Road Warrior Intel #5

This is another in a continuing series of observations and ideas from my travels around the country.

Local TV News Viewing UP.¬†¬† Some good news to begin this blog.¬† Broadcasting & Cable magazine asked Nielsen for a special report about local TV news viewing during November.¬† The news was good – dozens of local TV newscasts showed ratings growth of 20 percent or more compared to November 2007.¬† Much of¬† this increased viewing was driven by the election and economy – but good news is good news, and we’ll take it.

Sharing Resources Gains Momentum.¬† I have been blogging for months about the wisdom in these days of staff reductions for local stations to share newsgathering resources.¬† This approach is gaining momentum across the country.¬†¬† Is it really necessary for every station in your market to send a seperate crew to cover the mayor’s routine news conference?¬† No!¬† In Austin, Texas five stations have now formed a news sharing consortium.¬† In Phoenix, three stations are sharing one helicopter.¬† The list is growing every day.¬† If you are not working on forming a news sharing alliance in your market – you are falling behind the rest of the country in markets large and small.

Social Media is important.¬†¬†¬† CNN Senior VP David Bonham says, “using the Internet and social networking sites is essential to the survival of TV news.”¬† CNN garnered an Internet audience of 407,000 for their You Tube presidential debate.¬† That is their biggest number ever in the 18-34 demo.

Social Media is a secret weapon.¬†¬†¬† WSPA Spartanburg’s Amy Wood is one of the most active anchors I know when it comes to social networking.¬† She is everywhere on the Internet and works it hard both on and off the air.¬† Well, last week it paid off in a big way for WSPA.¬† There was a hostage situation at a downtown Spartanburg bank.¬†¬† Right away, information came pouring in from witnesses in other buildings, friends and family of hostages, and many others to Amy’s Twitter and Facebook pages.¬† One fellow said he followed Amy’s Twitter coverage on his Blackberry while he watched the standoff unfold out his office window.¬† Another person wrote, “when viewers like myself get the first glimpse of breaking news on TV, we immediately go to FB or Twitter.¬† You’ve found the right combination of¬† TV and Internet that will keep viewers engaged in your coverage.¬† Kudos!”

Newspaper playing TV on the Internet.    The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has started a 7-minute newscast every afternoon on their website.  The reporter sits behind a rather stark desk, uses a laptop as a prompter, and mixes in little doses of video and still pics while he reads the local news of the day.  It is definately low tech.  At one point someone (could only see their hands) brought in a large wall map so the reporter could point to a spot on the map that was impossible to see.  The fellow is very conversational, pretty engaging and a bit irreverent.  At one point on the day I was watching on line he brought in a sports reporter for a local high school discussion.  The weather graphics were very crude Рbut overall the information was solid.


This entry was posted on Friday, March 6th, 2009 at 4:30 pm and is filed under Willi. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Road Warrior Intel #5”

  1. Amy Wood Says:


    How did I miss THIS! So kind of you. Guess it’s cause I am so busy engaging, eh?

    Thanks for the shoutout.

    Always willing to help folks find their way with the social media madness.

    Check out the blogsite, that’s home for it all:

    Thanks again! :)

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