Who is still watching local TV evening news?

If you thought TV news was dead, you may want to reconsider. Viewership of local network-affiliated TV news increased slightly in morning and early evening time slots in 2014 over 2013, according to Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. Local broadcast TV advertising also increased.
Things appear even rosier this year, if you actually watched the news leading up to the primaries. Here in Epicenter, Indiana, we were host to hundreds upon hundreds of local, national and PAC ads touting more candidates that Heinz has pickles. You see, TV news still has a viewing public, and politicians know it.
Sure, most millennials are using mobile devices and computers to learn about world happenings and the latest Kim K. publicity stunt, but there are still tried-and-true older Americans watching the local news. Some stations are even running 4:30 a.m. news and finishing with a night beat at 11 p.m. Others are putting out 10 hours of news a day, and it must be working to some extent as they continue to look for new programming opportunities.
Of course, each station has a companion website that hosts interactive radar maps, late-breaking news tweets and raw, unedited video footage. It seems, as some predicted a long time ago, there is an integrated (but not seamless) approach to getting the news where you want it, when you want it and how you want it. Isn’t a computer screen really just a TV screen? Well, maybe not mine because I keep the speakers unplugged.
People still want to watch local news that has the latest scenes from the downtown apartment fire or the jammed interstate due to an overturned semi. Today, a lot of those video clips are coming from hand-held devices, department of transportation webcams and, in some instances, an actual TV news crew.
And there’s the Mother of All TV News Productions: Storm Team Central. That’s right, the weather dominates the news (not in San Diego, however) when a tornado watch is posted or storm chasers capture video of a funnel cloud over a red barn.
TV has a real value during bad weather. In fact, so many people depend on the TV weather news during severe outbreaks that stations interrupt normal programming (yes, even the late “American Idol”). Funny, but very few people complain about missing a show due to a weather alert as it may be a real lifesaver should the unthinkable happen.
We won’t venture into a discussion of whether today’s news is really about entertainment. But I leave you with this quote:
“Traditional broadcast media seems old-fashioned and vague to me. When I watch television news, I’m aware of what skilled journalists they are, but I find it hard because of the corny way they present it.” – Ira Glass.

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