It wasn’t that long ago that TV news programs appeared somewhat less than thrilling to viewers and advertisers. Now? It’s a roller-coaster ride.
Traditional TV networks and stations could count on a steady, if smaller, supply of viewers. But those viewers comprised older demographics -- ages 25-54 or 60+. A broadcast news unit could include a evening news show, a morning news show, and some semi-special prime-time series. But that’s all.
Then cable news network took hold in the late 1990s, early 2000s. And in the last two years, with the Trump Administration, its profile got higher.
So why invest more in news now -- especially with young-skewing digital apps? Well, it's because, as with everything digital, the viewers are younger -- for almost everything. So for CBS’ CBSN, the average median age of 38!
That’s not the high 50- to-60-year-old audience that currently exists in the traditional linear TV world when it comes to prime-time programming at major English-language networks. Even better, it’s not the 65-year-old median age of MSNBC and Fox News Channel on their respective traditional linear cable TV networks.
So for CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, this is your future. Consider that one of Fox’s priorities for the “New Fox” company is its news programming -- including its big Fox News Channel, which pulled in around $2 billion in advertising sales and affiliate fees.
Ask yourselves what business-development executives are looking for in the long term -- younger news viewers.
Would AT&T sell CNN because of Trump Administration pressure in that direction, in order to get approval for the Time Warner deal? Randall Stephenson, chairman-CEO of AT&T, said the company never, ever thought about selling CNN when considering a Time-Warner acquisition.
Almost two years into a renaissance of TV news programming, which has been a key content piece since the dawn of TV in the late 1940s, news is a sure bet.
Let’s go to a reporter at the scene -- or some loudmouth opinion-maker in the studio.