“What we do matters”: Local broadcasters optimistic about the future of local media

May 14, 2019 11:00

Though less optimistic than five years ago, local broadcast companies and news directors are overwhelmingly confident in the future of local radio and TV, including local news.

The latest RTDNA/Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University newsroom survey, conducted for the past 25 years by Emeritus Distinguished Professor Bob Papper, shows that local news directors believe in the importance of local news and the unique position of local broadcasters to provide news and information the community needs.

88.1% of TV news directors say their companies are optimistic about the future of local TV, and 81.2% are personally optimistic about the future of local news.

In radio, 80% of news directors’ stations are positive about radio’s future, and 76.3% are personally optimistic about local radio news’s future, including 82.2% of public radio news directors.

Survey respondents cite continued high levels of trust in local news, even as trust in media overall declines, and the opportunity to innovate thanks to new technology as reasons to be optimistic about local news.

The challenge to innovate, changing business models and aging audiences were all cited as challenges facing the local broadcast industry, along with the need to provide local value and relevance with limited resources.
News directors also expressed concern about the impact of increasing threats to the First Amendment.

Review the report.

Find additional reports from the 2019 survey at RTDNA.org/research.
2019 TV Company Outlook

  2019 TV Personal Outlook

2019 Radio Company Outlook 

2019 Radio Personal Outlook