Viewers engage with local TV news

TV viewers are more engaged with local news than most other genres of programming, according to a new study commissioned by Hearst-Argyle Television.

The station group, which is one of the nation’s largest TV station groups, previewed the results of the study, which it expects to release in its entirety in March during the annual Association of National Advertisers (ANA) conference at New York City.

Audience preference is particularly important as broadcasting shifts to a DTV transmission, which enables both HDTV transmission and multiple SD channels, said Hearst-Argyle president and CEO David Barrett. DTV multicasting is providing broadcasters with “wonderful resources to leverage on their behalf to reach audiences with local content they want,” he said.

Frank N. Magid Associates surveyed 2700 local news viewers, ages 25 to 54, for the study. Other key findings of the research include:

  • 55 percent of respondents cite TV as their primary source of news information, followed by the Web at 26 percent and print newspapers at 14 percent;
  • Local TV news is more "DVR-proof" than other program formats; most viewers watch local news live, and even when they record these programs they are less likely to fast-forward through them;
  • The greater loyalty audiences have toward local broadcast TV news is a factor in the effectiveness of advertising within the genre;
  • Respondents reported that ads on local TV news drive greater product/service awareness than those within any other program type.

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