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Why NBC’s new 24-hour, local NY cable news channel will not work 5/7/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Local TV news.

It sure seems like NBC is beginning to recognize that local broadcast’s days are numbered, as indicated by the planned November launch of a 24-hour local cable news channel by their NY affiliate. NBC local media President John Wallace attributed this move to local broadcast’s “slow-growth,” “eroding and aging” audiences, and the “perception” that it might not be a “sustainable business long term.” Translation: he thinks local broadcast is dead — when all media converge onto the Internet, the networks will no longer need to run their profitable prime time programming through local broadcast stations, leaving affiliates’ self-originated local news as their most obvious business to cling to.

Unfortunately, NBC has not factored in how the New Media are changing news audiences’ habits. Also dying with local broadcasting will be the importance of metro area-wide news. It had never been a consumer choice, but a limitation of broadcast technology. Now with the Internet, viewers will begin to consume more news that directly affects their lives – news of family and friends, their neighborhoods and communities, local shopping, kids’ schools, local roads, vocations, and avocations. So, just at a time when consumers will be losing interest in metro area-wide news, NBC will be offering a lot more of it – 24 hours worth. In football terms, NBC is going wide when they should be going deep (H/T: Lost Remote).


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