Election and auto ad spending is gone and it’s screwing local TV stations, writes the New York Times‘s Brian Stelter.
Station revenue is down across the country: at E. W. Scripps, down 20 per cent compared with the same quarter last year; at Belo, the owner of 20 stations, down 23 per cent; at LIN TV, the owner of 29 stations, down 21 per cent. The media conglomerates are also affected; the News Corporation reported a station revenue decline 28 per cent and the Walt Disney Company reported a 30 per cent decline.
Local TV news is paying the price. Stations are combining camera crews with other local affiliates, outsourcing reporting work to local newspapers, and, in some cases, shuttering news divisions altogether.