Survey: Local News Hours Up Slightly in 2014

After two years of tiny drops, the amount of local news on TV in 2014 ticked up slightly, thanks to local TV expansions into Sunday. The average amount of local news per station, 5.3 hours daily, dropped six minutes in 2013 on top of another six-minute decline the previous year, according to the annual stations survey from RTDNA/Hofstra University. That 5.3 was flat again in 2015, though a six-minute increase in Sunday news put local TV in the positive category.

Weekdays at 4 p.m. and weekend mornings were the primary growth slots.

A record 1,045 TV stations air local news in 2015—717 that originate the local product (down two from last year), and 328 that receive it from another station. That 328 is up from 307 last year, suggesting that various shared services and local marketing agreements are on the rise. Of those 328 that get their news from another station, there are 102 Fox affiliates and 50 CW outlets.

Among the stations producing news, NBC led the way for affiliates with 181 stations, ahead of the 173 aligned with ABC and CBS.  

The RTDNA/Hofstra University survey, authored by Bob Papper, was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2014 among all 1,688 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 3,704 radio stations.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.