Next on the lemonade list is the Internet, fiber to the home and mobile DTV. Bandwidth available to the general public in many markets by copper, fiber, cellular and RF is providing more room for growth, and dramatically improving many viewer’s Quality of Experience (QofE). The latest research reveals viewers are spending more time with digital devices such as computers, DVDs, video games and smartphones and spending less time watching traditional TV.
The Internet is conduit for content that continues to grow, and it’s driven by much stronger forces than entertainment. At the same time, the number of cable and satellite TV subscribers appears to be diminishing. Possibly the best news in recent memory for local TV broadcasters is the trend of viewers cutting the cable and choosing free over-the-air and the Internet as their television entertainment source. You may have noticed lately that the NAB is currently running an ad campaign touting the community benefits of local broadcasters. It’s another example of thinking globally and acting locally.
Television requires talent at both ends of the camera. The fourth opportunity on the list is the chance to find talented people who fit the broadcasting work ethic and lifestyle. It is like playing the piano; either you get it or you don’t, and there isn’t a much better test for broadcasting talent than working at a TV station. A degree in broadcasting does not make a broadcaster. Poaching a good employee from a competitor doesn’t count. Making a talented broadcaster from a candidate with potential is what counts.
A local broadcast station is a simple sales and marketing operation. Stations exist to sell advertising to advertisers. They necessarily hire people to create, promote and broadcast the programming the ads support. Everyone at a station needs to know how their job fits in and fully understand how others at the station and viewers at home depend on them.
I once heard a television station described as a combination of a factory, a warehouse, a hospital, a sales office and utility company. Not only do those words describe a well-designed broadcast studio facility, they also identify the turf of most of its workers. We create, mend, sell and distribute our product to our market. To do so, particularly under the stress of local news and production, takes more than specialized knowledge and loyalty. It takes talent to keep a station consistently cranking out a quality product 24/7.