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Attn: All Local and National Newscasters and Their Viewers — Netflix Chief Says Any Newscast That Starts at a Fixed Time Will Disappear

Nov 4, 2015  •  Post A Comment

“The 6 p.m. newscast: That thing’s going away,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at a conference in New York on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, reports our friend Claire Atkinson in the New York Post.

Atkinson writes: “It’s unclear if Hastings was referring to the national broadcast news programs, which typically air at 6:30 p.m., or the local evening news, which usually airs in the preceding half-hour.

“A spokesman for Netflix later clarified that Hastings was referring to any news broadcast at a fixed hour.”

Perhaps unbeknownst to Reed, the story notes that “audiences grew in 2014 for both local and broadcast network news.”

Reports Atkinson: “When asked at the DealBook conference about creating a live evening newscast — as rival HBO is doing with its partnership with Vice — Hastings responded: ‘You don’t want to invest in things that are dying.’”

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6 Comments

  1. I hope he’s wrong; we get little substantive news as it is.

  2. I can’t wait to watch the 6:30 news tonight, said no one under 30, ever. The very recent growth in viewing is just an artifact of final bottoming out and bouncing a tiny bit: http://www.journalism.org/media-indicators/network-evening-news-ratings-over-time/

  3. Agreed. The even bigger challenge is getting broadcast groups to do something about it… now.

  4. And just what competent background and expertise about the news does Mr Hastings have that makes him qualified to make such pronouncements?

    Before we start making comparisons to the dinosaurs, buggy whip makers, and/or other similar tired old cliches, let’s remember we 1) still have dinosaurs (they’re called birds); 2) horses are about as numerous and popular as they were when they were the main form of transportation; and 3) “experts” proclaimed that radio and movies were going to replaced by TV and yet we still have all three… and today even more methods of delivering entertainment/other content.

    Now, tell me again about what’s dying.

    Because self-importance surely isn’t.

  5. Local News is not going away. People still want to see the local weather and their local sports teams. They also want to know about local crimes that might be near their neighborhood. They want to know about local traffic issues and many other things only local news covers. With the local newspapers dying out, the local TV news is still the best place for people to get the information for their geographic area. National news may fade because of the competition with the cable channels, but not local news. Even Fox affiliates that run syndication during the 6-7 hour have some local news at 4 or 5 and mornings and 10pm.

  6. I believe there is a truth to Mr. Hastings’ view. First of all, his hypothesis is a long (meaning 10-15 years) away. But, just as the 18-34 viewers (ok, “millenials”) don’t watch much of anything now at the appointed time, why would News be different? Local News could eventually become continuously streamed content updated as needed always available on a desktop, mobile app and digital subchannel. A legacy 6-6:30pm (or whatever) newscast becomes obsolete. And yes, there will always be a market for local news and information.

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