Wow. I always knew local TV stations were powerful. But to cancel crime, winter storms, and government scandals takes effort. (Then again, maybe it's just about canceling the information about those events.)
The station is actually trying to do good for its employees -- giving them time off. That's the positive news. But considering the way TV spot advertising has been over the past year, this event also speaks to the bad stuff.
Looked at from a TV green point of view, all TV ratings are typically low this time of year. Turning off the newscast for a night saves money and energy.
From a broader view, it speaks to what goes on in the real world: during the holiday season, some people would rather think about the good stuff, a trend TV news can't always accommodate. And even during the rest of the year, there have always been many U.S. citizens who want to shut out the world and its real-life content.
We know there isn't a lack of news outlets for the people of Fresno. National TV outlets CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the broadcast networks, and other local Fresno stations, are ready to dispense critical local information if necessary.
Overall, considering what has been going on in this still-very-weak economy -- especially with journalism's financial model still in transition -- you wonder whether this is a less-is-more approach.
TV stations and other news organizations might need to pull back on the news glut, perhaps adjusting to viewers' current news valuation. Many stations have already cut back on high-paid journalists - if not entire TV newscasts as well.
Beyond the charity and good community feelings one gets from stuff like this, it's also a real acid test about what worth/importance consumers will place on TV news in 2010.