Off topic journalism question

This isn’t about sports or Northwestern, per se, but I know we have a number of working journalists here and I was wondering what they think about the Omaha Fox affiliate’s decision to drop their local newscast and lay off their news staff.

Is this the beginning of the end for local TV news?

I have no insight, but more reminiscing.

My father would get home from work, watch the local news, Peter Jennings anchoring ABC World News Tonight and then we would eat dinner.

Outside of looking for Northwestern football highlights I probably haven’t watched a local newscast since the summer of 1990 with my father during the summer after my freshman year at Northwestern.

Local news(Lake County, IL) is difficult to find nowadays. I can find multiple sources for stories around the world without issue, but I can’t easily find the businesses opening/closing and the traffic/criminal incidents within 5 miles of my house. This is not a TV news thing as local news is exclusively Chicago, Springfield and maybe a little bit of Cook County. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place for crowdsourced local news as I only do news aggregators and twitter.

Speaking of TV , NU alum , Newton Minnow , passed away yesterday at 97. He was on the Board of Trustees when I was a student in the 1970’s. As FCC commissioner under JFK , he made the comment about TV being a “Vast wasteland”


Minnow was a master of understatement. :slight_smile:

When we first moved to Nebraska, the Lincoln CBS affiliate led off the 10 PM news with the weather, so the farmers could go to bed, I guess. Not sure when they stopped doing that.

Besides a couple of traditional newspapers, up here in Northern Michigan we have a county-wide weekly paper that does pretty well(Leelanau Enterprise).

There is also a free weekly paper in Traverse City that does well (Northern Express). They have three associated publications. Two are online daily mail/web single article posts by the same reporters (Ticker and Leelanau Ticker). The third is a monthly business publication that requires a subscription (Traverse City Business News). There is healthy cross pollination between all four publications for both stories and advertisers.

All of these are hyperlocal and make no attempt to follow national stories.

They all contain a lot of local advertising. The big advertisers are the casinos and real estate companies.

The demographics (old rich white) and the traditional strong tourist economy certainly make this perhaps a more favorable business environment for news organizations. But even if it is the exception, it does indicate that there is still an appetite for local news and a willingness by local advertisers to include print in their mix.


The let with the Weather because that was the most important story every night… but I wonder were they they #1 newscast in the market?
I’m sure they had research that proved it to be the best way to get and hold an audience. (our local news station leads with weather when something is happening.)



At the time we moved here, KLIN was the only TV station in Lincoln (with a satellite transmitter in Grand Island for KGIN), though all 3 networks had affiliates in Omaha.

Now we have both an ABC and a CBS affiliate in Lincoln, and get NBC coverage on cable out of Hastings instead of Omaha. Oddly enough, we get Fox stations from both Omaha and Hastings, though only the Hastings one is HDEF.