Despite across-the-board declines in TV broadcast ratings, local TV news is more valuable in drawing viewers' advertising attention than other programming.
A study by Hearst Television -- which owns TV stations -- and TV researcher Frank N. Magid Associates says local news ranked first, with a 49% score, when viewers were asked what type of program was "a major part of my daily routine."
But local news was only a bit better than second-place local TV airing sitcoms, at 47%. Reality shows were at 42%; cable dramas and movies tallied a 37% number; and cable news programming was at 34%.
When asked about when TV viewers "pay attention" to programming, consumers gave a 45% number to local news, with cable news programming at 39%. Consumers gave better numbers when considering the "most important" connotation: 81% said local news was most important when considering local TV, national broadcast and national cable news programming.
Only 17% of those surveyed said they record local TV news for later viewing. Fifty-seven percent said they "never," "rarely" or only "sometimes" fast-forward through portions of recorded local TV newscasts.
In terms of news consumption across all media platforms, 55% of respondents said they prefer local TV as their medium for news. Web sites were second, at 19%.
The survey covered 2,500 local TV viewers. Hearst Television has 29 TV and two radio stations, reaching about 18% of U.S. TV households.