Friday, March 06, 2009

TV News Directors Pack the House

Most everyone is troubled by the layoffs facing print journalists.
It’s a tough time in newsrooms everywhere including San Antonio.

The news directors from the ABC, CBS, and NBC San Antonio television affiliates discussed the impact the economy is having on local coverage. The PRSA San Antonio luncheon was a record-breaker with 96 people attending to hear the news.

I was surprised just how easy it was to get the news directors to agree to meet. However, one news executive did tell me before the luncheon that discussing the news before the May ratings book makes good business sense.

News directors (seated left to right in photo) included:

Jim Boyle, ABC Affiliate, KSAT 12 News
Kurt Davis, CBS Affiliate, KENS 5 Eyewitness News
Aaron Ramey, NBC Affiliate, News 4 WOAI

In a nutshell, these highly competitive news execs said emerging technologies are forcing them to change. Social media, especially Twitter and Facebook are powerful
influencers today, the news directors said.

TV stations have taken a big hit after their steady revenue source of car dealership ads dried up. However, the was no mention at all of possible job cuts.

So far, it seems, everything’s stable in TV land.