Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Local TV stations are eager to step into closing newspapers' shoes

Closure of a newspaper means broadcasters in that market no longer have a traditional source of story ideas for later-in-the-day newscasts.

Hofstra University's journalism chair and former television journalist Bob Papper has been quoted to say, “There are any number of markets where newspapers don't set the news agenda.”

Instead, local television stations are stepping over one another to fill the newspapers' shoes.

Broadcasting & Cable deputy editor Michael Malone writes that Detroit's Fox-owned-and-operated WJBK station is sending out a 6 a.m. e-newsletter to inboxes hoping to replace the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, both which have gone from daily home delivery to thrice a week.
As newspapers continue to ring up giant losses—Gannett, for one, saw its publishing revenue plummet 27% in the first quarter—it's the perfect time for stations to grab market share from their beleaguered print brethren. Some station sales staffs have been working local papers' demise into their sales pitches. . . .

“It's early to forecast, but we're already experiencing a revenue increase in broadcast,” says [WJBK general manager Jeff] Murri of Detroit's newspaper retrenchment. Retail outlets that relied on papers to promote date-specific sales, he says, still need to get the word out in a timely fashion.

Some CBS-owned stations have reorganized their creative services departments to help lure advertisers from newspapers. The departments pre-produce commercials featuring a potential advertiser to show the client how its goods look on television. “With newspapers shrinking, it's a good time to dig deeper in terms of where you get your accounts,” says WCBS New York President/General Manager Peter Dunn. “It's really helped us a lot.”

More here.

Also see: Detroit's newspapers cut home delivery from daily to thrice a week
Broadcast stations enlist college students as citizen reporters
And: Indian TV station offers prizes to citizen journalists for "news reality" programming

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