With local television advertising up by almost 25% in 2010 compared with a year earlier, television stations are expanding their local news broadcasts after years of cutting news staff, reports The New York Times‘ Brian Stelter.
KSDK-TV, the NBC affiliate in St. Louis, is adding news at 4 a.m., 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the story points out. Some stations are adding local news broadcasts to replace "The Oprah Winfrey Show," while in many news markets stations are opting for super-early broadcasts, the piece says. At KSDK the station is hiring 10 people and buying new equipment such as cameras and trucks, the story adds.
Along with a bump in ad spending, stations are benefiting from retransmission fees paid by cable and satellite companies, with bigger stations in local markets receiving even bigger fees, according to the article.
“Our view was that local broadcasting had gone on autopilot,” said Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting, the owner of KSDK. Across the industry, he said, newscasts had “become sort of commoditized and formulaic — arguably in many cases irrelevant.”
Now station reporters and anchors are interacting with customers on Facebook and Twitter, and many have been trained to become multimedia journalists, the piece notes.