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While the number of hours that TV stations must fill has increased with the emerging demands of OTT, the syndication market has also constricted, becoming a far less reliable source of bankable content. The timing couldn’t have been worse, but some show must go on, and execs have been rethinking their approach to programming, with cost efficiency in mind, as well as the management and sustainability of the team who make it.
Some see this turn of events as an opportunity for local to shine.
“It’s not fun to cancel things, but I think the re-racking in this case is actually pretty good, and I think there will be some [quality] new shows and obviously lots of good local ideas as well,” said Frank Cicha, EVP of programming for Fox Television Stations of the shrinking syndication market. “If it was spurred on by the lack of syndication, then great, because a lot of the best stuff comes out of local stations. It just does.”
Cicha’s remarks came Thursday during a TVNewsCheck panel discussion, Producing More Programming Without Breaking The Bank (Or Your Staff). Moderated by TVNewsCheck Editor Michael Depp, the conversation centered on viable options for content and how to produce it affordably, while minding the workload of employees who are already running thin in the wake of recent turbulent events.
Matt Jaquint, SVP of local media at Gray Television, expressed views similar to Cicha’s.
“We’ve gone full force local, which is what the viewers want,” he said. “More local