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.