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Is there life after the Internet for local TV stations? 6/17/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Local affiliates.

If Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is right that all media as we know it will converge onto the web within 10 years, shouldn’t local TV stations be in full-throttle panic about now? Networks are already beginning to use the Internet to bypass them for primetime shows. That would leave them with little original content other than local news, an area in which online newspapers are way ahead.

This interview (free, registration req’d) with media researcher Gordon Borrell suggests that most local affiliates these days are adrift, not sure how to steer away from the iceberg to come. Perhaps it’s because it is difficult to think of a core competency that transfers to the Internet. Borrell himself seemed to have difficulty coming-up with one, as he said “[Local stations] need a very clear picture of what they want to achieve…Each individual company has to set it. But if I were the head of that company, I would want the vision to be that we want the No. 1 Web site in the community where people come when they want any bit of information.” But, building a site that contains “any bit of information” does not seem to have much to do with good looking, articulate young people, a collection of satellite trucks, a traffic copter, videocameras, editing equipment, a weather station, and a monster broadcast antenna. Stations are under a tight deadline to figure out how to make online work, because they are running out of air. (H/T Cory Bergman)


1. sl - 10/31/08

well well that’s really something…

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