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Local TV News Sparks the 'American Conversation'

NEW YORK —Local broadcast news influences more conversations of Americans than any other medium, according to findings in a new research study unveiled by the TVB. “The American Conversation” study was introduced by the not-for-profit trade association’s Chief Research Officer Stacey Lynn Schulman at its annual Forward Conference during a session focused on local broadcast TV news.

Drawn from a sample of 2,011 American adults 18+, weighted to demographically reflect the 2010 U.S. Census, the study was conducted by The Keller Fay Group, a marketing research and consultancy dedicated to Word-of-Mouth marketing. Respondents were queried about the details of over 9,000 online and offline conversations in April 2013.

Television was the “spark” or the source of information for 55 percent of all “news of the day” conversations, three times more than online media (18 percent) and six times more than seeking advice (9 percent).

News of the day topics generate 9 conversations per day, on average, more than personal/lifestyle (8.1 per day) and entertainment topics (5.5). Local broadcast television delivers the news that feeds most of these conversations, with 82 percent of people talking daily about weather, 75 percent about national or international news, 63 percent about local news, 49 percent about sports and 42 percent about traffic. And when it comes to discussing products and services, advertising seen on local broadcast news is 30 percent more likely to spark or inform those conversations than that seen on cable news.

“Despite the belief that young people have disengaged with watching news, young adults claim that local broadcast news content drives a higher percentage of their daily conversations than most other television genres – more than cable news, sports, and even primetime programming,” said Schulman. “Local broadcast stations are disseminating news today across a wide range of platforms and devices, from the Internet to mobile DTV and tablet apps, making it easy for Americans young and old to stay connected and informed throughout their day.”