The theory? Their well-known call letter brand names would drive existing (remaining?) viewers to those mobile areas. But it appears that the same outcome might occur with those brands that happened on plain-old laptops and desktops.
New digital consumers are already using new media platforms -- some local, some not -- to access information on new-found weather, traffic, and news apps. A Pew Research study says as much.
More than a few local TV media and marketing executives note that just having TV call letters isn't enough on new digital platforms -- that to truly distinguish a "new" digital brand, local TV programming and marketing executives need to come up with new brand identities -- perhaps including some hint of an association with the more traditional local TV brand name.
But all this should go farther. Given the rise of digital platforms, many believe hyper-local newscasts will be the real value in the future. Make that long-term future. (Hello, AOL's Patch). Money is the big reason. TV stations are already strapped in their news-making budgets.
Then, how do they expand news-making operations that need even more reporters for an increasing niche audience? Does everyone get paid less? Will local news journalism become a sideline hobby for wannabe journalists? Grabbing nascent bloggers for conversion to the big time could be the way to go. Even then, where is the monetization, the advertising dollars?
All to say, the business is not there yet. Stations now have big-time competition in all areas where they used to have a near monopoly with radio and newspapers.
What they do have are many news-making professionals. In that same Pew study, local TV -- by way of its traditional platform -- was found to still be the place viewers go for breaking news, weather and other content.
The questions are how to brand that to new information-seeking digital consumers who are convinced they can get deeper -- and maybe better -- information on new digital platforms.