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Survey Finds 2016 Treated TV Newsrooms Well

The local TV news business had an extraordinarily good year in 2016, with newsroom profitability tying the highest level since 1996, according to the latest RTDNA/Hofstra University annual survey.

Profitability in 2016 hit 65.7%, tying the number achieved in 2013, the survey found.  The 72% percent profitability hit in 1996 was the highest level recorded in the survey’s 23-year history.

Profitability rose at stations across-the-board except for those in the smallest markets, partially fueled by election-year spending, the survey found. Profitability was slightly lower for stations in the Northeast, according to the survey, whose findings are being released in two-week increments.

Stations’ average and median revenue rose 5% in 2016, a marked change from the 4-point drop in 2015.

The survey also shows that the TV news business continues to expand beyond linear TV delivery. In addition, 76% of TV stations provide news to other outlets, up from 73% in 2015. 

You can read the full report here.