Local TV news viewership is still the main currency for measuring broadcasting success, in my opinion.
Ir you create a strong news brand on television, all of your digital and mobile platforms benefit. If you have a weak TV news brand, your digital and mobile performances follow.
Many TV stations are airing 40, 50 or more hours of news a week. Local news represents about 50% of a station’s income. Experts I’ve talked to say digital and mobile are growing fast, but only represent about 10% of a station’s revenue.
So TV news ratings matter tremendously to me.
TVNewsCheck shares sweeps performance stories from newspapers and other media. But I’d like to try and give your station’s ratings success some context and hopefully, other stations can learn from it.
So when a TV station performs well in a ratings period, I think that’s news, but only if we can try to answer why that is.
I have a saying, “news ratings aren’t won during ratings periods; they’re only measured then.”
In my experience, the heavy lifting for ratings performance is cumulative of the work being done in news and marketing all year long, year after year.
Some stations continue dominating the ratings month in, month out.
Understood, but why do the managers at those stations think that’s so? I want to ask them, I want to see examples of any marketing or news coverage that management thinks is contributing to ratings performance, image topical, special report, etc.
If your station grew ratings in a news time period or newscast, and there was a plan you executed to accomplish that, I want to hear about it, I want to see examples, I want you to tell me as if we were in an elevator and you had two minutes of my time.
I can’t respond to every presser I’ve gotten so far for the November ratings. I have talked to some stations about their performances and you’ll see those columns shortly.
The stations that I have talked to about their ratings got this same pitch, and I’ve received notes back from GMs, news directors and CSDs, of course, along with examples.
So, the November 2015 sweeps are over, where did ratings change at your station? If you’re a station that is continuing to dominate a newscast or many newscasts ratings, tell me about it.
I want to know why you think the station is succeeding. I want to know why your management thinks this is the case.
What do you and your management think is the reason viewers are choosing to watch your news?
What’s different, better, unique?
Is it your on-air personalities? Content, news quality, weather man, talent?
At the very least, please send me links/embed codes to any news image promos and news coverage that you think captures the overall message of your TV news brand.