Cancel Local TV News During Holidays: Bonus For Viewers AND Station?

A headline about a Fresno, Calif. TV station talked miracles: "KSEE Fresno Cancels News For Holidays."


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.


6 comments about "Cancel Local TV News During Holidays: Bonus For Viewers AND Station?".
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  1. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., December 1, 2009 at 4:33 p.m.

    Hmmm - suppose they cancel the local news and nobody says anything. Then what? Oh yeah, charge for online content like the newspapers.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 1, 2009 at 4:39 p.m.

    Don't worry, be happy. What you don't know won't hurt you. And since you are reading this on line and you didn't have to open your wallet, it must be true. Nothing is free. Freedom is not free. If you want to know what is happening - anywhere - and what needs to be done to ensure your future freedom, it's going to cost you for content, that is, those who provide it. Fact finders, editors are not free.

  3. Sid Shumate from BIA/Kelsey, December 1, 2009 at 5:40 p.m.

    Ever worked a holiday newscast? The government is shut down, from city up to federal, except for the police, fire dept, and 911. The banks and Wall Street are shut down. This year, in DC, the only Thanksgiving news consisted of the poseurs talking their way past White House security, car wrecks, crime, the depressed committing suicide, and speculation about black friday shopping. All produced and delivered mostly by field reporters getting to try out being anchors, and the behind-the-scenes crew with the least seniority. Its better to spend the tight budget on "real news" days.

  4. Suzanne Sell from Independent, December 1, 2009 at 6:39 p.m.

    Economically, this makes sense. But if KSEE doesn't keep a producer in the newsroom in case of emergency, it is violating its public-interest mandate.

  5. Rob Frydlewicz from DentsuAegis, December 1, 2009 at 9:40 p.m.

    Rather than cancel the news in December stations should produce a 15-minute newscast YEAR ROUND. They could achieve this by sticking to "hard" news and tossing: 1) "lifestyle" segments; 2) stories linked to primetime shows; and 3) interviews of relatives of that day's murder or accident victims.

  6. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, December 2, 2009 at 7:52 a.m.

    Get rid of the National and World News. All it consists of is Gloom and Doom and Politics. Is it any wonder more people are committing suicide?

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