Local TV newscasts viewers report high engagement with advertising

April 8, 2009

Local TV news remains strong in the minds of viewers when compared to other media, particularly when it comes to engaging with advertising run during newscasts, according to a new survey.

Conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates for Hearst-Argyle Television, the survey compared the engagement of viewers with advertising run during local newscasts to that placed in the Yellow Pages and four other traditional media: direct mail, magazines, newspapers and radio.

Comparing the percentage of consumers engaged with advertising by each medium against local television, it found:

  • 55 percent more engaged with ads during local TV newscasts vs. 45 percent for direct mail
  • 57 percent for local TV newscast advertising vs. 43 percent for magazine ads
  • 64 percent for local TV newscast advertising vs. 36 percent for newspaper ads
  • 72 percent for local TV newscast advertising vs. 28 percent for radio ads
  • 81 percent for local TV newscast advertising vs. 19 percent for Yellow Pages ads

TV news and print newspapers tied for the media cited as “my most important source of information in my community." Each had 47 percent rating them with a “4” or “5,” where “5” meant “strongly agree.” They were followed by Web sites with 30 percent, radio with 17 percent and print magazines with 7 percent.

Local TV also topped the list of media as the most important source of weather information, with 66 percent selecting television, 41 percent the Web, 17 percent radio, 11 percent newspapers and 3 percent magazines.

The ongoing economic downturn also appears to be connecting viewers closer to their local TV newscasts. Ninety-nine percent said they were turning to local TV news as much or more often because of the recession.

The survey of adults ages 25-54 encompassed consumers' use of various media with an emphasis on local coverage. Frank N. Magid Associates sampled 2500 respondents for the survey.

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