October 15th, 2009
Over 40% of television station general managers “don’t know” if their property is turning a profit on the web! That’s the most incredible finding of a just-released RTNDA/Hofstra University study. At AR&D we have been pushing our clients hard to offer news on multiple platforms – and to make the entire news department responsible for that content. My client stations are moving smartly forward with multi-platform news. But apparently nearly half of the TV stations in the country have missed the multi-media train as it roars down the tracks leaving them far behind.
When the study asked about news staff contribution to multi-platform news – only 38% of the news directors said “most of the staff contributes.” A whopping 48% said they “have a long way to go.” In fact, nearly 4-out-of-10 news directors said that they were “comfortable that their station was really on top of the new technology.”
When it comes to the exploding world of social media – only 41% of the stations say they integrate social media on their website. But another 36% have their collective heads in the sand – saying they do not have a station Facebook page or Twitter.
This lack of vision and leadership at half of the television stations in the country offers your station a great opportunity to quickly, and effectively sprint ahead of the competition. If you are at a loss on how to do it – take a look at our book – “Live, Local, Broken News,” – or give me a call – we’d be happy to help.
October 5th, 2009
For years, AR&D’s 2.0 guru Terry Heaton has been espousing the value of offering continuous news on your TV station web site. We touted the idea in our new book – “Live, Local, Broken News” – saying that a local TV station must be in the “Finished” (scheduled newscasts) news business, and the “Unfinished” (constantly updated news on the web, mobile devices etc.) news business at the same time.
Well, our Lexington client – WLEX-TV – has proven the value of continuous news in a big way. For the first three weeks of September, www.LEX18.com had been averaging a little over 52,000 page views a day by 19,000 visitors. The average time-on-site was 2-minutes-58-seconds.
LEX18 launched continuous news on September 22nd and from that day to the end of September the average time-on-site shot up to 4-minutes-46 seconds. That’s a whopping 215% increase! The page views increased 36% to nearly 71,000 per day, and the number of daily visitors ballooned by 25%. All this was done without an on-air marketing campaign.
LEX18 News Director Bruce Carter says they are still in the midst of training the entire news staff to contribute to their continuous news effort. Right now between 10-to-15 people write web stories on a daily basis and they average about 60 stories a day – with 90 being the most ever posted in one day. Bruce says at this point about half of the staff has been trained.
Bruce says the really encouraging sign of the power of continuous news driving web traffic and time spent on the site, is that there have not been any big news stories so far. They are making these gains without one huge story driving people to their site.
On Friday, October 2nd, WLEX promoted their continuous news for the first time with a spot that encourages viewers to “Log on and leave it on, all day long.” Friday’s time spent on site zoomed to an average of 6-minutes-1 second – the highest so far. On Saturday the time-on-site was a very strong 5-minutes-48-seconds.
Carter expects those numbers to keep rising once the entire news staff is trained and posting stories. Check out the site for yourself at www.LEX18.com – the colorful headline banners catch your attention – and the continuous river of news keeps you reading for a long time.