Which Cities Watch the Most Local News?

By Chris Ariens 

Nielsen is out with its look at TV and digital news consumption: Who watches? Where? And how much?

The report of results from Q1 2017 is heavy on local news consumption; its growth, its diversity of viewers and its outsize role. In an average week, local news reached 40 percent of people in the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic. That’s compared to 32 percent for national broadcast news and 17 percent for cable news.

“In the same time period, adults spent two hours and 22 minutes watching local news, which is more than double the amount of time spent watching national broadcast news,” writes Justin La Porte, vp of local audience insights for Nielsen.

Viewers in the Top 25 markets watched 44 billion minutes of news every week in Q1 2017, up +11 percent from 39.7 billion minutes in Q1 2016.

Here are the top news-viewing markets, in local people meters and set meters:

And in terms of how much time people spend watching local news, vs. broadcast or cable news in the LPM markets, viewers in Pittsburgh (#23) and St. Louis (#21) can’t get enough TV news. And, no surprise to the folks in San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland (#6), time spent watching news there lags.

And in markets that use set meters, Nashville (#29) and Ft. Myers/Naples (#61) are tops with Memphis (#51) the biggest consumer of local news.