May 20, 2017 at 8:28 pm #14981
Oh, this is bad. This is really bad. And don’t think for a second that the Hearsts and Sinclairs and Gannetts of the world won’t ditch local news to trim head count. [LINK]
In a ruling that helps companies like Sinclair, the FCC has voted to to propose eliminating the main studio rule. A rule that for the last 80 years has required a TVstation to maintain a main studio in its community of license.
Now companies like Sinclair, Nexstar, Scripps and others will be able to produce local newscasts that will originate from other states.
It is a slippery slope and it appears the FCC has fallen head first down it.
This could spell the beginning of the end for small and medium market news.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the rule was outdated because in the digital age the community has access and can engage with stations via social media or email without having a physical studio nearby.
I wish my former colleagues who were depending on local TV stations for their livelihood the very best of luck. IT’s a pretty good field to be in, BTW.May 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm #15019
I don’t expect ALL of the local newsroom operations in a market to shutdown. Just the ones that were never #1 or #2 in the ratings.May 20, 2017 at 10:55 pm #15020
I think you may well be underestimating the greed/stupidity of the major station groups’ ownership.
If this rule were to stay in effect for ten years, I’d expect actual local newsgathering in any market ranked below #75 to become a very, very rare thing.May 22, 2017 at 4:01 am #17673
Wow, the head of the FCC seems to be taking an axe to the rules and regulations of his job. No more net neutrality because of him, and now this. Although I wonder how they’ll implement the “local” news differently than the national news. And will audiences rebel and stop watching because giant companies have no regard for their smaller market?
The meme used to be “thanks, Obama” for seemingly minor and/or unrelated things going wrong, but when society-ending shit keeps hitting the fan I’ll just say “Thanks, Trump”.May 22, 2017 at 10:46 am #17898
Local and state laws tend to have more direct effects on us than federal laws (or at least that used to be the conventional wisdom in the days before rampant executive orders – thanks, Trump and Obama)…and now there will be less reporting on those sub-national-level legislatures. I have a real problem with that. There is corruption and graft at local levels too, and it’ll go unreported and therefore unchallenged. I have a real problem with that too.May 23, 2017 at 10:06 pm #18366
Unfortunately, my judgement is slightly clouded by the fact that I’m in the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto DMA, which is ranked number 20. And, I haven’t watched the local, national, or cable news or listened to the news on a regular basis. Why? Sometime in the 1980s, the powers that be stopped looking at the news as a “public service”, and started looking at the news as a “profit center”. This affected how the news was covered and how in-depth the coverage was. Stories that were important to our lives, but not flashing or interesting to cover were often given less air time and buried later in the newscast than stories that are flashy and interesting to cover, but have little importance in our lives. This isn’t helped during the sweeps months of November, February, and May where some of the more interesting stories are given tabloid-like headlines.
The most recent example of this occurring (locally) is some of the deficiencies in the Oroville dam. Prior to the spillway destruction, it received little attention. Now, it’s getting a lot of attention and coverage.
I won’t even touch the biases in the newscasts either.
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