Local TV News Content Online: For Young Media Consumers?

Local TV executives may be hopeful that digital advertising revenue continues to climb. But what about attracting younger viewers, long associated with digital TV content?

Speaking at a panel at the National Association of Broadcasters event, Blake Sabatinelli, director of digital solutions at The E.W. Scripps Co., said (by way of NetNewsCheck): “There are new audiences right now that have no idea we even exist.”

That’s not a happy thought. Seemingly most of this gap might be due to TV news programming content, which skews generally older.

That said, local TV isn’t only about TV news content. For years, syndication content on local TV has attracted younger viewers who watch many late afternoon/early evening off-net TV shows, especially sitcoms.

But that content  doesn’t usually gain digital media extensions through a local TV station’s website. Instead, the producing studios and/or production partners control the digital assets.



Now, this isn’t to say that young millennials don’t respond to news. Many just believe local TV content then needs to be refashioned and repackaged.

It might be hard to name an advertising-supported TV news program that appeals to younger TV viewers. And just consider where TV advertisers’ media mindset has been for many years: Their target audience are the traditional 25-54 demographic.  “Vice” on HBO (not advertising-supported) might be a TV new programming model to consider.

For TV stations, it also may show how new local TV content should be delivered -- perhaps in bits and pieces on new digital platforms. Many believe Facebook, for example, would be good place to deliver/share that content. Others are nervous about giving up control to the likes of Facebook in order to access younger consumers.

But TV stations could then be syndicators of their content, delivering news programming to appropriate digital platforms. Even more out-of-the-box thinking will be needed to get in good with young viewers.



1 comment about "Local TV News Content Online: For Young Media Consumers?".
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  1. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., April 17, 2015 at 2:57 p.m.

    TV news is one of the oldest skewing products there is. Nothing will change that. As it exists it will never appeal to the darling group of advertisers, the millenials. As Paul Simon once sang: "I get all the news I need from the weather report." And now you can get that on your phone. The reality is that news will continue to age as its viewership is. Media folks can either go to the dance with the one that brung 'em, or they can go to a different dance.

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