Tags: Polls | local | news | TV | ratings

Pew Study: Local News Viewership Increased in 2013

Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 08:46 PM

There may be more ways to catch up on the day's events than ever before, but the onslaught of digital news sources didn't take a chunk out of the audiences for local TV newscasts last year.

Obamacare's dicey launch, the manhunt for murderer Christopher Dorner, tornadoes and floods drove local news viewership up during 2013, says a study but the Pew Research Center.

The audience for morning news (5 to 7 a.m.) rose 6 percent, early-evening broadcasts (5 to 7 p.m.) climbed 3 percent, and late-night newscasts (11 p.m.) experienced a negligible 0.1 percent bump.

"One likely reason for the 2013 audience growth was the number of major news events that broke during the sweeps periods," Research Analyst Katerina Eva Matsa wrote, noting that those November and February periods coincided with the launch of the president's healthcare law, the Dorner pursuit and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Although local news remains the top news source for 71 percent of adults -- a higher percentage than depend on cable and broadcast -- viewership has fallen precipitously.

Late news programs shed a sixth of their audience in the past six years, while early-evening news fell 12 percent and morning newscasts lost 3 percent of viewers, Pew said.

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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