Skip to main content

Local TV ranks No. 1 as preferred medium for news, survey says

Local TV is the preferred medium for news when compared to other news sources and is the platform cited as the most valuable source of information to stay up to date about what is happening in the community, according to survey results released last week.

The survey, conducted for Hearst Television by Frank N. Magid Associates, reported that 55 percent of respondents said they prefer local TV as their medium for news; websites were second at 19 percent. Local TV news also ranked first among all media platforms when choosing the medium that "is essential to keeping me informed," "is my most important source of information in my community," "is my most important source for weather" and "as a source for political information."

The findings also show local TV news to be more effective in engaging the attention of viewers to advertising than most TV program genres and competitive media.

Respondents said they place a high value on local TV news and that it is a part of TV viewers' daily routines. Forty-nine percent ranked local TV news first among program genres when asked which type of programming “is a part of my daily routine.” Ranked behind local TV news were broadcast primetime dramas and sitcoms, ranked with 47 percent; broadcast network primetime reality TV, at 42 percent; and cable network primetime dramas/movies, with 37 percent. Cable news ranked fifth, at 34 percent.

The survey also reported that 45 percent of respondents said they “pay more attention” to local TV news that most other genres.

Eighty-one percent cited local TV news as the "most important" news source among local, network broadcast and cable TV news. It also was cited as the most important TV source for weather information.

The largest number of respondents cited local TV newscasts as being the most effective medium for delivering awareness of products and services advertised during the programming. Local news ranked first with 27 percent of respondents replying that advertisements during local TV newscasts "keep me in the know with regards to products/services.”

The survey found local TV news is relatively "DVR-proof." Seventeen percent of respondents cited having recorded local TV newscasts for later viewing. Similarly, 57 percent said they "never," "rarely" or only "sometimes" fast-forward through portions of recorded local TV newscasts.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.