Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Why won’t some people pay for news?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
June 26, 2019, 11:04 a.m.
Business Models

TV is still the most common way for Americans to get local news, but fewer people are watching

Cable news is growing, local TV news is declining, and network news is roughly flat.

Local TV is trusted and is still the preferred method of getting news (thanks mostly to people 50 and up). But viewership for local TV news continues to decline, according to research released by Pew this week. Pew also took a look at cable and network news, and here are some of their findings about 2018 in TV.

Local TV: Audience declines, but a tiny bit more time is spent on news

— Local TV audiences were down for the morning, evening, and late-night time slots.

— The amount of local TV news programming actually increased very slightly, from an average of 5.6 hours per day in 2017 to an average of 5.9 hours in 2018, as reported previously by a RTDNA/Hofstra University survey.

— Advertising revenues were up, aided by the 2018 midterm elections.

Cable TV: Audience (and revenue and profit) grows

— After a dip between 2016 and 2017, cable news audiences grew in 2018: “The average combined audience (defined as the average number of TVs tuned to a program throughout a time period) for the prime news time slot (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) of [CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC] increased 8%, to about 1.25 million…The average audience for the daytime news time slot (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) increased by 5%.”

— Revenue was up 4% for CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

Network TV: Audiences are stable for evening newscasts, down in the morning

If you’d like more, the fact sheets are here, here, and here.

TV news camera and van by Tom Woodward used under a Creative Commons license.

POSTED     June 26, 2019, 11:04 a.m.
SEE MORE ON Business Models
SHARE THIS STORY
   
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Why won’t some people pay for news?
Plus: The role of class in news avoidance, how local party leaders use partisan media, and what native advertising studios say to sell their work.
How corporate takeovers are fundamentally changing podcasting
“One of the recent shifts in podcasting has been the introduction of paywalls and exclusive content. It has since become a standard feature of the medium.”
Facebook promised to remove “sensitive” ads. Here’s what it left behind.
Facebook pledged to remove race, health conditions, and political affiliation from ad-targeting options, but The Markup found advertisers can still easily target the same people.