Thursday, January 21, 2016

In Search of Young Adults Watching Local TV News

It’s an oft-heard mantra that young adults don’t watch local TV news and are more likely to turn to the Internet as their primary news source. There is certainly evidence to support this point of view; but it’s not quite so cut and dried, according to The Media Audit

Denver, CO; Portland, OR; and Austin, TX are three markets that attract many young adults because of excellent employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, climate, culture and outdoor activities. Austin, according to 2015 data from The Media Audit, appears to be the most attractive. Include adults 35–44 in the equation, because the oldest Millennials are now entering this age group, and those adults with a Millennial mindset are either almost half of these markets’ entire populations or more than half.

Examining the weekly cumes for the four major network affiliates in Austin – KVUE-TV, ABC; KEYE-TV, CBS; KXAN, NBC; and KTBC-TV, Fox – reveals that early morning news is where advertisers targeting young adults should have a presence. Except for KXAN, the early morning news at the other three stations has a larger audience of adults 18–44 than adults 55+.

Adults 55+ viewership definitely dominates early news and late news, except KTBC where the weekly cume for adults 18–44 is 40.2 percent, compared to 33.6 percent for adults 55+. The late news on KTBC skews even further to the younger age group, 44.9 percent versus 26.7 percent.

A primary reason could be KTBC’s late news airs at 10 pm, allowing those career-focused and entrepreneurial young adults to grab more zzzzs.

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