Tuesday, May 05, 2009

If you were wondering who would replace newspapers

Then read this article from Broadcasting & Cable: Stations Search for Gold In a Post-Newspaper Landscape.

An excerpt:

Few could have predicted how swiftly newspapers would go from being an integral part of people's daily routines to tottering toward obsolescence. As major markets such as Seattle and Denver have said goodbye to well-established dailies, and the likes of San Francisco and Boston ponder a future without papers that are almost as much a part of the regional landscape as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fenway Park, local television executives are studying what new prospects await them in a paper-free world. There's lucrative opportunity to reach out to former newspaper advertisers and, perhaps even more significant, there's a chance to become a more trusted source of local news.

“Where there's a void, a well-branded TV station will fill in as a news source,” says Hearst-Argyle VP of News Brian Bracco. “We have tremendous brand loyalty, and have to follow up and make sure we're covering news the way we should in our communities.”

However, also a sobering excerpt:

Yet it appears unlikely that many stations will assume much of the in-depth enterprise reporting that has long defined newspapers. Most general managers say they're already filling that role adequately, suggesting that longform reportage in the community may disappear or be relegated to obscure Websites. “We've tried to do [strong investigative] all along,” says KOMO Seattle VP/General Manager Jim Clayton, who employs a three-person I-team. “I don't know that we'd do more of it with the Post-Intelligencer [now Web-only].”

Of course, TV's idea of long form too often is 2 minutes instead of 1:15 on the latest sweeps topic of the season. Sigh.

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