Magid: Consumers Seek Local COVID-19 News in Big Numbers

According to a Magid study, COVID-19 is a locally driven story, with interest at record levels.

According to a consumer survey, the top six drivers of coronavirus-related coverage are all local angles, with an audience hungry for news specific to their region and demo.

Broadcasters have said their audience numbers are up--though ad dollars supporting that coverage have plunged--and the Magid numbers bear that out.

"[C]onsumers continue to seek local news and information at record levels," said Magid, "with 79% of consumers still getting local news about the virus daily," and almost half (45%) multiple times a day.

Evening remains the post popular tune-in time, with 49% of consumers watching in the early evening (4-7 p.m.), with 35% watching at 7-11 p.m. Morning news has seen a jump, says Magid, with 37% saying they are now tuning in early.

More than half of those surveyed said they felt the local coverage was about the right amount (56%), with about the same saying that about national coverage (54%).

The survey is based on 1,235 consumers polled via an online survey April 13-14. The margin of error is 4%.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.