• Christopher Michael McHugh

Local TV Stations are Dying

Updated: Feb 7

The future of local TV stations is beyond grim.




The next big shoe to drop in the TV industry is that local TV stations will start going under. That’s because the only two things they do are going away.


Right now, stations offer TV news, that they make a lot of money off of. But younger people don’t consume media that way anymore. Am I seriously going to wait through a commercial break to get my “hyperlocal forecast.” Please. And what does that even mean? Is the local forecast hyper because the weathercaster has had too much coffee?

16% of people in the US who watch TV news are between the ages of 18 and 29, according to Wibbitz 2015 survey. Just 16%. And you think that number is getting any bigger? So as these number decrease, there’s no way TV sales people can justify the high cost of TV ad rates when there’s no audience. No TV news broadcast viewers means no money, means no TV station.


So what’s the other thing that local TV stations do? They retransmit network programming. Last time I checked I could get that on any device I choose. So why do I need the local TV station again?


I’ve said it a million times. It’s 1950 all over again. This was a time when radio was king, but television was invading our homes. The same thing is happening now.


In 2008, I was part of the team that had just launched Fox Business Network. And I realized that this was probably one of the last traditional cable news network launches. The golden age of cable TV news was dead back in 2008. And, man, is it dead now. Since 2008 and the market crash, all I hear about is downsizing and automating in the TV news industry. And guess what, that ain’t a growth tactic. That’s called being on life support.

This article was written by Christopher Michael McHugh. Mr. McHugh is a producer, media analyst, marketer and the owner of McQ Marketing Group. For consulting, public speaking, interview or other inquiries, please text 203-689-3419, email Chris@McQMarketingGroup.com or call 203-689-3419.


Interested in learning about creating TV and online news. Check out Secrets of Producing TV and Online News. It’s the new bible for individuals producing content in this ever-changing and rapidly accelerating media landscape, used in universities across the United States.


© 2020 McQ Marketing Group

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