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Pew: 71% of U.S. Adults Watch Local News

pew tv news viewingA new Pew study finds that 71% of American adults watch the local news over the course of a month, more than the 65% that watch network newscasts and the 38% that watch cable news.

Related, TVNewser: There Are More People Who Watch Both MSNBC and Fox News Than You Think

People who watch local news average about 12.3 minutes a day, compared to 12.4 minutes for network newscasts and 25.3 minutes for cable newscasts. Pew also finds the local news audience is highest during the 11 p.m. newscasts, which draws about 15% more viewers than the 5 to 7 p.m. block. The early-morning newscasts (6 to 7 a.m.) get about 60% of the viewership that the late newscast does.

The study was performed analyzing Nielsen research data from February 2013. Read the entire report here. [h/t Jim Romenesko]

No Complaints Over Radio Station’s ‘Hottest News Chicks in San Diego’ Contest

hottest_sandiegoSan Diego radio station Channel 933 has been running an online contest to crown the “Hottest News Chicks in San Diego.”

Already four rounds in, the contest is down to semi-finalists Heather Ford (pictured upper left) from FOX affiliate KSWB, last year’s winner KSWB meteorologist Aloha Taylor (pictured lower left), Sabrina Fein (lower right) meteorologist from CW affiliate XETV and Brandi Williams (upper right) from independent station KUSI.

The contrast is provided by Maine radio station WDEA which ran a similar contest called “Who is the Hottest Newswoman in Maine” in July based on the same concept. Pictures of reporters and anchors from various local stations were posted to the station’s website and radio station listeners and local TV viewers were invited to vote for their favorite.

WDEA was forced to post an apology on its page and change the name of the contest to “Who is Your Favorite Newswoman in Maine” after the news director and a reporter from WLBZ and WCSH condemned the contest as demeaning.

In San Diego? In its first year in 2011, the 933 DJ’s hosting the contest, Frankie V and “Geena the Latina,” appeared on NBC owned station KNSD to promote the contest. [see the video here] Last year, KSWB posted the poll on its facebook page and asked viewers to “Take a moment and vote for your favorite Fox 5 lady.”

Read more

‘And Another Thing!’ Milwaukee TV Writer’s List of 11 Annoying Things About TV News

TV_static_plugMilwaukee Journal Sentinel media writer Duane Dudek has channeled his inner grumpy old man and released his list of 11 things that annoy him most about TV News.

So grab a coffee, take a deep breath and see if you’re guilty of any of these. For the record, this TVSpy writer admits to overusing number nine.

Here’s the list. Now get off my lawn!

Pump Patrol: Let me see if I understand this correctly — I should waste gas driving across town to save a few pennies when I buy more gas?

Traffic reports: Thanks, but if I’m watching, I’m already home.

Handoffs: Scripted back-and-forth transitions in which one studio anchor reads one sentence and another studio anchor reads the next sentence, and so on. This dramatic device gives the impression of a performance being given. Read more

STUDY: Local TV News Gets Americans Talking

A recent TVB study shows local TV news is three times more likely than online media to start a conversation among Americans.

“The American Conversation” study asked participants about the details of over 9,000 online and offline conversations in April 2013. The study showed 55% of all “News of the Day” conversations were sparked by television, while online media started just 18%.

Local broadcast television delivers the news that feeds most of these conversations, with 82% of people talking daily about Weather, 75% about National or International News, 63% about Local News, 49% about Sports and 42% about Traffic.  And when it comes to discussing Products and Services, advertising seen on Local Broadcast News is 30% more likely to spark or inform those conversations than that seen on Cable News.

“Despite the belief that young people have disengaged with watching news, young adults claim that Local Broadcast News content drives a higher percentage of their daily conversations than most other television genres – more than Cable News, Sports, and even Primetime programming,” said Stacey Lynn Schulman, chief research officer of the TVB.

The study also said that 77% of daily conversations take place face-to-face as apposed to online (8%).

‘It’s a Free Over The Air Signal’: Diller Defends Aereo at D11 Conference

Speaking at the D11 executive conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, IAC founder and chairman Barry Diller defended his new venture Aereo as a way to open up what he says is a closed system. Sitting next to CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, Diller explained his motives for being the primary backer behind the technology, “I don’t want to go beat up broadcasters. I want to help move the centricity from fixed line or satellite closed systems to open internet systems. That’s what my interest is.”

But when asked by the moderator what he thought about the service, Zucker told Diller, “I think the key thing is that Broadcasters are going to continue to want to be paid for their intellectual property,” said Zucker. “If you’re offering that in a way that they’re not going to get paid for it I think that’s the issue.”

Diller’s Aereo technology allows subscribers to record over the air broadcast stations for $8.00 a month. The reason Aereo is so controversial is that it does so without paying broadcasters for the right to retransmit their content. Read more

Aereo Announces Plans To Expand to Atlanta

Aereo, the company that give customers access to over-the-air channels online with a cloud based DVR, has announced plans to expand its service to Atlanta beginning June 17.

“We’re grateful and humbled by the continued support we’ve received from consumers for our technology,” said Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia. “The response and enthusiasm from consumers across all of our expansion cities has been phenomenal. It’s clear that consumers want more choice and flexibility in how they watch television and they don’t want to be fenced into expensive, outdated technology.”

Aereo launches tomorrow in Boston.  The service has faced stiff legal challenges from broadcasters and content creators alike for its ability to grab content from over the air antennas and sell it to its customers without paying licensing fees.

Yesterday, the company announced a simplified pricing structure with an $8.00 a month fee for basic service and an upgraded plan with expanded DVR storage for $12.00 a month.

AdAge: Local TV News Needs to Switch From ‘One Size Fits All’ to ‘One Size Fits Me’

Andrew Heyward, former head of CBS News from 1996 until 2005, recently wrote a piece in AdvertisingAge that starts out like most “Local News Is In Trouble” stories. But get past the stats about local news going the way of the wireless radio or newspapers or the McDLT and you’ll find a refreshing look at what may be keeping young viewers away from local news.

Heyward says the biggest allure of TV news for older viewers may be the biggest roadblock for younger ones, a one size fits all format where the station decides what the viewers see.

The next generation doesn’t need ours to organize the world into a tidy package. Ironically, the value of a local newscast to its loyalists — that it wraps the day in a friendly, familiar, reassuring experience that viewers can sit back and enjoy — is the very thing that makes the genre seem archaic if not irrelevant to the BuzzFeed and Reddit crowd. “One size fits all” holds little appeal to a generation that has grown up with “one size fits me.” Read more

TVB Study: Viewers Prefer to Watch NFL Games on Local Stations

In the run up to Super Bowl Sunday, TVB has released a study that shows when viewers were given a choice between watching their hometown NFL team on their local broadcast TV station or on a cable network, they overwhelmingly chose local TV.

The study compared ratings for games airing on cable networks ESPN and the NFL network with the simulcast on the team’s local broadcast stations. When ESPN or the NFL network air a national presentation of a game, they are required to provide a live feed to each team’s local broadcast TV partner.

In the 30 markets where a local station simulcast a game airing on a cable network, the local station drew 75 percent more households than the cable outlet. Read more

Controversial TV-Over-Internet Service Plans Expansion

Aereo, the embattled internet service allowing consumers to watch TV over the internet without paying licensing fees, has announced it will be expanding its service to 22 cities.

“Consumers want and deserve choice,” said Aereo chief executive officer and founder Chet Kanojia. “Watching television should be simple, convenient and rationally priced. Aereo’s technology provides exactly that: choice, flexibility and a first-class experience that every consumer deserves.”

What makes Aereo both unique and a possible threat to local TV stations is the technology enables consumers to watch and record live broadcast television on computers, tablets or even smartphones without paying for the broadcast content.  Subscriber fees for the service start at $8 a day or $80 a year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Aereo was able to avoid being shutdown because of its technology,

A federal judge in New York ruled in July that the service doesn’t appear to violate copyright law because individual subscribers are assigned their own, tiny antenna at Aereo’s Brooklyn data center, making it analogous to the free signal a consumer would get with a regular antenna at home. Aereo spent the subsequent months selecting markets for expansion and renting space for new equipment in those cities. Read more

A Look At Set Design Trends in 2012

Newscast Studio has taken a look back at the trends seen in news set design last year. Here are the takeaways:

Curves are out. Straight lines are in. Stations are trending towards a sleeker, more European feel as straight lines are taking over for the sweeping curves that were once the industry standard.

Technology is driving set design. More stations are relying on back lit color-changing LED walls and flat panel screens to add visual interest instead of printed graphics depicting local scenes or station branding.

Texture reflects the market. According to Newscast studio, “designers are working hard to incorporate the ‘feel’ of the city while making the set unique.” Count copper, brushed aluminum and brick among the touches designers add to accomplish this. Read more

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