More Locally Based TV News Businesses Seeking A Bigger National TV Footprint

In a TV world where we seem to have tons of news content including national TV news, Spectrum Networks -- from cable TV pay service and broadband operator Charter Communications -- is launching special national news coverage on its locally based news networks. The belief is that we need much more.

This comes as big TV station group Nexstar Media Group continues to ramp up efforts around “News Nation,” a national news TV show that started up in March 2021. Before that, Sinclair Broadcast Group started up national TV program "The National Desk" in January of that year.

Legacy TV news networks such as CNN and MSNBC continue to offer up more streaming content and/or separate streaming apps.

For CNN, that means CNN+, which is due to launch on March 29. For MSNBC, it means placing more shows on NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service, including some live TV MSNBC programs on a time-delayed basis.



Spectrum News is starting up special coverage of news events anchored by a national news anchor seen network-wide -- airing on every local-based Spectrum News network.

Similarly, Nexstar's “News Nation” show expands on the back of its news operations to many of the big TV station-group outlets.

Nexstar has roughly 200 TV stations in 116 U.S. markets.

Spectrum bolsters its argument with a recent survey that shows existing viewers rate Spectrum News higher than local TV news channels by a margin of more than five to one, according to a TVSpy report.

Surveys, as we all know, are not always an ideal reflection of things. Still, we get the plan.

The incentive here comes from a continued demand from TV news marketers -- especially as political advertising revenue keeps skyrocketing, and also, as viewership for new content -- especially live TV content -- has become more valuable.

For CNN+ and MSNBC, as well as Fox Nation, which started up in 2018, there is a push to do more “news magazine” content to expand on live news content.

These programs offer more analysis, intended to be complementary to the live content -- and to avoid harming exclusive deals that many pay TV distributors have, in carrying cable TV linear channels.

Other legacy, locally based TV news shows are also looking for a new niche.

Spectrum says its national news will have “nuanced, locally-informed content.”

So... narrowcasting, along with your broadcasting? We’re all eyes and ears.

This column has been updated.

1 comment about "More Locally Based TV News Businesses Seeking A Bigger National TV Footprint".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 22, 2022 at 12:22 p.m.

    Interesting, Wayne. As Sinclair started "The National Desk" in January of 2021 while Nexstar's News Nation was launched in march of that year---I'm using your dates---one would think that by now these national neswcasts would be attracting  measurable average telecast---or average minute--- audiences---yet this  info is missing from your report as, I assume, that neither Sinclair or Nexstar would provide such data.

    As for the need for more national news that's another issue. We certainly have plenty of national news and commentary now so it would seem that the primary motivation----and it makes sense from a business standpoint---is that this is another way for station groups or Spectrum to capture a share of national ad dollars that they are not getting via traditional local area spot buys. Even if ratings are extremely modest, there are many national advertisers willing to spend their dollars in anything that offers the right program environment as they see it---and news is certainly one of these favored types of content.

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