Why Bob Pittman Still Loves Local TV

He’s former COO of AOL and an investor in many web content companies, but Bob Pittman still loves TV. Bob is presenting at NATPE, the grandaddy of broadcast TV conferences, on Tuesday. He gave a preview of his message to Videonuze, in which he explained why broadband video won’t kill local TV and why he’s looking to invest in and buy local stations, which he considers undervalued assets:

TV is America’s hobby. Look at any category, the biggest is always the most important. So we want to invest in place where most people are. It is a fantastic advertising medium. There’s no substitute for TV advertising. It works like nothing else. It’s still wildly cheap – for the most part it’s a $7-8 CPM, compared with newspapers and magazines which are $25-30.

More points:

  • unlike national media, local TV resists downturns, and takes the lion’s share of local advertising
  • there’s an opportunity to create local “newspapers online,” and in small markets MSN and Google can’t compete
  • no TV replacement on the web will occur unless the tech becomes “completely invisible to the consumer”
  • the Internet is replacing the yellow pages, newspapers, phone calls and voice mail, but not TV. “When you hear these stories about the Internet replacing TV, I think they’ve got it all wrong.”

Earlier: Why Providence Equity is Welching on Local TV Deal

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