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Front Page » June 10, 2014 » Opinion » Where does the promotion end?
Published 113 days ago

Where does the promotion end?


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

The ratings war going on in Salt Lake between the television stations there has never been so hot. Not at least for years.

In the last couple of years KUTV has taken over the top spot for the most watched news programs, while perennial (and I do mean perennial for over 40 years) power, KSL, has dropped to second.

Now the news out of that industry is that at some time slots KSL is tops, while at others, it is second.

Television news has taken a big hit in terms of viewership in recent years because of the internet and other related entertainment mediums. Television news shows like to play up how bad newspapers are doing in many markets, but the fact still remains that the number of people who read daily papers in one form or another is still far above those that watch any particular news station.

And actually television news is destroying itself from within by the way they are changing news broadcasts. In fact some of the channels out of Salt Lake have become almost unwatchable at times.

The causes? Well it is not because of poor production or bad news casters. It's because they seem more interested in promoting themselves and what is on their station in terms of programming than in putting out good news programs.

They generally do some good work, but you can't get from story to story without them mentioning that you can go on Facebook and see their latest contest or take their latest poll. Every story is accompanied by "and you can see more on ourgreattelevision station.com" if you want to know the rest of the story.

You mean you really can't give us the whole story on your newscast? Then why the hell should I watch you at all? That is the question that comes to my mind.

But what I hate most of all is when they have a piece on their newscast about a program that is on their network. I am not talking about the content of news magazines like 60 Minutes or Sunday Morning. Those are broadcast news magazines that you expect that kind of thing from, and its always done well. What I mean is messages about who is contending in "The Voice" or who is winning "The Great Race" or "America's Got Talent." I watch the news to get news, not to find out what I can see on television later that nigh that night.

So consequently, with the rest of America, I am becoming less and less inclined to watch statewide local news on television and instead spend more time with my purchased paper edition of the Salt Lake Tribune while I sit in the living room.

Newspapers have promotions too, but at least those messages don't show up in the middle of a news story I am reading there.

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