Broadcasting news at different times would reach more audiences

Demographics are everything, and they are often ignored.

TRAC Media Services offers a basic chart for us to get an idea of who watches TV when.

Table 1 Percent of Audience by Daypart
  18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ 2-17
Daytime (M-F) 13 6 4 6 71
Early Fringe 15 11 20 31 23
Prime Time 18 22 27 29 5
Late Fringe 32 23 30 15 0

Chart courtesy of TRAC Media Services

A news broadcast shown at the same time every night is not likely to attract a diverse audience. We see here that a primetime news broadcast is unlikely to attract a sizable percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds. It is even more unlikely to attract any 2- to 17-year-olds.

According to Media Life Magazine, the median age of TV news viewers is climbing. Recent numbers have put the median age in the low 60s.

Journalists should cater to all and not just one specific age group of the viewing population. Perhaps it is a good idea to air the same broadcast or two nearly identical broadcasts in multiple different dayparts to ensure that all age groups will see it.

-Andrea Trungale

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