Good news for newsrooms across the country: the local television audience grew in all three major time slots in 2013, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center:
Viewership climbed 6% in the morning (5 to 7 a.m.) and 3% in the early evening (5 to 7 p.m.) newscasts, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. The audience barely edged up—by .1%—in the late night slot (11 p.m.), a newscast that had suffered the biggest decreases in recent years.
The good news comes after a difficult 2012 when late night and early evening audiences each dropped by 7% and the morning audience decreased by 5%. Indeed, viewership for all three slots had declined every year from 2008-2012—with the exception of a small uptick in 2011. Pew Research analyzes Nielsen Media Research audience data for all four major sweeps periods — February, May, July and November — and computes national averages for each time slot.
Pew reports the viewership increases were the result of a strong November sweeps period: the morning news grew by 12%, evening news was up 8% and late night was up 6%.