Local TV Preferred News Source

December 7, 2010

US consumers prefer local TV as a source of news compared to other forms of media by a wide margin, according to [pdf] a new study from Frank M. Magid Associates, Inc. and Hearst Television, Inc.

More than Half of Consumers Prefer Local TV News

When asked their preferred media for news, more than half of consumers (55%) cited local TV. Websites/internet came in a distant second, mentioned by 19% of consumers.

No other type of media even received a double-digit answer. Cable TV came in third with an 8% response rate, tied with print newspapers. Broadcast network news only scored a 5% response rate, and no respondents selected print magazines.

Local TV News Leads in Importance

Consumers consider local TV the most important form of news media for a variety of uses. Sixty-one percent say it is essential to keeping them informed, trailed by print newspapers (54%) and websites (43%).

In terms of being the most important source of community news, local TV was selected by 61% of respondents, followed closely by print newspapers (57%), with websites in a distant third (21%).

Seventy-one percent consider local TV news to be their most important source of weather information, with mobile web apps earning a strong 35% response rate considering their relative newness, followed by websites (32%).

Local TV news also received the highest response rate as an important source of political news (57%), followed by print newspapers (44%) and websites (37%).

Local TV News Ads Keep Consumers Up to Date

Twenty-four percent of respondents say local TV news ads keep them up-to-date with new products and services, trailing only print newspapers (38%) and leading other media such as radio (18%) and print magazines (16%).

Local TV News Ads Get High Marks for Trust, Respectability

While the 18% of consumers saying ads that run during local TV news programs are trustworthy may seem low, it ties print magazines for second place, barely behind leading medium print newspapers (19%).

Local TV news ads also received the second-highest ranking for being a respectable place to advertise (48%), just behind the 49% respectability rating of print newspapers and edging out the 47% rating of print magazines. Radio came in fourth with 37% of respondents calling radio a respectable advertising medium.

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, according to other survey results.

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%).

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.


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