Wired Biz currently owns and operates one of the largest networks of nationwide weather websites in the United States. CityGrid Media is the complete local advertising solution for all your local marketing needs. Contact us today and learn how we can help you grow your business through local advertising. To get a free CityGrid Media advertising assessment, please fill out the form below and a sales manager will call you. Local television stations experienced a year of higher revenues and lower viewership, on average, in 2012.
At network affiliate stations, viewership in 2012 fell in all of the key local TV news time slots – morning, early evening and late night. Late newscasts had been losing viewers at even faster rates than the evening time slot until 2011.
Our analysis of Nielsen Media Research data suggests that local TV newscasts are losing viewers, in large part, because fewer people are watching television when the news is on the air. Midday newscasts lost viewers in all sweeps periods in 2012 but the average loss for the year was 2%, about the same as the year before. News at midday has seen less ratings erosion than the traditional early evening and late time slots over the past five years. But these newscasts still have lost a little more than 7% of their average audience over that time period.
The audience for local morning news on Fox affiliates is still 4% higher than it was five years ago, but that improvement is due entirely to a substantial increase in viewership in 2008. The losses in 2012 continued a long-term trend of declining viewership for prime-time newscasts on Fox affiliates. Stations not affiliated with one of the “big four” television networks also saw their overall news viewership decline in 2012. A flood of political advertising in a presidential election year and a slowly improving economy boosted revenue for local television stations in 2012. While local television revenue has bounced back from its 2009 low set in the depths of the recession, its performance over the past decade has been lackluster. Stations in all market sizes lost revenue on average in 2011, the last year for which data are available, and the pain was shared relatively evenly.  Even so, average revenue in all market sizes more than recouped losses suffered in the recession year of 2009. Stations in the top 25 markets lost the greatest dollar amount, but that is to be expected since they earn far more than smaller-market stations.  In terms of percentages, revenue in the top 50 markets was down about 12%, the next two market groupings lost approximately 9% and the very smallest markets saw revenues fall just 7%. Advertising within news programming accounts for an increasing portion of local TV station revenue. Most television stations do not use their websites to sell anything other than advertising.
In the vast majority of TV newsrooms, budgets either grew or held steady in 2011, the last year for which survey results are available. The positive budget picture was most evident at stations in small markets (101-150), where more than half of all news directors said they were able to spend more.


Local TV newsrooms started 2012 with a record average of 38 full time staff, and a median staff size of 32, matching a high set in 2006. The average number of hours of news on local television continues to increase and probably set another record in 2012.
For the second year in a row, local TV stations reported producing less news for some other media outlets, including mobile devices, cable TV channels and other local TV stations. Just over half the stations surveyed (52.5%) cooperate with other local TV stations, newspapers, radio stations or other outlets in news gathering or coverage. Those stations that do share resources with other media reported increased cooperation in the use of helicopters for news coverage, but fewer shared video or had other sharing agreements. PEJ analyzed data from Nielsen Media Research and computed national averages for each time slot. Real time weather information continues to be some of the highest searched keyword terms online each and every month. Please feel free to contact us at the telephone number listed above to start promoting your business throughout the San Antonio area today. We offer best-in-class online advertising products that reach your customers everywhere local happens. The increased income was the predictable result of a flood of political advertising during a presidential election year. Eastern Time or equivalent) on network affiliates suffered the steepest decline of the traditional time slots.
The increase in 2011 seems to have offered false hope as the gains were quickly lost again. A pattern we have been tracking for the past three years continued in 2012, with share outperforming ratings for all key time slots in most sweeps periods.
Eastern Time or equivalent (after the network news or early evening local news) lost 5% of its audience, on average, in 2012.
Most of that gain was lost the following year, and the trend since then has been a slow decline. Eastern Time or equivalent lost 9% of their audience in 2012, faring even worse than the half-hour newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC stations that air an hour later.
Over the past five years, these newscasts have shed almost 23% of their audience, the largest percentage loss of any time slot we track. After two years of outperforming network affiliates, the independents lost a larger percentage of their audience than affiliates did in most time slots. Since 2006, average revenue for news-producing stations has declined by more than a third (35.8%) when adjusted for inflation.
Estimates indicate that spending on both broadcast and cable grew in 2012, but cable again grew faster than broadcast, posting a double-digit increase. Almost 60% of news directors said their stations made a profit on news in 2011, the highest percentage since 1998.


Only one in six news directors said they had to make cuts, compared to one in four the year before. By contrast, more than half of stations in the largest 25 markets reported their budgets stayed the same. The charts showing change over time include only three of the four major sweeps periods–May, July and November. This allows us to offer one of the most targeted local advertising solutions available to all types of businesses. A year after showing the strongest audience growth of any traditional time slot, up 3% year-to-year, average viewership slid 7% in 2012. Over the past five years, the average audience for these newscasts has declined more than 17%.
Ratings measure the percentage of households with TVs that are tuned to a particular program. Projections call for growth on the cable side to outpace broadcast growth by substantial margins in coming years, but for local stations to retain a wide edge in total spot spending.
The share of revenue from local TV news has been rising along with the amount news time stations air, which also set a record in 2011. Less than half (44.5%) are involved in shared-revenue deals with local Groupon-type offerings. The biggest changes in content were a significant drop in the use of blogs, audio and recorded newscasts on station sites.
February is not included because there was no comparable data from 2009, when ratings were collected in March due to the planned switch from analog to digital broadcasting.  Year-to-year calculations from 2010 onward include all four sweeps periods. Share measures the percentage of people whose TVs are turned on at a particular time and who are tuned to a specific program.
The independent stations account for less than 3% of the total local TV news audience, however. And while independent stations expanded staffs after cutting back in 2010, their median staff size of 13 is still less than half what it was five years earlier. When share declines less than ratings, it means a program has fewer total viewers but its percentage of the available audience has not declined by quite as much. That contraction most likely reflects the new reality that many independent stations no longer produce their own newscasts but instead carry programs produced by other local stations.
The data suggest that stations expanded their staffs mainly by hiring younger, lower-paid workers.



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