For Local TV, What Happens in Vegas, May Not Stay in Vegas

By Kevin Eck 

In the last year, Las Vegas, Nevada has seen a near-wholesale change in local TV ownership: Sinclair bought up KSNV, Nexstar bought KLAS, E.W. Scripps bought KTNV.

While the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports about the expected changes to the market because of the ownership changes, Scripps gave a good look into what may be the future of local TV across the country.

According to one of their executives, the broadcast station is just one part of what they offer the market.

“What we do every day isn’t just television. … We are a local media company, and part of what we do every day is distribute content on television,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps’ senior vice president of television told the Review-Journal. “But a lot of what we do every day is how we distribute content on social and mobile and digital and all those kinds of things.”

When asked whether Scripps was going to add or subtract newscasts from its new station, Lawlor added, “It may be that we’re launching newscasts but they’re not on television. They may just be mobile-only newscasts.”

“We’re big advocates of the new digital frontier,” Lawlor said. “I think we spend a lot more time looking out at mobile, social, digital as tools for engaging with the local audience … We’ll certainly do training and expect the staff to become even more active in the mobile and digital space.”

And even the traditional broadcast news platform — actual broadcasting — may look different.

Lawlor singled out KTNV’s local infotainment shows “Valley View Live!” and “The Morning Blend,” calling them “evolutions of news that just are ways to engage a different audience.”

Still, he stressed, “We take our journalism pretty seriously, and we hold our newsroom employees and our presentation to high ethical and journalistic standards.”