Executives from NBCU Owned Stations, CBS Television Stations, Graham Media, SmithGeiger and the Local Media Association envision a future for TV news in two years’ time that is more inclusive in its coverage and among its decision makers, holding on to the heightened sense of relevance it struck with viewers in the pandemic. “It’s incumbent on news departments not just to serve facts, but relevance, perspective and helpfulness,” said CBS’s David Friend at last week’s NewsTECHForum.
“We kind of knew — but we didn’t.” That wry bit of wisdom from WBBM-TV Chicago News Director Jeff Harris aptly describes one key role that market research can play: applying data to news decisions that were based on experience, aspiration, and sometimes just gut instinct. In this case, Harris is talking about new research on “solutions journalism” — a set of techniques for rigorous reporting on responses to community problems.
Local news viewership is still trending well above pre-pandemic levels say SmithGeiger analysts, but audiences are dispersing and fragmenting, especially younger viewers.
A national study by Smith-Geiger for Hearst Television finds that four out of five younger video consumers rely on local news from a TV station — across broadcast and digital platforms — each week.
With content creation seen as a major strength, leaders at NAB’s Senior Leadership Summit were greeted by a SmithGeiger survey that shows local TV news ranks as most trusted and viewed across all key 18-54 demos.
Nationwide SmithGeiger research finds next-generation ATSC 3.0 features increase consumer spending on, and accelerate purchase of, smart TVs.