Survey: Local TV News Is Booming

NEW YORK--The consolidation of TV newsroom operations has slowed and local news continues to run on a record number of stations.

That is according to a new study from the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTDNA). The study is not being released until June 13, but those are a couple of the top-line results, according to highlights obtained by TV Technology sister publications B&C/Multichannel News.

Among the other takeaways are that the quantity of local TV news is at an all-time high as well.

The survey comes as Washington considers ways to battle fake news and the FCC considers whether to allow Sinclair to buy Tribune. Activists argue that that deal threatens local news, or at least threatens to homogenize it via national, must-run, programming from a particular political viewpoint.

The RTDNA study also looked at radio station news and found that commercial stations air "a median" of 50% more local news than noncommercial stations, as did stations with at least three news staffers compared with those with fewer.

Also on the radio side, station groups are increasingly coordinating their local news and fewer are getting news from outside sources.

The study will detail who airs news, how much, and when and where that news comes from. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio WorldTV TechTV FaxThis Week in Consumer ElectronicsVariety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.