Friday, June 04, 2004

Local News, by the Numbers

Tom Walters of the Commercial Appeal runs some of the numbers for local news shows. I just had some observations about them.

Notice that the most watched time period still only reaches one-quarter of all Memphis and surrounding counties. (For Nielsen purposes, I think it's still Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, DeSoto and Crittenden Counties, though the Federal government and some other measuring entities now include Tate, Marshall and Tunica in our "statistical metropolitan area.")

Most news shows only reach one fifth or less! In some cases, the local news stations are fighting over literally just a few thousand people.

Of course, the Commercial Appeal doesn't even discuss their numbers. You can dig around and learn that the CA reaches a maximum (on Sundays) of 225,000 people, or about one-third to one-quarter of the area. (The paper advertises that it reaches "500,000" people, but the formula that gives that number is full of fudge factors.)

Sheesh! It means a lot of uninformed folks, doesn't it? Even the people who do watch or read these news sources are still misinformed. Only you, dear Half-Bakered reader, can consider yourself truly informed. You're welcome.

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