RTDNA: 80 Percent of Station Groups Offer Local News

Numbers are up slightly from previous year, mostly in larger markets
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After a couple of years of decline in the total percentage of radio stations running local news, 2015 saw a slight bounce back. In Radio Television Digital News Association’s annual report “Local News by the Numbers,” 80% of local radio groups reported at least one station ran local news; in total, about 69.9% of all radio stations in the survey do (75.2% for AM, 65.6% for FM). The RTDNA says that the overall percentage running local news is up three points from 2014.

The average weekday coverage of local news for all radio stations came in at about 77.4 minutes. The bigger markets typically broadcast more local news, but largely because of the presence of more news stations in the area, according to RTDNA; major markets broadcasted an average of 148.1 minutes on weekdays, small markets 55.7 minutes.

It was also shown that commercial stations shared local news at a higher rate than noncommercial stations. The report says that 84.6% of commercial stations run local news, while 63.4% of noncommercial stations do. Compared to 2014, that is a one point increase for commercial stations and a point and a half decrease for noncommercial.

The report also indicates that most stations produced a similar amount of news as they did the previous year, and plan to keep steady for 2016.

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