Stay(ing) Tuned for the Six O'Clock News - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Stay(ing) Tuned for the Six O'Clock News

Stay(ing) Tuned for the Six O'Clock News

By Sanjena Sathian

Empty Television Studio
SourceStephanie Keith/Gallery Stock


Because the American love affair with the evening news doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

By Sanjena Sathian

Plenty happened in media worth thinking about last year. Between Amazon’s Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post and eBay’s Pierre Omidyar partnering with Glenn Greenwald to create a new media venture, here’s one thing you probably didn’t expect: TV news is alive and well.

Which might furrow some brows considering that 68 percent of millennials (this correspondent included) get their news from social media. (And, no, Mom, that doesn’t mean my only news comes from the Snapchats Omar keeps sending on his train rides.) 

Like me, you may be getting your news from everywhere but television — but then you’d be in the vast minority. Because 71 percent of American adults still tune into their local TV broadcasts. And, according to a new Pew analysis, that number reveals a slight increase in 2013, after plummeting in 2012. Specifically, morning news shows stepped it up with a 6 percent rise in viewership in 2013, and the evening news climbed about 3 percent. 


The audience bump was clustered around sweeps in November, according to the data (gathered by Nielsen). And why? Nielsen points to the plagued launch of Obamacare, plus tornadoes and floods (TV still seems to own the weather). But that doesn’t answer our burning question: Namely, how does local TV still hold such a dominant share of American news consumption? And how long can it last; will we soon turn to Twitter and BuzzFeed and Reddit even amid government mayhem or a natural disaster? 

At any rate, whether you’re a TweetinGramminSnappin millennial or a crotchety old guy in a bathrobe, you can still yell at the TV. I’ll be busy shouting at Hulu. 

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