Sunday, November 13, 2005

More News After This

This is what the TU really thinks of local TV news.The Times Union wants you (and its advertisers) to know that it's not just newspapers who are having problems.
In a big front page Sunday spread, Mark McGuire details how more local TV news content means less market share for area stations. True, but the piece misses the most important fact about local TV news: it continues to be very profitable. Why do you think we have two hours of local news in the morning instead of half an hour? Ninety minutes every afternoon instead of thirty? It's not to cultivate a more informed public, it's to grow places where they can put commercials. When the newspaper wants to run more ads they print more pages. TV stations? They put more local news on the air. It's plain and simple, unlike the statistics cited in the story:
Here's one chilling statistic for Albany area TV newsrooms: In 1990, 84 percent of area residents watching television at 6 p.m. were tuned in to a local newscast on the Big Three local stations. That number has fallen to 57 percent today.
That's not so chilling when you consider that there are now 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. newscasts for viewers to choose ---it's sort of like saying 100 percent more area residents watch local news at 10 p.m. than before Fox 23 introduced local news at 10 p.m.

And how funny is that "3 News" photo illustration accompanying the story? How could you not love the newspaper?