You Can Change the Channel, but Local News Is the Same

Call a reporter at the CBS television station here, and it might be an anchor for the NBC station who calls back. Or it might be the news director who runs both stations’ news operations.

The stations here compete for viewers, but they cooperate in gathering the news — maintaining technically separate ownership, but sharing office space, news video and even the scripts written for their nightly news anchors. That is why viewers see the same segments on car accidents, the same interviews with local politicians, the same high school sports highlights. Contine reading

Political TV Ad Rates Complicate Election Season

Controversial new FCC rule requires TV stations to post political ad rates

Along with the headache of making sure TV ads that get bumped by politicals are quickly rescheduled, advertising agencies also will have to cope with the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial new rule requiring TV stations to post online the rates charged for each political ad.

“Rates for the political season could show up in databases and on buyers’ desktops, and other buys would be measured by this,” said John Shelton, the CEO of Strata, a provider of software-based buying tools. “This is more likely to impact the business outside politics rather than the business inside politics.” Contine reading

Cable TV Ads All But Catch Broadcast for the First Time

Nielsen Data Says Cable Grew Ad Take During Recession

Ad spending on cable is now on par with that allocated to broadcast TV, according to data from Nielsen.

Ad spending on English-language cable-TV networks came to about $21 billion in 2011, roughly even with ad spending on English-language broadcast networks’ $21.1 billion, according to Nielsen.

The figures mark the first time, according to the market-research company, that cable has achieved parity of a sort with its longtime rival. Spending on cable TV has increased steadily over the last few years, up 42% since 2007.

How did cable achieve its growth? The medium has matured, developing more original, quality programming, and winning greater share of audience. As marketers winnowed down their spend on English-language broadcast TV during the recession of 2008 and 2009, cable continued to increase its ad revenue — a testament, perhaps, to the fact that its programming aimed at niche audiences is typically significantly cheaper than what airs on broadcast. Contine reading