Fully 719 TV stations produce local news in 2014, according to a survey from RTDNA/Hofstra University. That’s virtually flat with the 717 producing news last year, yet the slight uptick does reverse an eight year trend of fewer newsrooms. Those 719 run news on their own air and on another 307 stations, so a record total of 1,026 TV stations run local news.
The average amount of local news per station, 5.3 hours, dropped six minutes in 2014, on top of another six minute decline last year. Yet the median remained five hours per day.
There was a 10 point drop in the percentage of stations adding a newscast in the last year. The decrease was most pronounced among stations in Top 25 markets. Nearly 17% of news directors reported adding a newscast last year, while just over 8% reported cutting one from the schedule.
The median amount of local radio news fell by 10 minutes per weekday from a year ago.
RTDNA/Hofstra got valid responses from 1,300 TV stations and execs representing 649 radio stations. Bob Papper, professor emeritus of Hofstra, authors the study.