The Decline of Network News

Here’s an interesting article from Ad Age about the decline in viewership of and advertising during the network news.  Some “Duh” points brought up is that fact that the desired core demographic of upper income 18 – 49-year olds are not at home during the evening news hours (4 – 7PM).  Consequently, the average age of evening news viewers is 60 — retired folks I imagine.  Personally, I don’t bother watching the local or evening news broadcasts because they are neither informative nor entertaining.  I get my news from the radio, via the Internet, and reading print magazines — that is if I care to get the news.  Sometimes I skip the news that isn’t tech related due to fatique.  I know that sounds bad, but honestly has anything really changed in the last few weeks with regards to the US Presidential Election, Iraq, and the US economy?  I would like to get some world news, but believe it or not, International news is kinda hard to come by in the US.

Interestingly, Ad Age is also running a series of articles on the decline of the newspapers.  The article run today speculates as newspaper readers die, they aren’t being replaced with new readers.  I wonder if that’s the case for network news as well.

Moving on, the article is careful to explain that the news is not no longer relevant.  Rather, people have more choices for how they consume the news — TV, radio, and the Internet via computers, cellphones, and other mobile devices.  As such, it seems that advertisers can diversify their ads efforts.  In my own experience, I see that news websites have a lot more videos now.  I find the videos to be a pain for news items that could be described in 3 paragraphs or less.  This is due to the load time for the video and the unavoidable 30-60-secs of ads that is tacked on to the front of the stream — sooo annoying.  So much for high speed Internet … dear gosh the ISPs need to hurry up an upgrade their infrastructures.

On the whole, though, I’d say that the most useful and detailed news comes from online and print magazines.  Broadcast and Internet news amounts to a bunch of sounds bites that generally remind people of the major headlines.  The print magazines, though, like newpapers have nice long meaty articles.  Unlike newspapers thought, most magazines are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthlies.  Since they are easy to transport, a magazine can be taken almost anywhere for convenient reading at the reader’s leisure.  Perhaps this contributes to the continued success of magazines.  Perhaps this, too, could be the future of the newspaper — fewer issues, small form factor, and glossy media.  I think I would get a weekly San Diego/San Diego county news magazine if there was one.  What about you?

Anyhow, use the link given in the first sentence to read the article.


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