Local TV newsrooms face no shortage of challenges these days in the digital era: audience, revenue, technology and more. According to eMarketer, more than 22 million US adults canceled their cable and telco services in 2017. The figure was 15.4 million in 2016. They did not stop viewing, but switched to streaming services.
Researchers Debora Wenger and Bob Papper found that the expansion of social media has forced local TV news to follow up each and every news item and keep the audience updated. They stated that local TV stations must get better with news and focus on investigative and enterprise reporting.
Local TV news operations, they say, need to divert their attention toward other digital platforms including social media. In September 2017, Omnicom Media Group released a study report that said 47 percent of US adults of 22 to 45 years of age were watching nothing on traditional TV platforms; instead, they were watching TV content and video on streaming platforms.
Despite the changing audience, market forces, government regulations, and technological developments, TV news has the capacity to meet the challenges. To keep up with the change, local TV news needs to develop content and presentation that would be meaningful and interesting for the local audience.
Wenger, Debora & Papper, Bob (2018) Knight Foundation, The Future Of Local TV News, April 5, 2018.