ABC, CBS, NBS and Fox are the primary affiliate networks
Audience: Local television news has seen a decrease in viewership in traditional (morning, early evening and late night) as well as nontraditional timeslots (midday and 7pm EST or equivalent).
Late night time slots for local news have seen the greatest decline in viewership in recent years. There has been a 5% decrease in viewership since 2015 and a 22% decrease in viewership since 2007.
Declining rates of viewership: bottom line-morning news, middle line- early evening news, top line- late night news
On average morning and early evening have shown a 2% decrease in viewership in the past two years.
Fox does not broadcast national programming as, ABC, CBS and NBC does, but airs local hour-long broadcasts at 7am and 10pm. These local broadcasts have shown an increase in viewership by 3% since 2015 and 16% increase in viewership since 2010.
Research from Pew Research Center, has shown, that a majority of viewership for local television news comes from older adults and that American adults rely on local t.v. news rather than print newspapers, radio or network news.
Economics: Local television news revenue follows a "cyclical pattern" in that revenue increases in election years and decreases in non-election years.
Bar graph representing a cyclical pattern of revenue, presidential and congress election years bring in the most revenue, and off election years bring in less revenue.
Signs of this pattern were shown from 2015 results of over-the-air ad revenue. In 2015 over-the-air ad revenue was down 7% from 2014 (an election year).
Local Television news advertising revenue from 2004 through 2020 (projected).
In 2015 over-the-air ad revenue amounted to $15.8 billion, which is 85% of the $18.6 billion in the industry overall.
Online ad revenue for local television stations increased by 12% ($900 million) in 2015 and is expected to grow substantially with estimates for 2020 to be $1.6 billion.
Retransmission fees: Fees that are paid by cable and satellite companies to local television stations so they can carry those local channels. In the past decade, retransmission fees have rapidly increased. In 2015, retransmission fees accounted for $6.3 billion in revenue.
Political advertising is another contributing factor to local television stations, Since the "Supreme Court Citizens United Decision", large influxes of campaign cash has been given to local television stations.
News Investment: The average amount of time, per day, that local television news programs broadcast is 5.3 hours.
Staff and employment numbers, for local television stations, are up 1% (300 jobs). As of 2014, there were 27,00 full-time positions filled. The salaries are also on average up 2% from 2013 to 2014.
Ownership: The change in ownership of local television stations by the large "parent corporations" is lower than previous years. In 2015 the ownership changes cost around $3 billion.
In 2015 only 101 stations changed ownership where as 2014 there were 169 and 2013 close to 300 stations changed ownership.