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Friday, May 09, 2008

Oh Boy, More Time for Shootings, Vince Showing the Latest Gadget and It's Your Money

By Keith Schmitz

This might be a case where more is not better. From the Media Post site:

NBC Makes A Leap To 24-Hour Local News Channel

A media critique by Wayne Friedman , Friday, May 9, 2008

ARE LOCAL TV STATIONS' PROGRAMMING operations in trouble? Apparently, yes. What's the answer? Do more -- a lot more.

You can easily make a case that the Internet and other digital options are eating into local TV stations' advertising revenues.

So NBC figures to grab more --- not less -- shelf space. It will be starting up a local 24-hour digital news operation under the NBC banner through its New York City outlet, WNBC's new digital signals. It'll run on local cable systems' digital tiers.

Local TV digital signals will be the new world of programming homesteading. Right now filling 24 hours of content is a tough chore, costing a lot of money. But with news you can extend more easily into a 24-hour channel. Cable news networks in the '80s, like CNN, started this way.

In this DVR world, you don't want to time-shift news. You want news immediately -- and refreshed, with updated leads to stories you might have missed.

A 24-hour local news network would draw more viewers --albeit in sorter 10 minute to 15 minute increments -- just as national TV cable news cable channels have been doing for the last two and half decades.

NBC isn't the first to do this. Some cable operators have been into the 24-hour local cable TV news world for some time -- including Cablevision System's longtime News12 channel in the New York metropolitan area.

NBC, with a brand name already in place, seems to have an advantage over other cable news networks.

But is the move too late?

"In order to remain successful, local stations must put the appropriate weight on the additional platforms beyond their core television station," said John Wallace, president of NBC Universal's Local Media Division, which includes the NBC owned stations, in a release.

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