This morning the Wall Street Journal reports that a broad shift of eyeballs and advertising dollars to the Internet is putting the pinch on profits at local TV stations. If that wasn’t bad enough for the broadcasters, there are few hit shows flowing in from parent networks, a trend that's driving viewers to other media. There is almost the prefect storm forming around the business as viewership declines and major ad categories, like automotive, are cutting back schedules. The buzz from industry exec’s is that a lot of the budgets that currently are moving online are strictly experimental, and the hope is that when the experiment is over, those companies that tried it will come running back to broadcast.
Wake UP!! The fact is, the number of consumers doesn't seem to be increasing at anywhere near the rate that each consumer's personal entertainment and information options are. This means further fragmentation, more competition and the need for new strategies to grab an audience and maintain/increase profits. Many stations are following the cash to the Internet themselves and are moving their website components away from the common “value-added”. Unfortunately in the race for stations to reinvent themselves many are proving that they just don’t know how.