In an interview with TVNewsCheck, NBC Owned Television Stations president Valari Staab talks about the investment in local news that has gone on under her watch. Staab says stations like WTVJ in Miami, WMAQ in Chicago and WCAU in Philadelphia have seen success because “we have added people, we have upgraded facilities, we have added resources”:
There are two things that strengthened our newsrooms quickly. One was adding a midday newscast. It’s easy to look at a midday newscast and do the math and say that it loses money or that it breaks even so I don’t want to do it. What a midday newscast does is keep the newsroom going all day long. It keeps everybody gathering news all day long. To have a big gap between your morning news and your 5 o’clock news weakens your 5 o’clock news.
The second thing is investigative units. We have put really decent size investigative units into these stations and, aside from giving you original content that your competitors don’t have and that you absolutely need in today’s world, it also gets everybody in the newsroom focused again on enterprise journalism. So, having journalists in your newsroom that are constantly breaking stories gets the other reporters breaking stories and working beats. It helps create a culture of enterprise reporting.