Wake Up! TV News Is Broken

I spend each and every day scouring local newspapers’ websites for juicy TV items for my website, www.ftvlive.com. Recently, after the May ratings book was released, I found something interesting.
After each ratings book, the local TV critic breaks down the numbers for whichever market they are writing about. After the May book I noticed that almost all the ratings stories said the same thing. The number of viewers watching local news has declined.
In almost every market, viewers are turning off local news. They are finding something else to watch or do. This should scare the hell out of the TV people, but it seems like no one really cares that their customers are going elsewhere.
I phoned around to a few general managers and news directors to get their reaction. All of them said that with the Internet and other options, “viewership is going to drop.”
None of them seemed worried about it and many acted as though they would be out of the business when viewership levels got really low.
So much for saving local news for future generations.
What if everyone took that same approach? Try recycling. I could just throw away all the crap and not spend the time separating the bottles, paper, and plastic. Using the manager’s logic, why should I care? The Earth will eventually die, but I will be long gone when that happens.
TV news is broken and it needs to be fixed and fixed NOW! It is quite obvious that the consultant-driven crap we are currently putting on the air is not what viewers want or need.
Do you think viewers really care about the “Super Duper Doppler 6000 pinpoint on your street technology”? Maybe they just want to know if it will rain tomorrow or not.
Maybe that “perfect anchor team,” with the plastic hair, sitting at a plastic desk in front of a plastic cut-out of the city skyline, is not the way to do news.
I am not sure what viewers want, but I do know what they don’t want. They don’t want the way news is being done now.
Someone needs to step up and change the way TV news is being done. It might be time to stop listening to what the consultants have to say and start listening to what the viewers are saying.