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Help Local TV news more effective: Study
Local television news in the US is more effective in engaging viewers' attention to advertising than most TV programme genres and competitive television media, according to a new survey with 2,500 local TV news viewers in Hearst Television markets by Frank N. Magid Associates.

The local TV news viewers were defined as those who watch local TV news twice or more per week.

Key findings:
Local TV news is the most important programming genre as a part of TV viewers' daily routines. Local TV news ranked first – at 49 per cent – among programme genres selected by viewers when asked which type of programme "is a major part of my daily routine."

Broadcast primetime dramas and sitcoms ranked second (47 per cent) followed by broadcast network primetime reality TV (42 per cent) and cable network primetime dramas/movies (37 per cent). Cable news ranked fifth, at 34 per cent.

Similarly, 45 per cent of respondents said they "pay more attention" to local TV news than most other TV genres; cable news was cited by 39 per cent. 81 per cent cited local TV news as the "most important" news source among local, network broadcast and cable TV news. Not surprisingly, it also was cited as the most important TV source for weather information.

The largest number of respondents cited local TV newscasts as being the most effective medium for delivering awareness of products and services advertised during the programming. Local news ranked number one with 27 per cent of respondents replying that ads during local TV newscasts "keep me in the know with regards to products/services." The number two genre cited in response to this statement, informational talk shows, was cited by 24 per cent.

Similarly, local newscasts were considered a superior platform to most other TV genres in terms of:

Driving purchase of products; Trustworthiness; and Advertising products that appeal to the viewer.

Local TV news video is on par with broadcast network entertainment programming in popularity for online viewing (31 per cent vs 32 per cent); cable news ranks third at 25 per cent.

Local TV news is relatively "DVR-proof"; only 17 per cent of respondents cited having recorded local TV newscasts for later viewing. Similarly, 57 per cent said they "never," "rarely" or only "sometimes" fast-forward through portions of recorded local TV newscasts; by contrast, 69 per cent of respondents said they "most of the time" or "always" fast-forward through portions of cable network primetime dramas/movies.

In terms of news consumption across all media platforms, 55 per cent of respondents said they prefer local TV as their medium for news. Websites were second, at 19 per cent.

Local TV news ranked 1st among all media platforms when choosing the medium that "is essential to keeping me informed," "is my most important source of information in my community," "is my most important source for weather" and "as a source for political information."

Among news sources on the Web, local TV news sites ranked second only to search engines as the most frequently used sites for local news, but ranked first among all Web sources for community information and weather.

Similar to the findings relative to on-air local TV news, ads on local TV news websites were found to do a better job than ads on most other types of websites in terms of keeping viewers in the know regarding products and services; driving purchase of products; trustworthiness; and advertising products that appeal to the viewer.
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