 24-hour stations -- there's a lot of airtime to fill, and a lot of overlap with other news sources, many of which do a better job of reporting or delivering news to readers. The basic thought seems to be that more local TV news is better, particularly as stations have added more and more slots to fill (such as the 5 o'clock and 4 o'clock broadcasts that have been added over the years). But with the slowdown in ad spending and the rise of parts of the population completely unfamiliar with the idea of local TV news, just like they're largely unfamiliar with getting news from newspapers, the future looks bleak. Will TV stations manage to negotiate the shift to the internet any better than most newspapers have done? That too, seems doubtful.

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  • icon
    Rob (profile), 5 Dec 2008 @ 1:24am

    Perhaps its just the area I live in...

    but our stations have been all over the internet for years here. Then again, I grew up in the Puget Sound area just south of Seattle/Redmond/Kirkland, etc.

    Each station out here has been hard pressing on the internet since as long as I can remember. Perhaps its different elsewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Aaron deOliveira (profile), 5 Dec 2008 @ 5:52am

      Re: Perhaps its just the area I live in...

      Same here in Houston. Several of the news stations are doing a lot of innovative things with the web. One of my favorites is that there is a channel that has a live feed from all of their traffic cameras around town so you actually check on the traffic first hand before you head out. It's not perfect, but a lot of the local news stations are really trying to get community participation in a lot of their stories, from creation to filming to distribution. They're willing to broadcast things like video captured on cell phones of items of local signficance.

      the market may shake out a little, but those that survive are already on their way to being really web savvy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Twinrova, 5 Dec 2008 @ 3:49am

    Ad spending is killing the news, not making it better.

    In the past 5 years, I've grown to accept local news as having many more ads than national stations, which is why I no longer watch them.

    For local television stations running 24 hours, it seems they have no problem filling slots with paid advertisement shows in 1/2 or even 1 hour blocks.

    Our local affiliate ABC runs these damn things during the weekend slots because they assume everyone's watching football on Fox or CBS. The NBC station generally airs sports shows.

    The bottom line here is local TV is dying, not necessarily the news segments. As more people tune into the internet rather than their local station, it's not hard to see just where this is leading.

    But you can thank the entertainment industry for this as they continue to find more ways to charge content providers who are then forced to run additional ads to pay for the increases.

    The next phase to hit the market is having local stations charge cable broadcasters fees to carry their signal, which is exactly what happened between LIN-TV and Brighthouse cable.

    Luckily, an agreement was finally made, but Brighthouse customers didn't have CBS for over 2 weeks.

    Between Mike's "ads are content" message and stories like this, it's no wonder "piracy" is a consumer's first choice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    publius, 5 Dec 2008 @ 5:34am

    in the future, we are each a local station

    I want to see what the guy standing in Times Square in NYC sees right now. I want to know what that siren I just heard in downtown San Francisco is responding to. I want a live weather and traffic feed between here and the Haight right now.

    The news should come from the people that you meet when you're walking down the street. We have the hardware. Where's the website that parses it all?


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    doody pants, 5 Dec 2008 @ 5:35am

    Sometimes I smell things

    Sometimes I rub the ol testis on the carpet until they start to burn. Then I put lemon juice on them and hope the dog will lick them.

    On a lighter note; old woman Vag smells like old socks and pickle juice.

    Berrring pop boof ming dong frappy ping zippy!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ben, 5 Dec 2008 @ 6:34am

    Not so in Scranton

    Up until recently, there were ownership restrictions on station ownership. It makes sense, as there is a physical limit as to the number of broadcasters that can service the area.

    With those regulations being relaxed, the CBS and NBC stations in the Scranton market were able to operate as a duopoly: two stations, one owner. So the same reporting (or an edited version of it) would show on both newscasts. They have even merged both stations websites into one.

    The ABC station entered into a shared services agreement with the Fox station. The ABC station produces the Fox newscast at 10:00, which is cheaper than the Fox station hiring its own personnel and equipping a news operation. This arrangement helps the Fox station meet its FCC requirement for contributing back to the community it serves.

    The CW station won't enter into local news either, because it is in a duopoly with the Fox station.

    This leads to two news sources on five channels, and, as one who was in the industry at one time, the salaries are suppressed because of the lack of competition. In fact, the owner of the CBS-NBC duopoly launched an astroturfing website (complete with a contact form that would send an e-mail of support to your local congressman, the FCC, the president, vice president--and for some reason--the first lady) to convince people that the dual ownership was *creating* jobs. I personally know several people who were let go after the stations merged.

    I'm not a big fan of the FCC telling the industry what to do, but in this case, their deregulation has led to less competition, not more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 5 Dec 2008 @ 11:27am

      Re: Not so in Scranton

      In the Des Moines area, recently the local Fox news is presented by the local NBC station, just an hour earlier. So you could watch twice if you want.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    somebody living in silicon valley, 5 Dec 2008 @ 7:56pm

    I don't bother watching non-local news (except occasionally watching BBC or Deutsche Welle to get a different view of the world) since I can get that news quicker/easier at various web sites. Local TV news stations have details/images for local news that I can't get elsewhere, including the SF Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News web sites. So while I usually get my news online, if I want to get it via TV I choose a local TV station.

    From my point of view I'd prefer to see network news disappear since its a inefficient way to get news and adds no value compared to my alternatives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TIMMY D ARRINGTON, 7 Jan 2009 @ 12:27am

    The Real News

    The news programs are only going to show us what they want us to see.This nation is on its way to HELL.That's right I said it.It has turned its back on Jesus.People from others nations come over here and bring their non-bible beliveing ways over here.Why is that allowed,because most of the people here are from other lands also.How can we ever have real justice on stolen land.For this main reason the very same people are ploting to bomb us.I was in wal-mart and a arabs hole head was covered,you could only see the persons eyes.I could not tell if it was a man or women.I am black and if i did that i would get checked out.They will attack the U.S.,and the goverment knows this.They don't care.All they care about is the money that they are getting from them.They do not belive in jesus so they are our enemies.Just remember the story of the trojan horse.The U.S has let their guards down.They are already fighting over their in the HOLY LAND.It is only a matter of time before they hit the U.S.They know that the U.S. has most of our troops over their.They are keeping their enemies close to them while their spys are over here looking at us.The open for attack,I know it and the world knows it to,all they have to do is watch the news.The word of GODS says take care of home frist.Bring our troops home,pay them for the oil,and let our troops protect us,because their is no way if they attack us now that we could get our troops home in time to save us.Who ever reads this I hope that you write back,if not thats ok to,i am use to that.Belive me or not GOD is judging this nation.This is a warning,repent and turn back to JESUS or this will happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      News is Broken, 17 Jan 2009 @ 10:32am

      Re: The Real News

      This is the most ridiculous response one could possibly imagine.

      It lacks pragmatic thought.
      It lacks a cohesive argument.
      It lacks intelligence.

      I am embarrassed FOR the poster.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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