2012: The Year TV Finally Stopped the Presses


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Don Seaman, Manager, Marketing Communications, TVB

TVB June 2013 Vlog Stacey Schulman

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We were all quiet witnesses to a milestone in 2012 that many never expected to actually happen – yet when it did no one seemed to notice.

According to Kantar Media, TV has pushed Newspaper aside as the dominant medium for local advertising spending.  Television now wins the head-to-head battle in 48 of the 62 markets in which Kantar compares Local Television to Local Newspaper spending.

Many smaller markets became TV dominant before 2008.  Yet in the past three years, large markets with dominating city newspapers saw the advertising edge move to TV.  These are all markets with significant newspapers: The Dallas Morning News, The Boston Globe, The Houston Chronicle, the Tampa Bay Times, the Orlando Sentinel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Palm Beach Post, The Providence Journal

The few holdout markets left are the mainly those with legacy newspapers – like the Post-Dispatch in St. Louis, the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis, the Times Union in Albany, for example, and some of the biggest markets – like New York, LA, Chicago.  But the list of “conquest” markets keeps getting bigger and bigger, both in size and number.

These once ubiquitously local newspapers finally succumbed to today’s media reality – that the declining circulation of newspapers, coupled with the struggles of their classified advertising create too steep of a cliff for the advertising on their digital properties to overcome.

So the local advertising spending scales have “officially” tipped to Local Broadcast TV.  Given the trend of the last few years, the last few markets will soon be TV dominant as well, and the end of a very long era will be complete.

While this may seem to be an inevitable transition – or even one that feels as though must have happened long ago – this is still an event of some magnitude. 

In today’s local media, TV stations are the Gold Standard, for consumers and advertisers.


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