Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, May 01, 2021

So much for television reporters filling the void resulting from the collapse of the newspaper industry: Even though many local stations are expanding their newshours, they’re cutting back on staff and other essential resources.

Resulting in a fairly shallow product:

So how do you fill more hours of news with the same or fewer people to do the work? [KMGH-TV Denver news director Jeff] Harris suggested many will begin looking more and more like cable news, with the same stories repeated and repackaged - the idea being viewers come and go during a two-hour morning news block instead of watching the whole thing through.

Seems like an extremely shortsighted strategy. It’s super cheap to extend airtime for local TV news because it’s a particularly attractive buy for advertisers; therefore that additional airtime is offset by more easily-sold ad dollars. But that works because the advertisers presume they’re getting placement before rapt eyeballs watching breaking/relevant news. Putting the same (or less) amount of content into a supersized package just diutes the product. Eventually the audience and the advertisers are going to figure that out, the ad rates will decline, and the on-air presentation and infrastructure will follow.

And aside from the business considerations, this is yet another symptom of the drying up of origination reporting, i.e. the “headwaters” of the news biz. I’m still waiting to hear what’s going to replace the much-maligned ink-and-paper crowd when it comes to uncovering stories, because obviously the boob-tubers will be too multitasked to do it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/01/2021 01:08:57 PM
Category: Media, TV
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