Dwindling local market revenues change local news landscape
The upcoming week’s Broadcasting & Cable cover story, Dawn of the Post “Star Anchor” Era is probably not a surprise to anyone, but it was still an interesting read and tossed in some interesting high-level numbers:
But as cable TV, video games and the Web became increasingly popular alternatives to local news, stations-and anchors-lost much of that rock star luster. Local TV brought in $17.1 billion in revenue in 2000, according to Borrell Associates, but just $12.4 billion in 2008, seeing its piece of the local ad pie drop from 14.2% to 11.4% during that period. Things got dicier when the automotive industry began drastically cutting back its budgets-dropping from perhaps 30% of a typical station’s ad revenue a decade ago to 10%-15% now, according to several general managers’ estimates.
The heavy station layoffs arrived en masse a year ago, and included a lot of talent. CBS was first up with big cuts, none bigger than WBBM Chicago anchor Diann Burns and her $2 million price tag. Subsequent attempts at market correction came from Gannett, Raycom, Media General and most of the other major station groups. In the past few weeks, the casualties incude KTVK Phoenix’s longtime anchors Brad Perry and Dan Davis (Belo), popular WCCO Minneapolis anchor Jeanette Trompeter (CBS Television Stations), and KUTV Salt Lake City (Four Points Media Group) talent Issa Arnita, Tyler Perry and Jennifer Stagg. Last week, KNBC Los Angeles icon Paul Moyer and WNBC New York’s Len Berman announced their departures; both had put in around 25 years at the stations.
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