Not your enemy

Not your enemy

Attacks on the news media are nothing new, especially from American presidents. Even that vocal defender of a free press, Thomas Jefferson, had it up to here on occasion with newspapers and “the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them.” Richard Nixon’s famous “enemies list” included more than 50 print and […]

Local TV news viewership declines again

Local TV news viewership declines again

The latest report from the Pew Research Center on the state of local television news is anything but upbeat. According to Nielsen data, the local news audience shrank again in 2015 in all key time slots–morning, evening and late. Late news took the biggest hit, down 5% from the year before. And the long-term trend isn’t pretty. Since […]

More stations air more local news, but who's producing it?

More stations air more local news, but who’s producing it?

There’s more local TV news on the air than ever, and more is on the way. That’s the headline from the latest RTDNA research conducted by Bob Papper. The median amount of news aired on weekdays, 5.5 hours, broke the old record by half an hour. More than a third of stations surveyed said they […]

What makes people trust the news?

What makes people trust the news?

You already know that Americans have little confidence in what they see, hear or read in the news media. Last year, according to Gallup, trust in media set a new low with just 7% saying they have a great deal of confidence in the news. What’s to be done? A new study offers some clues. The Media Insight Project asked […]

Story first: Digital strategy in a multiplatform world

Story first: Digital strategy in a multiplatform world

My hometown newspaper, The Washington Post, has been rocketing up the comScore rankings of top digital media companies. Last August, it wasn’t even in the top 50. Two months later, the Post ranked 36th, beating the New York Times (37th) for the first time ever.  How much of that improvement is due to different paywall strategies is for others to debate. […]

TV news goes all-iPhone

TV news goes all-iPhone

You knew it had to happen, right? A local TV news station has gone “100% iPhone.” The station in question is based in Switzerland. Over the summer, Léman Bleu outfitted each of its reporters with an iPhone 6 kit to shoot their stories and to use for live shots. News director Laurent Keller says Léman Bleu actually isn’t the […]

So long, Bob Schieffer

So long, Bob Schieffer

This time, Bob Schieffer says, it’s for real. After 46 years with CBS News, he plans to step down as host of Face the Nation and retire this summer. He’s talked about retirement before, but it didn’t take. The truth is he was having way too much fun to quit. “It’s been a great adventure,” he said in announcing […]

Why NBC News had to suspend Brian Williams

Why NBC News had to suspend Brian Williams

It only took a week. It must have felt much longer to Brian Williams. The network suspended its main news anchor last night, saying his actions were inexcusable. Taking him off air for six months without pay, said NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke, was a “severe and appropriate punishment” for having “jeopardized the trust millions of […]

Local TV news in an age of consolidation

Local TV news in an age of consolidation

Riddle me this: If big TV station groups keep getting bigger, what happens to local news? It’s a question I tried to answer, in part, in this year’s State of the News Media report. Over the years, as stations have been bought and sold and joint operating deals have been cut, fewer and stations have originated local […]

Top 10 NewsLab posts of 2013

Top 10 NewsLab posts of 2013

Another year comes to an end with another year-in-review post. I guess you could call it a NewsLab tradition. Taking a look back at the year gone by is one way to get a sense of what NewsLab readers are most interested in; it’s also a way of drawing your attention to popular posts you […]

Career advice from public radio's Kai Ryssdal

Career advice from public radio’s Kai Ryssdal

He has a memorable name and a prominent job, but public radio’s Kai Ryssdal followed anything but a typical career path on his way to anchoring the daily business program Marketplace. His story proves the truth of his own maxim: “Do what you love.” After eight years in the Navy and four in the Foreign […]

Salaries decline in local TV newsrooms

Salaries decline in local TV newsrooms

For the first time in four years, local TV news salaries have taken a dive. The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University survey says pay was down on average by almost 2% in 2012. If you factor in the rate of inflation, real wages were down by about 4%. Just two years ago, TV salaries jumped by more than […]

Whatever happened to TV-print partnerships?

Whatever happened to TV-print partnerships?

Research a few years ago suggested that the bloom was off the rose for news-sharing agreements between TV stations and newspapers. An uptick during the recession may have been fleeting, according to the latest RTDNA survey, and there’s nothing in this year’s data to indicate a turnaround. For the third year in a row, the percentage […]

More TV news outlets target Hispanics

More TV news outlets target Hispanics

The TV business runs on numbers. So it’s really no surprise that networks from ABC to Fox are ramping up their efforts to offer news aimed at Hispanic viewers. The real wonder is that it took so long. For years, Latinos were mostly ignored by the biggest names in broadcast TV, viewed as a niche […]

Can Today fend off GMA?

Can Today fend off GMA?

It was a sorry spectacle. For more than a week, NBC let Ann Curry twist slowly in the wind after word leaked that she was on her way out as co-host of the “Today” show barely a year after getting what she described as her “dream job.” As one critic put it, watching her soldier […]

The improving state of local TV news

The improving state of local TV news

This won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone working in local TV news, but there’s more of it than ever and more people are watching. “To quote Mark Twain, ‘Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated,’” says Hearst Television’s vice president for news, Brian Bracco, in the 2012 State of the News Media report, issued […]