Skip to main content

Study: Local TV Easily People’s Main Source for News

Local TV is the most effective video-advertising platform, Hearst-Argyle Television reported, as well as the biggest audience draw for news and information.

Hearst-Argyle, which owns 26 stations, released a part of a survey at the Association of National Advertisers conference in New York Thursday. The broadcaster partnered with Frank N. Magid Associates on the study, which polled 2,700 local news viewers 25-54.

According to the survey, which Hearst-Argyle president and CEO David Barrett discussed at the conference, 55% of respondents cited TV as their primary source of news information, ahead of the Web (26%) and print newspapers (14%). (Portals such as Google were not included among the “Web” category.)

Furthermore, local TV is more “DVR-proof [digital-video recorder]” and a more effective tool for advertising, the study noted. “The greater loyalty audiences have toward local broadcast-TV news is a factor in the effectiveness of advertising within the genre,” it read, “and ads on local TV news drive greater product/service awareness than those within any other program type.”

Other findings showed that search engines are the top destination for local news and weather, followed by local-TV-news Web sites. And 37% of those surveyed viewed local-TV-news content online, ahead of cable news and primetime programs (both 31%), and network news (23%).

“Marketers are seeing renewed enthusiasm for TV as a source of news and other content, and that TV broadcasters now have wonderful resources to leverage on their behalf to reach audiences with local content they want,” Barrett said. “These findings indicate that marketers can seize an advantage and use new digital technologies such as broadband and DTV spectrum to geo- and micro-target their messages, and they can do it with video-content providers who have exceedingly strong, trusted on-air, online and mobile-content brands in key local markets.”