A higher percentage of TV viewers consider local news essential than consider cable or broadcast network news essential, according to [pdf] a new study from Frank M. Magid Associates, Inc. and Hearst Television, Inc.
Local News More Important
A commanding 81% of study respondents consider local TV news to be their most important TV news source. In contrast, 13% selected cable news and only 6% said broadcast network news.
When it comes to watching a news broadcast from start to finish, 30% of respondents indicated they watch both local and cable TV news programs from start to finish. Broadcast network news programs lagged behind with only 19% saying they watch this type of news program the whole way through.
More Viewers See Local News as Essential to Info, Community
Sixty-five percent of respondents say local news is essential to keeping them informed. This figure is higher than percentages saying broadcast network news (57%) or cable news (50%) is essential.
In addition, 64% of respondents say local news is their most important source of community information, dwarfing the 34% who say the same about broadcast network news and 15% who say the same about cable news.
Local News Personalities More Trusted, Engaging
When asked about news personalities, 50% of respondents say local news has anchors/personalities they trust and 42% say local news has anchors/personalities who make them want to spend more time watching the news.
In comparison, 49% of respondents of respondents say broadcast network news has anchors/personalities they trust and 40% say local news has anchors/personalities who make them want to spend more time watching the news. Local news personalities have a slightly higher lead on cable news personalities, who were mentioned by 39% and 37% of respondents respectively.
Furthermore, a higher percentage of respondents say local news is a good source of information on products and services (30%) than say broadcast network news (24%) or cable news (23%).
Local News Rules Weather
When it comes to preferences for obtaining weather information, local news has a definitive advantage compared to broadcast network and cable news. Seventy-eight percent of respondents say local news is their most important source for weather, compared to 38% saying broadcast network news and 21% saying cable news (multiple responses accepted).
And 53% of respondents say local news has meteorologists/weathercaster they tune in specifically to watch, compared to 29% who say the same for broadcast network news and 19% for cable news.
Local News Advertising Drives Purchases
When asked what TV genres have featured ads that led to a purchase of a product or service, other study data indicates 12% of respondents mentioned local news. This placed local news third overall among TV genres for driving purchases, behind entertainment talk shows (14%) and informational talk shows (19%).
Six percent of respondents said broadcast network news advertisements have driven a purchase, as did 5% for entertainment news advertisements.
About the Data: Frank M. Magid Associates conducted an online survey of 2,500 local news viewers age 25-54 in the Hearst news footprint from October 5-13, 2010.