Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Report: TV News Keeping Up With Technology

Americans are getting more of their news from their Twitter feeds, friends' Facebook posts and websites such as Reddit. There are live bloggers who chronicle events as they unfold — now they can even stream live video with their smartphones.

But, according to the L-A Times,  TV news is still overwhelmingly watched on televisions. Although the landscape has become more challenging, TV news can still be a lucrative endeavor. The morning shows each generate hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue for their networks.

The evening newscasts remain vital to each network's image, and after years of fighting off irrelevancy, are now seeing a ratings renaissance.

In 2014, each of the programs saw audience gains.

NBC's Brian Williams
"Not only are rumors of our death greatly exaggerated — we are a growth stock," NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said in a recent interview.

"And I have a secret theory that perhaps the best thing that happened to us is the rise of other media devices. The miniaturization of everything else has made us loom a little larger."

Williams' program is up 5% to an average audience of 8.9 million viewers. "ABC World News Tonight With David Muir" is up 6% to 8.1 million, while "CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley" rose 4% to 6.8 million. Among 25- to 54-year-olds, Muir's broadcast is the biggest gainer, up 8%, pulling up even with Williams for the lead.

The ratings boost may be the result of having three programs — which once routinely summarized the same events in lockstep — that are more distinctive from each other than they have been in recent memory.

ABC's David Muir
"ABC plays to its strengths with a faster pace and a higher story count," said Steve Capus, executive producer of the CBS Evening News.

CBS' Scott Pelley
"CBS has a smaller number of stories and we go deeper with our journalism. Brian is an immensely talented personality and NBC strikes a middle ground," he said. "Each of us is giving our audiences different options and that's not always been the case."

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