The FCC released its mammoth study of news today, called “Information Needs of Communities,” which includes a look at stations and local news, among several other media outlets. The study shows just how big a part of the business news is to stations; revenue coming from local news is 44.7% of an average station’s income, according to Pew’s State of the News Media 2010. So it’s almost half of a station’s revenue, coming from an average of four hours and 36 minutes a day. (A more recently survey from RTDNA/Hofstra have the average local news hours at 5.)
Put another way, around 55% of a station’s revenue comes from the 19 1/2 hours of non local news programming per day.
Stations have retained their primacy in terms of where people get their news. On a typical day, says the study, 78% of Americans get local news from a TV station–better than newspapers and Internet. Fully half of all Americans watch local TV news “regularly.”
“In other words, neither the ongoing migration of viewers to cable TV nor the growth of the Internet has changed the basic fact that most Americans turn to their local TV news team for local news,” reads the study.
Much of the study’s data is a bit old, especially if you follow this stuff every day. But there’s still some interesting stuff in there.