Friday, May 1, 2015

Report: More Viewers For Network News

Pew Research Center's report, "The State of the News Media 2015," offered some encouraging news for legacy media. While cable viewership dropped 8 percent and newspapers readership dipped 3 percent, local news was up 3 percent, and network news saw a 5 percent jump, with a combined average evening viewership of about 24 million.

In contrast, AdAge reports, local TV grew its on-air ad revenue to roughly equal that of newspapers—$19.4 billion in 2014, according to BIA/Kelsey. That is up 7 percent from 2013 and 2 percent from 2010, the latter of which is perhaps more analogous to 2014 because it was also a nonpresidential-election year. News-producing stations, about two-thirds of all local TV stations, account for a disproportionate amount of this revenue. Retransmission fees, also on the rise, added another roughly $5 billion for the year, SNL Kagan estimates.

At the network level, ABC News' and CBS News' revenue grew, but NBC News' declined. As ABC World News Tonight now wins in the ratings, it has nearly caught NBC Nightly News in revenue.

In cable, the NBCUniversal property MSNBC also fared the worst. Its total revenue was down 1 percent for the year, due mainly to a 5 percent decline in ad revenue, according to projections from SNL Kagan. CNN's revenue was projected to rise 3 percent, while Fox News' revenue was projected to increase 6 percent and was the only one of the three channels to report a profit increase (10 percent). Subscriber revenue for all three cable news outlets was expected to see continued growth.

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